Student Survivial Guide: How to Avoid Debt

Being a student is not easy and within your first year you soon establish the importance of managing your money. Whilst banks offer out interest free overdrafts and grants are often provided to some, it is important to plan and manage your finances throughout the year. While the student loan just about covers rent and a proportion of living expenses, many students have to seek other foundations for a source of income. This can often lead to a pool of debt once out of university, so, this guide will provide a route to prevent and minimise debt!

  1. Set a monthly budget – This may take a few months to get right as probably having never lived alone before you may underestimate a few costs. Calculate how much you will need for rent, travel and food and from there you will be able to determine whether you will need extra funding. If you need to then by all means make use of a student loan because it is interest free, but be careful and try and keep it to a minimum. It’s easy to get overexcited about being offered a lump sum however get it in instalments if you can as this means you won’t blow it all in one go.
  1. Part time job – You may find you have the time especially in your first and second year at university to get yourself a part time job. This is a good idea to increase your monthly income and also gain some work experience. Remember to fill out your p38s or p46 forms to ensure you are exempt from tax. This is important and can save you a lot of money, otherwise you will have to reclaim it at a later date which can be a hassle. If you have or have previously had a job in construction then can help you claim back money you could potentially be owed. Most universities offer a careers service that will help you find a job, the university may also have some internal positions such as working for the student union.
  1. Grants – It’s important to check whether you are entitled to a grant. This is dependent on your household income. Additional finance is also offered for those with disabilities and childcare as well. You can check this through your university but it can be a lengthy process so it is important to get it done as soon as possible. 
  1. Save! – Whilst its always nice to have a little money to spend on yourself, it’s just as important to save. You can save money by setting a small amount aside each month and you will be able to pay off some of your debt with this. This is a great routine to get into each year as it means you will be left with a lesser amount to pay back. It’s also worth checking out student money saving websites as they keep you in the loop with the latest offers and deals that could save you money and also earn you a few pounds as well! 

Marcus Booker is a freelance content writer from London. When he is not writting, his passions are cycling and reading. 

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