Being a student is tough, particularly when it comes to finances. The cost of going to university is often too much for many students and they end up needing a loan.
If you’re taking out a student loan, there are a few money-saving tips to make it last a little longer.
Below you’ll discover some of the best ways to save money so you don’t feel the pressure of being permanently poor.
Know your council tax rights
If you live away from home in private rented accommodation, you may be entitled to various council tax benefits.
If you live with only other students for example, you shouldn’t have to pay council tax at all once you have filled out a council tax exemption form. If on the other hand you live with somebody who isn’t a student, council tax rules do apply. However, the student is disregarded from the tax rate and the other person will receive a 25% reduction on their bill.
The only thing to consider here is whether you feel comfortable not making a contribution to council tax. It could be a good idea to pay the 25% reduction.
Resist the urge to spend the loan as soon as you get it
It’s really tempting to spend the money as soon as it goes into your account. It’s estimated that many UK students spend their loans within 7 and a half weeks.
When you’re used to living at home, you don’t always have the best budgeting skills. Now is the time to learn how to become financially secure. Think about what you are spending and come up with a realistic budget. How much of the loan needs to go on accommodation and food?
While it’s important to enjoy student life, you may just have to accept that you can’t go out every night or buy new clothes every week. Be thrifty with your money and resist the urge to spend it as soon as you get the loan through.
Can you get help with the cost of tuition?
There are so many different organisations that can provide financial help for students in the UK. Have you looked into whether you are eligible for help towards the cost of your course?
The two best options you have are to look into scholarships and the Educational Grants Advisory Service. The latter can help you to find financial help if it’s needed. It searches more than 30 different educational trusts to see what help you can personally gain.
Scholarships are something that many students don’t consider. There are so many different ones available. Some are quite specific with their requirements. You may need to practice a certain religion or be working towards a specific career. Take a look and you may just be surprised at the help you can receive.
Make use of student discounts
One of the great things about being a student is the fact that you get to benefit from all kinds of discounts. You can get discounted tickets to events, money-off vouchers for food and special student discounts on bank accounts and many more. Why pay full price for something when you don’t have to?
However, you should be wary of student discount cards. While some are perfect for saving a little cash, others act a little like a credit card. They draw you in with promises of high discounts, but there’s a monthly fee you have to make to have the card. Always do your research before signing up with any type of student discount card.
Bio: Nita Agarwal is a philosophy student and an avid ‘penny pincher’. She spends her spare time blogging about how to save money, you can read some of her post on Vita’s Student Accommodation.