Guide to Student Finance
Learning the art of money management is an important part of studying a university degree for most students. There are of course a number of sources of financial help into which students can delve to support their university education - student loans, bursaries, grants and scholarships, for example - but these aren't always sufficient. Students often have to turn to other methods to push their pounds further, so they can get the most out of their university experience.
All students require a basic current account at the very minimum, where they can keep money and use the plastic card that comes with it to make payments - for utility bills and food shopping, for example. There is now a range of current accounts out there that offer all the features you need as student, such as the current account with prepaid card offered by Secure Trust Bank. A unique feature about the current account with Secure Trust Bank, for example, is the Mastercard prepaid card that comes with it, which you load with money in advance before you make any payments with it. This feature is useful for students as it can help them manage their money better - it separates the money in your current account needed for bills, for example, from any disposable cash you can spend on enjoying yourself.
Indeed, living on a tight budget has become synonymous with university education, while some students may be prevented from going to university altogether due to financial constraints, according to new research by uSwitch.com. The best way to establish whether going to university is financially viable for you is to set a budget. Make a list of all your expected income - including any student loans, grants, bursaries, scholarships, savings, and money from parents - and work out the expected costs of going to university. A number of students choose to take on a part-time job during their time at university, to supplement their income. However, it is important to maintain a healthy work-play balance if you do this, and you must make sure that you part-time work doesn't significantly impact the quality of your studies - you are attending university to come out with a good degree, after all.
Finally, students can make huge money savings through the wealth of student discounts and offers available. Students get exemption from council tax if living in halls or with other students in a privately rented house, and they also get help with health costs such as free prescriptions, dental treatment and eye tests. It is also worth picking up an NUS card, which entitles students to discounts at a number of high street retailers.