3 Ways To Financially Prepare For University
Approximately 700,000 young people head off to university each year, according to UCAS. It’s undeniably an exciting time, but financially preparing for uni life when you’re used to spending your cash on leisure activities can be somewhat challenging. As the average student will graduate with more than £50,000 debt, it’s essential that you’re prepared for life on a student budget. And, those all-important months between securing your place at uni and freshers’ week is the time to do this.
Practise living on a strict income
The National Student Money Survey revealed that the average student spends £770 per month. Yet, maintenance loans cover, on average, just £600 per month. Some of the largest living expenses come from travel, which accounts for £47, and socialising at £64 per month. Over a four year course, that’s more than £5,000, or 10% of your total student debt. In the weeks before heading off to uni, review the figure you’re borrowing, then set yourself a strict weekly budget and stick to it. By doing this, you’ll get used to thinking about every penny you spend, as well as weighing up the pros and cons of every purchase. This will, therefore, be a habit by the time freshers’ week rolls around.
Make do and mend
The average student spends £34 per month on clothing, and it’s not because they need new clothes. Instead, they lack the skills needed to replace missing buttons or repair a fallen hem. This is even affecting surgery students, most of whom are unable to stitch and sew up patients, according to The Independent. So, before you leave home for a new life at uni, take the time to sort through your wardrobe and set about repairing any items that have fallen by the wayside, as this valuable skill will save you a significant chunk of money during your studies.
Cook from scratch
Which? reports that the average student spends £24 per month on takeaways and snacks. Meanwhile, a further £67 is spent on food shopping. Students spend a significant sum on eating out and on convenience food, as four out of 10 can’t make an omelette, and a quarter are unsure how to prepare vegetables. But, rather than wasting those precious last few months you have at home, use this time to learn how to cook from scratch. Utilise your parents’ knowledge, as well as online tutorials, and you’ll be amazed at how little eating wholesome food will cost you.
There’s no denying that university is an expensive period in a student's life. But, by following these tips you’ll be fully prepared for the costs coming your way.