Once school has finished most people are opting further education and going to University, some use this as an excuse to move away from home for a bit and party hard whilst others take the experience a lot more seriously. Whatever your choice, whether it be University or college, being a student can be an extremely expensive experience especially if it means moving out of home.  Once A levels are finished your education is no longer funded by the government, meaning students have to either get parents to fund the process or find your own cash to pay. Making the decision in continuing your education needs to be taken seriously, as most courses last at least 3 years and if you decide to pull out before the end all you have spent on travel, accommodation, fee’s books etc. etc. will be a complete waste of money.  So before, make sure it is something you want to do and be 100% sure you will see it through to the end.

Before your A levels have finished you should have a pretty good idea what you want to do, what grades you need and what locations offer the best courses. Be aware of the tuition fees for each University as the fees are terribly expensive, look to pay anywhere between £6,000 to £9,000 a year! A three-year course could cost a staggering £27,000, and that is without any course books, food, accommodation or every day living costs!  Have a look round at different Universities and maybe look at colleges in your area to try and keep the costs down.  With the huge raise in tuition fees, recently colleges are looking at improving what they offer to help with the burden of tuition fees.

The thought of these fees are putting a high number of people off, but before totally discounting the idea take a good look at your options at different places to study, different courses and other ways to fund the process. There is no need to worry about finding the fees before starting as once your application is accepted by the University of your choice, your fees are by a specialized Student Load company.  Paying the loan back is fairly straightforward the first payment will be in April AFTER graduation or leave and as long as your salary is under £21,000 you never have to pay your fees back – sounds impressive eh?  Some people might be lucky enough to have parents who can fund their university or will take out a loan on your behalf, but be extremely careful as this method sounds fantastic but could end up costing £1000’s more than getting the standard student loan. There is talk that most students do not pay the full amount they’ve borrowed, and if they are off sick, lose their job or have to take a pay cut the student loan payback is adjusted accordingly, whereas a standard loan will need to be paid regardless of your circumstances!  Also, a student loan is not classed as a normal loan, and there are no debt collectors chasing if any payments are missed; also you do not risk losing your house should you not be able to make the payments etc.  There’s plenty of money saving websites that go into far more detail on this so check it out before making make any decisions, and make sure you are doing it the most cost effective way.

Here we have 6 further money saving tips once you have your tuition fees sorted:

 

Accommodation

 Halls of residence are located on campus and specifically designed for the fresher’s or first year students.  They vary from site to site but have the basics to allow you to live on your own away from the comforts of home.  These are usually available for your first year as it is hoped students will make friends and share a house or flat for the rest of the time.  If this is not for you, or non are available then check out the local paper as there will be plenty of people advertising student accommodation or share a house or flat.  Only go into your own accommodation if you can truly afford it as you will be the only person to be paying the bills.  Most Universities have loads of student accommodation in the area, but make sure to check out the place before hand and make sure of your rental agreement as there are a lot of shoddy landlords around who are more interested in making a quick buck!  Furnished properties will be more costly than unfurnished so ask friends and family to see if they are chucking any furniture out etc. Try car boot sales, online auctions such as eBay, as you might be able to pick up a bargain. The suggestion is not to pay a fortune for your accommodation unless money is no option, but whilst you might take pride in your place your new so-called mates might not!

 

