Student Finance Tips
Student Bank Accounts
See: Living on a budget
Using your Overdraft
Remember the bank may describe your overdraft as free but you still have to pay it back so use it carefully. Generally, you will be allowed £1000 in the first year, £1250 in the second year and £1500 in the third year. This does not mean you will be allowed £3750 in total.
Try dividing up your loan/overdraft:
- Open a student bank account with a free overdraft
- Open one or two savings accounts
- Plan your budget for the year. Use this Do My Project company for planning.
- You can move money from your student account into your savings accounts to earn interest
- Set up details of when money should be moved from highest interest account to current account ie at start of each term
- Move money between more flexible accounts as and when needed
This way, you can earn a little interest on it, and you won't reach the last 3 weeks of term having spent it all, maxed out your overdraft and living on super noodles and bread
Be careful to keep track of everything, and keep a reasonable error margin so that if the unexpected happens you don't have to go over the overdraft limit.
Job opportunities in term time can be few and far between but there are other ways of making money including surveys done by the universities, or university staffing roles (particularly for events).
Other Hints and Tips
- Take advantage of any offers you may see
- Make sure you have insurance (either a separate policy of included on your parents home insurance)
- Always use a Young Persons Railcard and book tickets well in advance. This means that even long distance fares are next to nothing.
- Also, buy an Oyster card if you are studying in London, and find out what discounts students can get on local buses.
- Find websites that give stuff away for free.
- Get swap savvy. Swap sites are the latest thing and are perfect for students.
- Don't get your TV license until the beginning of October. Then you can claim back for the quarter of the year that you're not at university (July/August/September). When you get your TV license it automatically backdates it to the beginning of the month - so if you buy it on the 30th September it starts from the 1st September!!
- Keep a money jar (though not somewhere obvious!) and you will find that it soon adds up. You may feel like a prize idiot when you're the person holding up the queue at the supermarket because you're paying all in 5p's, but it saves a lot of money in the end (remember that some supermarkets have Coin-Star machines to turn your precious pennies into notes) - NOTE: Coin-Star machines do take a %age of your money. Some bank branches have coin counters, and you could use as much change as you can, in a self service checkouts.
- Try to do most of your shopping at the same place and get a loyalty card (money off shopping, cinema tickets and stuff).
- Search hard for shops, which will give discounts to uni students and NUS card holders.
- Supermarkets have basics/value ranges which are very cheap
- Learn to cook: ditch ready meals/pre-prepared salads etc.
- Try and buy your textbooks second hand. Either off students from last year or there are some websites which focus on this. This can save you so much money over three or four years.
- Try to visit the cinema on a Wednesday when you can take advantage of 2 for 1 tickets with Orange Wednesday 
If you get into trouble
- Let your bank know as soon as possible. They may be able to help.
- If you are in severe financial difficulty you can apply for Access Funds and hardship loans. Check with your University for more details.
- You can get free confidential professional money advice from the National Debtline on 0808 808 4000 or from the Consumer Credit Counselling Service on 0800 138 1111.
- Student Finance Forum on TSR - Chat here about anything to do with finance
- Student Budgeting
- Student Support
- Get tax free interest on your savings form r85
- National Insurance and Income Tax
- NUS Extra Card
- NUS Associate Card