Welcome Back Boo,
I hope you are all having an amazing week!
With the next academic year vastly approaching, I thought it only fitting to share some tips on how to financially prepare yourself for university! Most people overlook this part of planning among all the excitement but I think planning out your money and expenditure BEFORE starting each term is the most important part of preparation. Setting yourself up for financial stability will make your uni experience even more fun and 10X less stressful! So if you want to know how I personally make sure all my coins are together and my bank account is looking right keep on reading.. okay, LETS DO IT.
Student Finance England is THAT organisation that will either make or break the financial security of your uni experience. You could easily cover rent and not have to worry about where food is coming from for the rest of the week or by ‘break’ I mean you’re about to be a literal broke ass b*tch living on an indome/ pot noodle diet full-time pouring water in your washing up liquid to make it last longer.. y’all already know what that is:
By this point, you would have applied and heard back from student finance, but make sure you have sent off your declaration form and everything is up to date or you WON’T get your money! it’s just one signature and one postage stamp for a much welcomed amount of money, need I say anymore?
Next it’s SO important to look not only at how much you are entitled to, but more specifically, how much you will be getting each term! Most people tend to get a tiny bit more in their third term each year so be prepared to receive slightly less in the first two!
Pay attention to the DATES that your loans are dropping! Student Finance likes to think they are prestige dropping your loan on you unexpectedly like a Beyonce album but you can see the approximated date that your money SHOULD be arriving by logging into student finance! If your loan is going to arrive after your rent is due, you best take your ass to your housing services/ landlord and tell them before they start ‘giving you wahala’ as my mother would say. Most of the time everyone is in the same situation so they tend to understand.
Student Bank Accounts, Rail cards & Oysters.
Now i only advice getting a student bank account if you are already financially secure and an overdraft is just ‘rainy day’ money because it is NOT fun being elbow deep in debt with the bank because you wanted to buy everyone a round of shots last night in the club- NOT a cute look. Make sure you know exactly what you are signing up for and are prepared to fufil all the criteria to maintain your account i.e. making sure a certain amount of money enters it each year so it is not inactive. Everyone raves about Santander because of the free rail card, and while errybody knows I’m all for free things, sometimes other banks offer even better deals so shop around before you settle! Make sure to do this as early as possible! Infant, if you have not yet set up your account stop reading this and do it now then come back because sometimes you have to wait WEEKS just to get your appointment… T r a g i c.
Student Oysters are particularly useful if you are studying in London because the tube system waits for NOBODY hunty, it’ll steal ALL of your coins with just one tap on that card reader *kisses teeth*. Make sure that if you decide to invest in a student oyster (costing £20), you purchase travelcards for 30% off! do NOT and I repeat DO NOT think that if you top up your oyster and travel on pay as you go you still get this discount; sadly that is NOT the case. To save even MORE money you can link your student oyster to a railcard at any station to get up to 50% off travel all over London.. save them COINS BIH, can i get an amen? click on the link to how to apply for a student oyster here and get you a discount: Student Oyster application page
Now you have set pretty much everything up and you know how much money you will receive, it’s time to start calculating guys! The most important part is to not be freaked out by the amount of money you are faced with! Take it term by term. I am known to worry about the future way too much so take it from me and cross each bridge as you get to it!
- Calculate how much money you will have altogether to your name for this term
- Take a quarter of this money out for savings- don’t worry imma tell ya why soon enough but trust me just do it or you’re going to live a peasant lifestyle
- Calculate how many weeks you will be at uni or living independently away from home before returning for the holidays (usually 12/13 weeks).
- Divide the money you have by said amount of weeks. This is now your weekly budget that you have to live on. You’re going to have to make this work.
- Now back to the money you set aside in number 2-
- Take off money for holidays! Unless you have a job to return to don’t forget that you still need to live at Christmas and Easter- this is something I did NOT do and no-one received christmas presents from me last year .. it’s okay to judge me, I judged myself.
- SET ASIDE MONEY FOR A HOUSE DEPOSIT! i know what you’re thinking. OKAY LIKE HOW DO I ADULT ? ADULT? WHATS THAT? NEVER HEARD OF IT?
- Hunny as scary as it is, it’s time to actually put this adult thing to the test and save money for your second year accommodation. If you are not attending a collegiate university you will most likely leave halls and get a house! I will be doing a house series with steps on how to secure the best house for you during uni but until then make sure to put away any surplus of money you have so you are ready to lay down a deposit SHARP when the time comes.
Be prepared to spent an obscene amount of money during freshers, its normal and inevitable, don’t fight it. just be prepared.. That is all. For a guide on how to make the most of that money you have set aside for freshers check out my post here; Freshers Week: 10 Tips on How To Make The Most Out of It
Shopping for uni
For me, this was the most exciting time and it is so easy to be reckless when buying interior decor and such homely things.
STEAL AS MUCH FROM HOME AS HUMANLY/ PHYSICALLY POSSIBLE! Listennnnnn guys, your mum does not need that set of plates she keeps away in the cupboard just incase the queen comes over for dinner. That sh*t is YOURS now! Don’t waste your money on new things when there are perfectly good utensils at home! Having said this- you will have to purchase SOME new things! If you would like to know how to shop for uni on a budget and the absolute best/ affordable places to go stay tuned for next week’s blog post on how to transform a drab uni room into MTV Cribs (Lawd, I’m so extra).
I feel like nobody buys new books these days.. what is the point? By the time you are finished studying and writing dissertations on them, you are sick of even hearing the authors name. So since they are of temporary usage to you, seek second years who are willing to sell you their old books! Everybody wants to make a coin or two out here so lets do business and its a win win, ya feel?
Welp! Thats it for another post my lovelies! A rather long one this time but I feel it is fundamental to prepare oneself for the monetary pressures of uni! With a little budgeting, even £5 can go a long way! Comment down below if you have any advice for how to be financially prepared for uni! Equally if you are an incoming fresher feel free to ask me anything particularly if you are studying in London! I have had a lot of questions about student oysters and transport in general so comment down below for a more in-depth response!
Remember to keep on slaying,
See you next time xoxo
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