Can you put a price on a good education? Apparently so, as university tuition fees are set to soar once more to reach record heights. Universities now charge over £6000 for a single degree course, with more than one third of all further education institutions charging £9000; the maximum as dictated by the government.
Being a student is not only a valuable life experience but also vital for gaining good career prospects, but it certainly doesn’t come cheap. Student loans of up to £9000 are available covering the course fees, but what about accommodation rent, buying course textbooks and the general cost of living?
Fortunately, there are a few easy ways you can make their pennies go that little bit further, allowing you all the materials necessary for your studies as well as a bit left over for enjoying the famous university lifestyle. You don’t have to be poor; you just have to be thrifty.
1. Take Advantage Of Discounts
You are eligible to purchase an NUS card which costs £12 per year, but gives massive savings on practically everything you could want. Ranging from shopping and dining out to activities and insurance to transport and short breaks, you could see savings of up to 50 per cent on things you would have done or purchased anyway. Also, be sure to look at student licensing discounts for computer software, which provide savings of up to 80 per cent off the original cost.
2. Don’t Pay Full Price For Textbooks
Textbooks are an essential part of most university courses, but they can be quite pricey, especially new copies. You may need to have a wide range of different books, if you’re doing a literature course, for example. It may seem old fashioned, but consider using your university’s library, or another local library, especially if you plan to only need the books for a short period of time. Also consider clubbing together with housemates and friends on the same course and splitting the cost between you.
3. Learn To Cook
While some students are culinary geniuses, others have never stepped foot in a kitchen by themselves. Learning to cook could save you money and help prevent the ‘freshman fifteen’; those extra 15 pounds that creep up on new students as a result of excessive drinking and too many takeaways. Eating out may be easy and tasty, but it’s dangerous for the wallet. Picking up some meat and veg that’s on offer at the local supermarket could be the key to healthy student finances. Check the web for some idiot-proof recipes.
4. Use Your Legs
The terms ‘student’ and ‘lazy’ are often used together, and for good reason; some students are just downright lazy! Getting between classes may be easier on campus universities, but that doesn’t mean those studying in cities have excuses. Whether it’s getting to a lecture or to the bar for a night out, think twice before calling a taxi. Walking is free and it has the added bonus of meaning you won’t need to pay out for gym membership as it’s a great workout too, especially for the legs and bum!
5. Fill Your Boots
Freebies! Freebies at university are everywhere, so stock up. Your university’s student union may host promotional events for local and nationwide companies who come with branded stationery ready to hand out, and if the blood service van visits you’ll be rewarded with a free biscuit for donating a pint of blood (and it’s an important thing to do).
About The Author:
Amy Harris (business enthusiast) writes for Financial Training– which helps British and international students find the right financial courses in the UK (such as the ACCA Courses London offers, Business Degrees & CIMA Accounting Courses). She is an American expat who enjoys helping people with their education and career search.