Budget & Saving

The 10 financial mistakes every student makes










At Money Dashboard, we want to help you make the most of your uni days. That's why we've done a little digging into some of the most common pitfalls; by avoiding these ten financial mistakes, prudent students can stay in the black without sacrificing on fun.

1. Too many takeaways


Instead of ordering in a few too many chicken chow meins, work out a menu for the week with your flatmates – you'll save money by buying in bulk, and planning ahead will reduce impulse buys. It's also worth following websites like
, which provide useful tips on how to make your food shopping go further.

2. Buying brand new books


If you've got a reading list as long as your arm, it makes sense to buy second-hand books online. While brick and mortar stores like Blackwell's do offer up to 50% off many key textbooks, you can often get bigger discounts on marketplace sites or via online
.

3. Overlooking creative clothing


In many university towns and cities, charity and vintage shops are a treasure trove of great value clothes. “We can't all afford to buy vintage, and certainly not designer – which means charity shops are the best bet for the creative soul on a budget,” claims one
.

4. Not budgeting


A
study revealed that the number one tip from current undergraduates to new students is to “make a budget and stick to it”. You can get started with our free budgeting app, which is filled with handy tools to help you stretch out that student loan.

5. Getting a payday loan


Quite a few students take out payday loans to fund short-term spending, although an impressive
has set out to ban them being advertised on campuses. No matter how convenient they might seem, it's far cheaper in the long-term to save up for what you want.

6. Not signing up to funding schemes


Depending on your circumstances, there are a variety of student grants and bursaries you can apply for. Take a look at the
to see how you might be able to get extra funding.

7. Spending too much on nights out


If you bought just one less pint a week, you could save around £160 over the course of the year. Small changes like this won't affect your night out, but they'll have a significant impact on your bank balance.

8. Not researching student discounts


For anyone studying on a budget, student discounts are a lifesaver. It pays to do your research – check out
for a comprehensive list of the best money-off deals.

9. Choosing the wrong student bank account


It's a good idea to put a bit of time into choosing your student bank account, as lots come with money-saving extras.
, for example, gives customers a free 16-25 Railcard if they sign up to its 1|2|3 Student Current Account.

10. Avoiding the job hunt


There are lots of
where you can find a job to fit in with your studies. These include roles in tutoring, retail and hospitality – they might not represent the job of your dreams, but will earn you some welcome spending money.


Chris Smith

Money Dashboard