If you're off to uni this year, get set for some of the best years of your life. While laying the foundations of your career, you'll learn to fend for yourself and meet all kinds of people. And if you're a 'work hard, play hard' kind of person, become a pro at juggling those all-important deadlines and parties.
Often one of the hardest parts of student life is managing your money. So we've put together some tried-and-tested tips to help you make savings where you can.
They say a meal tastes better when it's shared with friends. But eating together can be a great money-saver, too. Getting everyone to chip in for the ingredients splits out the cost and buying in bulk works out cheaper than buying items singly. Cooking as a team can be a fun way to get to know your new housemates (and let's be honest, a good distraction from the pub).
Go vintage and timeless
While your local charity shop may not be full of the latest fashions don't let that put you off, It's likely to be filled with vintage and timeless classics. Scour the second-hand rails for hidden treasures and bag some designer bargains.
Borrow or buy second-hand books
You've seen the price of your course books and all can think about is what else you'd spend that money on. You've been to the library and guess what? Your fellow course mates had the same idea... No fear. Check out book resell sites; there'll be plenty of ex students who want to trade in their old ones for cash.
Shop around the best mobile phone deal
Whether it's new friends, old friends or mum and dad, keeping in touch can be expensive if you're on the wrong phone tariff. Some networks offer student-only deals. Or picking up a sim-only contract is a good way to maximise free calling minutes, texts and inclusive data if you already have a handset.
Register for a student discount card
If you're planning on eating out or buying the odd new outfit, it's worth investing in a student discount card. Ask shops or restaurants if they offer student discount whenever you buy something; some just might not advertise it and you could save up to 10%.
Use a budgeting tool
It sounds simple - because it is. But writing down your income and regular outgoings can really help you to budget. Once you know how much money you have left after paying bills, rent and buying food, it's easier to plan for more enjoyable things like socialising or visiting home. There are many budgeting apps and tools that you can register for, including the
TSB money planner
- free to all current account holders.
Avoid unnecessary bank charges
If you're living on a small income, sometimes you might find you need a little extra to tide you over. Many banks provide student accounts with interest-free overdrafts to eligible customers, and some will reward you with cash back on everything from public transport to food. TSB offers an
interest and fee-free Student current account
. It goes without saying that you should try and live within your means, but it's nice to have backup.