Students do their financial homework before uniSeven in 10 freshers have thought about budgeting

18 September 2014

Students walking in a group

New students are more likely to have sussed out which student bank account to choose (55%) than looked up their reading lists or pre-course work (22%), a Which? University survey reveals.

Three quarters of school leavers (76%) have found out what financial help is available from their university before starting, while 70% have thought about the budget they'll need for living costs and socialising.

The survey, conducted in July, also revealed that 65% of students had already started thinking about what part-time job opportunities would be available when they're at university.

If you're going to university this month, check out Which? University for top tips on managing your money once you're there.

Family financial support

Be prepared to be asked for cash if someone in your family is enrolling – almost seven in 10 (68%) of new students said they've found out what financial help they'll receive from their families, the survey of just over 1,000 soon-to-be-students found.

Which? University's Sonia Sodha said: 'For many students, starting university means living independently for the first time, so it's encouraging to hear freshers have been thinking about how to budget. A student loan will only stretch so far, so making the most of financial support available from universities and considering part-time work to fit in around studies will help students take control.'

Get set for student budgeting

To help you make sure your budget lasts the term, we've pulled together some money management tips:

  • Make a weekly budget: deduct your rent and other outgoings from your budget, then split the remainder up into the number of weeks you have at uni.
  • Curb course costs: many universities run second-hand book sales, allowing you to buy cheaper books from older students (and then sell them on once you've finished with them).
  • Shop smart: do your food shopping in the evenings for reduced buys and check out any nearby or on-campus markets.
  • Travel cheaper: make those visits home a lot less costly by investing in a young person's railcard or coachcard.
  • Supplement your loan with a part-time job: many universities offer lots of flexible, part-time work you can fit around your studies.

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