5 Easy money lessons for uni students from graduate Pauline

31 Jul 2018
By Pauline M., Student at King's College London

Getting into good money habits is something you should consider doing as early as possible. Even though it may sound intimidating, it is actually quite easy to teach yourself to treat your money with care and attention.

You wouldn’t believe how many student discounts there are out there for you to enjoy!

Check out my top five tips to help you develop a healthy relationship with those £s!

1) Make use of student discounts

You wouldn’t believe how many student discounts there are out there for you to enjoy! Ranging all the way from food to travel, there are multiple ways to use your student status to save money.

Online, check out websites such as StudentBeans.com and StudentHut.com to see what kind of bargains they offer. You should also consider getting the NUS Extra card, which gives you access to many different student deals for as little as £12 per year.

Finally, you could always whip out your student ID whenever you’re about to make a purchase – who knows, the retailer may have something to offer you.

2) Organise a budget

It can be easy to spend a lot of money without realising it – I’ve had that happen way too many times on a night out! The best way to avoid these unhealthy expenditures is to figure out a budget that works for you.

This will vary from person to person, but anyone could set aside a few minutes to figure out a good spending plan. I divide my spending into a couple of important categories (such as food, travel, leisure) and allocate certain monthly allowances to each of them. This way, I’ll hopefully never have to face a shocking drop in my bank balance again!

3) Apply for a job

There are lots of opportunities for students to work during their studies. If you can’t spare a few hours per week during term time, you could always search for jobs over the summer. These don’t have to be full-time – there are lots of internships and part-time jobs you could consider.

If you’re an international student, you have to know how many hours you’re legally allowed to work. For example, my Tier 4 Student Visa states that I am eligible to work 20 hours a week during term time and full-time hours during the holidays.

4) Explore scholarship options

Not all scholarships are about academic achievement. Many universities offer scholarships you’ve probably never even heard of, and they can be very specific.

So check with your university, you may discover something relevant to your nationality or course that you can apply for!

5) Get a credit card

Getting a credit card early on allows you to begin building your credit score, which is important when it comes to things like mortgages and loans. Credit cards often come with added benefits such as cash back or free air miles. Used wisely, they can set you up well for the future.

All credit cards have different application requirements but there are plenty of cards aimed at new users and students. Speak to the different banks in person and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Find out more about student credit cards at the MoneySupermarket.com website

Budgeting: What it’s all about

These five tips are all about the same thing: maximising your money coming in, and minimising how much you pay out. If you can start doing that from day one at university, you’ll soon become very good at it. And that’s the key to staying on top of your money.

You wouldn’t believe how many student discounts there are out there for you to enjoy!
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Pauline is an English Language and Literature graduate and Masters student studying in London.