Are youlLeaving home to go to university? If so, having the freedom to, finally, do whatever you want, whenever you want its what most students dream of. But, the reality of actually being a student is a little different to what you might picture in your head. One thing you are certainly going to have to do is consider how you are going to manage living financially. Therefore, you are going to need to sit down and work out a student budget.
Applying for a student loan
It is easy to apply for a student loan and this can be done online via Student Finance England. The tuition fee loan, often referred to as your student loan, allows you to borrow up to £9250 pa (or your maximum fee if it is under this amount). The loan will be paid to the university directly to cover your tuition fees.
Maintenance loans bank accounts
You can also apply via Student Finance England for what is called a maintenance loan. This will help to cover living expenses. The amount you can apply for is dependent on a sliding scale measured against your household income. In London, this amount can be up to £12,382 and outside London this drops to £9488.
Managing debt within your student budget
When it comes to debt as a student you may have 2 kinds of debt; student loans constitute good debt. But, it is the other debts, the ones that are linked to impulse decisions to non-essentials that you need to worry about; these are bad debts.
It is important to look at the bad debts and work out a payment schedule for paying them back. If they are linked to a credit card think carefully about whether you really need the thing you are trying to buy. It isn’t easy to clear debt, especially as a student. But, if you hold yourself accountable and keep an eye on your money in and money out you should be able to reduce your debts.
Will I need a job to maximise my student budget?
Many students find that they need a part time job whilst at university as their expenses outweigh their income. It is important however to consider the work / study balance that will be required to complete your course in order to graduate with a good result.
Purchasing things for your course
Whilst there will undoubtedly be lots of things you will need to purchase for your course there are a number of things that you can do to reduce or spread the cost out. Texts books can often be purchased second hand from a bookshop near your university. However, you should check that the editions on offer are the latest one for your course. If you are given a book list at the beginning of your course, make sure that you buy the books you need first. There will be books that you do not need until later in your course, so spread the cost by leaving these until later.
You can also pick up stationary supplies in most supermarkets, so these do not need to be too expensive. If you are struggling speak to your tutor, there may be some help available.