Three Financial Realities that Every Student Should Prepare For

piggy-bank-970340_640Most professional adults look back on their student years with reverence. They esteem the days of binge watching their favourite series, the nights spent partying, the friends, the fun, and the freedom. In hindsight, it seems like a paradisiacal existence, yet it’s important to remember that most of us have a habit of seeing the past through rose-tinted spectacles.

The friends, the fun, and the freedom are all a part of the student experience, but so too are the arguments between housemates, the long hours spent studying, the stress of exams, and, worst of all, the modern day poverty. Students have to live on an incredibly tight budget, and it’s very easy for it all to go wrong in the early days. So, to help you out, here are just three of the financial realities that you ought to be prepared for…

#1: You’ll Have to Budget

 

Your first term at university is certainly eye opening, and it doesn’t take long for students to realise that the thousands of pounds now sitting in their bank balances won’t last forever. For first years, especially, your newly bolstered bank balance might represent the most money that you’ve ever had in your life, but you’ll soon discover that the sum will go down incredibly quickly.

This is why you need to budget. Before you touch your cash, sit down and take the time to plan out what you’ll need to spend it on, and how much each outgoing will cost you. Set this total aside immediately, vowing to yourself that it won’t be spent on anything but your necessities. Then, take another couple of hundred pounds, and put this aside as an emergency fund. You can do what you like with whatever is left, but try to spend it sensibly rather than splurging.

#2: You’ll Need to Save

As we mentioned above, it’s always a good idea to set a couple of hundred pounds aside and keep it as your savings. Although lots of students are loathe to do this when it means limiting themselves even more than they already have to, you’ll quickly discover that emergencies can and do arise. All it takes is a bust kettle that needs replacing, a hole in your only pair of winter boots, a rip in the lining of your coat, and you’ll find that you need to splash that spare cash to cover your costs.

#3: You Might Have to Borrow

Even with the best will in the world, your money still might not go far enough, and it’s important to consider your borrowing options well in advance. Many high street banks will offer student accounts with an interest free overdraft, so it’s worth opening one of these as soon as you can. In case you still find yourself short, you might also want to look at specialist student lending options, as these are likely to offer you the best rates and terms if you’re left in a position where you have no other choice but to borrow.

Prepare yourself for the realities of undergrad living now to ensure that you can enjoy the ultimate student experience, without having to worry about your finances.

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