Many people spend years of their life slowly paying off all the debt they accrued as a student. It can be difficult to make enough to cover living expenses when you are in full-time education, but by following these money saving tips, you should be able to reduce your future debt by saving money now.
If everyone who lives in your home is a student, your household is exempt from paying council tax. If you live with at least one non-student adult, then your council tax bill can still be reduced by 25%.
There are grants available to help students with living costs. Although competition for some is tough, many go unclaimed each year, so it's worth using the Educational Grants Search and applying for any that you qualify for.
Similarly universities and other educational institutions offer scholarships to help pay for your educational and living costs. Often they are awarded for skills and talents at particular disciplines, or they may be specific to where you live or based on your parent's occupation.
Some banks offer accounts with no interest on overdrafts for students. Find a bank account that suits you, with the largest 0% overdraft limit you can find. Don't worry about your proximity to the bank's branch location, because almost all transactions and account management can be done online or on the phone. Only use the overdraft if you have to, but never go over the limit or you may be charged expensive fees.
Income Tax Codes
If you are working as well as studying, you will have to pay Income Tax and National Insurance. Make sure you are paying under the right tax code or you could end up overpaying. If you're unsure, check with HMRC.
Using budgeting software will help you organise your finances by allowing you to see where your money is being spent. If you feel like you are overspending in one area, work out how you can cut back.
Get a Bike
If you regularly travel further than a walking distance, you can find a cheap second hand bike online, and often you can get it even cheaper by haggling with the seller. It's cheaper than travelling on public transport every day and healthier too.
Keep an eye out for shops that offer a student discount when shopping for clothes. Also look for charity shops and thrift shops. You might be searching a while before you find an item you like, but the discounts will be worth it.
Try to avoid cheap clothes and shoes if they are poor quality and seem likely to fall apart. It's worth investing in sturdy clothes that will last longer.
If you have a fairly standard hair cut, consider buying hair clippers and cutting your own hair in front of a mirror, or take turns with a steady-handed friend cutting each other's hair. Dying and styling hair can also usually be done at home, but if you really need a salon's expertise, look for one that offers a student discount, or ask about volunteering for a free haircut from a hairdresser-in-training or beauty student.
Posted by Money Dashboard