How to survive on a student loan – Which? University


Everyone will say it and the only thing you
can do is budget. I think it’s really important to budget. We have to budget everything. Definitely
sort it out early. You don’t want to get to the end of the term and be like, “Oh! I haven’t
got the money for the train home,” and stuff like that. If you just sort of go out within
the first week and buy a student loan’s worth of vodka then you’re going to be screwed. You definitely have to be aware of how much
you have to spend. I would suggest that you keep a money bank in your room, so that every
time you’ve got loads of coins in your bag, your purse or your wallet, just put them straight
into the money bank. Don’t think that once you get your student loan through it’s all
for you, you’ve got to put a lot of it towards your actual course. You’re given a very, very
long list of books and you have to pick out the ones you are going to buy and the ones
that you are going to get from the library. And you often find that you can buy the textbooks
that you need from second years, so last year’s first years, they’ll want go to rid of their
books and they’ll sell them cheaper than buying them new. I’d say always wait until the first
week. Don’t buy them before you get to university. See what it’s like – the library always has
the books, you don’t have to buy them. Understand that most things that you think
you need, you can make. I am on my second printer, and I would hate to think how many
reams of paper I’ve gone through. There’s cleaning products as well. I had never appreciated
how much bleach costed before I came to the university. Detergent and stuff like that
is crazily expensive for what it does really. But if you can just wait and do all your washing
at once, that’s always is a good idea. Food as well, it’s so expensive. Go for the
‘value’ though. It tastes the same, and is a lot cheaper. Bringing your own lunch is
cheaper than buying food every day. You don’t want to live off spaghetti hoops
and soup. Shopping around for best deals. A big chunk went on rent. Clothes, you have
to buy lots of clothes. If you’re going out to the pub, take money, take cash in hand.
Don’t go with a card and no money. If you want to have a good time, have a good time,
but just don’t spend 100 quid on a night out when you know you’ve got to buy food for the
next week. You just got to be sensible about it. I would say just set aside what you need,
what you think you going to need, and make the rest unreachable. As much as it’s like,
“Ah! I really can’t bothered to do that”, if you just see what you’ve got, split it
equally, and then if you’ve spent your money for that day, try not to spend anymore ’cause
then just think, a week down the line you don’t want to be hitting your over draft,
cause when your next student loan comes in, it has to pay off your overdraft before it
goes into your account so you have less money for the next term.

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