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Studying & Saving: Further Education With Money In Mind.

May 8, 2017 by  
Filed under Education, Money/Business, Weekly Columns

(Akiit.comGoing to university can be an extremely exciting time – but, let’s be honest, it can also be quite daunting. If you are currently in this situation, then there is probably plenty running through your mind. You might be wondering how you are expected to suddenly open away from home. Or you might just find yourself panicking about the course of education itself. In some instances, it is perfectly plausible that a major concern is money. Most students find that this is a worry, and it can be difficult knowing how to best deal with it. Fortunately, there is plenty of advice out there about how you can make the most of your financial situation while studying. In this article, we have put together some of the best so that you can benefit from that very advice. Let’s take a look and see what we can discover.

Plan For As Much As Possible

If you were to ask what the number one cause of financial upset while at university is, it has to be being unprepared. The less you have prepared for your studying days, the more likely it is that your finances will suffer. That is why you should do everything you can to prepare and plan for as much as possible before you even get started at your university. Mostly, what you need to do is make sure that you have planned for every financial situation which might occur. This is often just a matter of carrying out some simple research. One of your main expenses, by way of example, is probably going to be your tuition fees themselves. These vary from institution to institution, but whatever they are at your university you should be sure to know exactly how much they are.

As well as the fees, you should look into how much you are likely to spend on the various aspects of simply living. This can often be surprising, but it is much better to find out the true total earlier on so that you can do something about it sooner. When you are doing this, it is hugely important that you make an effort to be as truthful and as accurate as possible. If you do not do that, then you might not come away with a workable plan of action at all – and that will mean that you only face further problems as time goes on. Be diligent and honest with yourself, and figure out exactly how much everything in life is likely to cost. Later on, we will look at some of the things that you can do to keep costs down in different areas of life. But for now, just make sure that you know exactly what all those different expenses are going to be.

You might find it helpful if you make a list of all of those areas, and use that list to begin forming some kind of budget for yourself. Having a monthly budget, or even just a weekly one, should help you to better appreciate what kind of money you are likely to need, and give you a better understanding of what kind of difficulties might lie ahead. This will prove hugely important in the long run, so make sure that you spend a lot of time on this budget if you want your future finances to be as intact as possible. Once you start your higher education, you might not find much time for budgeting, so do as much now as you possibly can.

Saving On Rent

It goes without saying that the rent you will spend on your accommodation is likely to be one of your main expenses. As such, it is well worth looking into all the possible ways that you can save on that expense. Fortunately, no matter where you are, you should be able to do a number of things to keep rent down. One of the first things you should consider is to simply shop around for accommodation which seems to be well priced on rent. Even within a small area, rents can vary dramatically, and finding a room for rent with decent prospects requires a bit of hunting. Again, this is somewhere where it can really pay to spend your time and get in there early. As long as you do that, you are much more likely to find the better deals – and that will mean great things for your financial future.

But there is more that you can do to reduce the amount you need to spend on rent. One of the most powerful ways of doing this is to share your accommodation with someone else – or, better yet, a number of people. Shared accommodation ensures that each individual is paying considerably less than they would otherwise, and this is going to make a huge difference if you really want to save a lot of money. As we have seen, rent is likely to be a major expense throughout your university years, so if you want to see your finances in a better position generally it will help to deal with this aspect individually. Once you have saved all you can on rent, you will find a huge difference in your monthly bank statements, and that is what we are going for here.

Cutting Bills

No matter what kind of living arrangement you do end up in, there are going to be a number of household bills which you need to think about. The biggest mistake that a lot of students make is in assuming that there is nothing that can be done about those bills, when in fact you can do a surprising amount about them. All bills can be reduced relatively easily and heavy if you just know how to do so.

By way of example, let’s take a look at your energy bills. It goes without saying that you will need to pay for electricity and gas. For many students, suddenly having to fork out for these things can b a bit f a shock. But you can reduce those bills by doing a number of things. First and foremost, after you have moved into your new home, check who the supplier is. You then want to check with all the other suppliers who operate in your area, and see whether there is a cheaper tariff with anyone else – or, indeed, a cheap one with the same company, as sometimes happens. If there is, find out if there is a cancellation charge with the current company, and consider making the switch if necessary.

Once this is done, you might also want to think about taking active steps to reduce the amount of energy that you use. When you live with a number of other students, it can be difficult convincing everyone to use less energy, but once you all see the first bill this might spur you into action! It is a relatively simple matter to use less energy, so long as you are genuinely devoted to the cause, and doing so will make you feel a lot better about the whole situation too. Be sure to turn everything off when not in use – never leave it on standby – and make a conscious effort to reduce your usage of water and so on too. These little changes add up to make a big difference to the bill at the end of the month, particularly when you are living with a lot of people, so it is well worth taking all of this on board as soon as possible. When you start to pay less on your household bills, the whole act of improving your finances will seem a lot easier. You will then be able to focus on your studies as much as you feel you should.

Taking Work

For some students, it becomes clear that the best solution is to find extra work outside of school hours. Having part-time work can really help to make a huge difference to your finances, and if you are able to spare the time it can be a very good idea indeed. Of course, not everyone is able to do this, so make sure that you are doing whatever works best for your own situation, and you should find that your finances are much better off. It might also help if you are able to find work which is in some way suitable for whatever you are studying. This will mean that your use of time is doubly improved upon, which will make you feel a lot better about having to work as well as study.

Learning Money Management

It is likely to be considerably helpful if you take the time before going to university to learn how to properly manage your money. If you are able to do that, then you will find that the whole situation is much easier to deal with, and you won’t need to worry quite so much once you start studying. Then it will just be a matter of getting your head down and getting those grades.

Staff Writer; Lisa Jacobs

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