Finance tips for Freshers



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Next month thousands of students will be heading off to university for their first of three years of studying. With tuition fees now costing more than 9K a year most of these students will be accruing a large debt whilst developing their knowledge which is why it’s so important they are frugal with their finances from the start.

‘Freshers’, (those in their first year of study) are particularly bad at budgeting and tend to party and spend a lot leaving their student loan depleted before the end of their first term. So here are our tips to help set students on the right financial path when they begin uni.

Make sure you have the best bank account

Nearly every bank will offer student accounts, many with interest free overdrafts. However, lots will also offer freebies to tempt students to sign up but these may not be the best for you. For example, a free student railcard which offers discount on rail travel may sound tempting, but if you travel at peak times it will be of no use to you as the discount only applies off peak. Students need to see if the freebie has any financial benefits for them.

Reduce your mobile phone costs

If you have a contract that’s nearly up and there’s nothing wrong with your phone, why not switch to a SIM Only contract as it could reduce your monthly bill by nearly 50%. You can also check sites such as Billmonitor or MobilePhoneChecker to find a deal that’s right for you. If you want to stay with your current provider then tell them you are thinking of leaving unless they can offer you a much better deal. You will be surprised what they can offer when threatened with losing a customer!

If you have an old phone, why not sell it and earn some extra cash. Sites such as Mazuma Mobile and Sell My Mobile pay good prices for old phones.

Do not pay council tax

If you are renting privately or sharing a house with other students you don’t need to pay council tax. You can apply for exemption here on the gov.uk website.

Cashback when you buy stuff

Get cashback when you shop online at selected retailers. Cashback websites pay you when click through to them and make a purchase. Quidco and Topcashback are two of the most popular cashback sites.

Ditch the take-aways and learn to cook

Take away food will eat into your student loan quickly and hugely. Shop for supermarket own label products and cook your own meals. Lots of cheap, tasty and easy to make meals can be found here.