Money and university go hand in hand, and unfortunately, many people opt out of studying or find it extremely stressful due to financial constraints. Everything needs to be paid for, even tuition fees and books, so it’s no wonder that many students’ money situations spiral out of control as they are not adequately prepared for the realistic expenses that university brings.
To stay in control and manage your money, you need to take on board all the money tips and advice that your university and NUS give you, as well as listening to experienced students and, of course, your parents…
You know they are always right! Looking after your money isn’t just about calculating in your head how much you have spent each day. Still, it’s about planning and making realistic estimations so that you have enough money to get you through each week without dipping into next week’s allowance.
Compiling a budget will help you to realize and understand your student money and make it go further. If you contact your University or NUS, they can provide you with sample budgets for students that are relevant to your course.
And that will also be a great idea to speak to any fellow students that you might know who could give you money tips and advice on compiling your budget.
In general, your budget should include:
The maximum tuition fee that you will be charged for the 2019/2020 academic year is $7,000 to $19,000. However, you can obtain a student loan that is paid directly to your university to cover this.
Look into the surrounding areas of your university, talk to students already attending the college and ask for money tips in terms of rent and shared accommodation; they should know the cheapest places to live.
Look on property websites for rental rates and, with all your research, work out an average and realistic monthly amount.
Domestic bills –
Out-goings could include; gas, electric, telephone, water rates, home insurance, building maintenance. Most student accommodation is shared, so talk to others who live in similar housing and find out what their out-goings are or get in touch with the manager of your local halls of residence for domestic money tips.
The Cost of The Food –
Look on supermarket websites and work out the average for everything, including the smallest of things like tea bags and sugar! Mockup weekly shopping lists and calculate a monthly budget.
Depending on how far you live from your campus, you will need to look into transport; bus, train, tram, etc. Consider walking where possible to save costs and look into monthly travel cards that give discounts to students.
Speak to other students about what you will need for your course or ask your university for a list of necessary equipment e.g., books, etc.
Also, look into 2nd hand sales that your college may organize and always check the library and internet before you spend your student money.
Even though you will tell your parents that you are at university to study, it is quite well known that a lot of student’s money goes on socializing and the student bar!
Be honest with yourself; don’t underestimate the number of times you will go out. Research into your area and the costs of restaurants, night clubs, and drinks and set yourself a budget that you have to stick to.
Put aside a realistic amount to fund any extra costs e.g., birthdays, travel expenses to go back home, clothing, etc. and You never know when something might crop up, and you don’t want to eat into next month’s budget to fund a present for someone or go back home.
Contact your university or NUS for information on money for college students; what loans and grants are you entitled to? If you feel that you will need more finance than is offered to you then ask for some money-making tips,
they can point you in the right direction and advise you of suitable employment to take that won’t affect your studies.
This sample budget for students only covers general areas that you need to consider; you may need to go more in-depth or include other subjects that are relevant to your lifestyle or course e.g.
if you have children to find or if you need to take part in regular field trips.
If you budget realistically and take on board all the money tips you are given, then you will be able to concentrate 100% on your studying without worrying about paying the rent at the end of the month or being able to buy the next module of books.
How Much Will University Cost?
Preparing for university or college can take months of the organization – finding a place to live, working out what to take, the logistics of traveling around, etc. But one major factor that decides everything in finance; how much will college cost?
At first, it may seem easy to pluck figures out of thin air and plan and estimated budget; £x for rent, £x for books. But this approach can be the start of students’ money worries and a slippery debt downfall.
The key is to research thoroughly into your college course, not leaving any stone unturned and include everything into a realistic and real-life budget.
It’s estimated that students leave university or college with an average debt between $20,770 and $46,950.
At first glance, this seems a huge amount, but when you break down the length of your course year by year and work out the fine detail,
it’s amazing how quickly students’ money can trickle away. One of the main concerns is that students seem to be unaware of how much college will cost, with the majority of students underestimating living expenses, food bills, social life costs, and funds needed for books, equipment, etc.
So to avoid this and stay in control, you will need to plan a budget and take on board an array of general tips for students as well as money-making tips to make your finances last and stretch longer.
Your main outgoings will be tuition fees, accommodation, and living expenses. However, costs will vary depending on the college or university where you will be studying as well as the surrounding area that you will be living in.
To help plan your finances, you will need to breakdown every area of your outgoings and research thoroughly into average costs and available help and money for college students. Your university and NUS can help with this and will have lots of money tips, sample budgets, and information for you.
Your personal budget should cover:
- Domestic bills
The exact amount that college will cost is different for every student, so don’t get caught out and be lacking funds after six months.
Contact your university, get in touch with the NUS, do some networking with existing students, and plan your realistic budget so that you can answer your own question, and know how much college will cost.