Travel Expenses

Being a student means not having much money to live on, and you will find all sorts of places to find ways of saving money for that extra pint in the evening!  Travel expenses can be exceptionally high, but try looking around and use your Student Card when possible to get fantastic deals.   Investing in a travel 16-25 travel card will help save money and get up to a third off rail travel.  The card is for students between the ages of 16-25 years old and can be bought for 1 or 3 years, in 2012 the 1 year cost was £28 and a 3 year was £65.  There are different ways to travel as the train might be quicker, but the coach will be cheaper, and companies like National Express and Mega Bus offer fabulous student rates. My cousin’s children travel between Manchester and Newcastle to Leeds on a regular basis and only pay round £5 or less for their return journey by coach – it would cost their parents a lot more in fuel to drive them to and fro!  Travelling during term time and off peak will save even more, and pre-booking your tickets might even qualify for early bird rates.  With the price of fuel and insurance on the rise,  a car is not a viable option for most students and is it worth all that money to be just sat outside your accommodation?  If transport is required to get to and fro to Uni or College then why not invest in a bike?   Do not get a flashy one, as the chances are someone else will like the look of it so get a cheap bike and a good quality bike lock. Ask your parents for one as an early Christmas present or birthday if there is not the cash to get one.  Plus using a bike each day will help you keep fit without having to pay for gym sessions!

 

Food

Some students will leave home to go to Uni without ever cooking themselves a meal, so the thought of being responsible for feeding ones self could be quiet daunting. Do not go for the easy option of ready-made meals or a take-away, as they are less fulfilling and more expensive.  Why not go to your local supermarket and check out their special deals especially buy 1 and get 1 free? I only suggest this on non perishable goods such as rice, pasta, and tins tough. Buy a few herbs and spices and start making your own meals, only buying fresh stuff as and when required otherwise run the risk of food going out of date and going to waste. Get advice from your mum or other members of your family on suggested foods plus there are plenty of food websites that have great menu ideas for students, you could also try our Tesco eCoupons for extra savings too.

 

Staying in is the new going out!

Instead of going out, why not treat yourself to a fun night at home? Invite your friends round and club together for a bit of drink from the local off license have a few drinking games, and bobs your uncle everyone has had a fab night without costing a fortune!
If a big night out is planned why not start at home? Staying in can be more fun as everyone gets to spend time chatting, instead of being in a crowded bar or club where the music is so loud you cannot talk. Also, buying booze is far cheaper at a supermarket than in pubs and clubs. Sometimes these nights can lead to a night in, but who cares as a long as everyone has had good fun and spent a fraction of what a night out would cost.
The Student Union bar is always a good bet as the drinks are cheap and always have plenty of people, however, this might not be for you.  Most University towns and cities have nightlife quarters to suit the student wallet, so there’s no need to visit the posh expensive ones unless it’s a special occasion or are feeling a little flush.

 

Work in your favourite shop

As a student,  it is unlikely to get through your course without having to work so why not get your job to work in your favour?  Most shops offer a staff discount, some straight away others you have to be an employee a while before hand. So why not work in your favourite clothes shop and get your clothes discounted? However, do not go for the most expensive shops, even with a discount the items might still be our of your price range! Look around as places like Top Shop and Top Man, Miss Selfridge or any others in the Arcadia group offer a 25% discount.

 

Invest in a Printer

This one might seem a bit odd and a bit of an extravagance at first but bear with me! It is true every campus will have printing facilities, but imagine the scenario; you have left it to the last minute to print off your work and there’s quiet a few pages that need printing. You fight your way onto campus and find everyone else has left it to the last minute, only to find yourself having to wait ages to get it printed off. Once at the front of the queue and starting to print, the ink runs out and then have to hang about for the ITC department to get them replaced. Finally, when you have finished printing you have a pay a hefty amount, and from what I’ve heard printing on campus can be terribly expensive. So why not invest in one of your own as it will save  all the hassle and be able to print whenever needed. Plus allowing your friends to use your printer at a small charge will help cover the cost of your replacement cartridges.  The cost of new printers varies and there are loads of places to buy one from such as PC World, Curry’s, Tescos plus many other retailers. Also, there is no need to buy brand new cartridges every time as they can work out terribly costly, there are printer places about, like Cartridge World, that will refill your old cartridges at a fraction of the cost. Checkout the latest Dell Coupons and PC World Vouchers we have on offer for extra savings.

We hope you have found some of these tips useful and manage to save a few pennies whilst away at Uni.

 

Written By: Samantha Fletcher

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