The Smart Student Finance Guide

August 17, 2008

Smart Student Finance GuideLeaving home for the very first time brings more than just the long awaited freedom: there are now books to read and study papers to draft, classes to attend and schedules to keep. In addition, for the very first time the average student will come face to face with the bills that need to be paid for everyday commodities such as rent, electricity, and laundry. Students who may have looked forward to university, but might not have considered the intricacies of fiscal responsibility, will benefit greatly from the five steps that will help with becoming money smart quickly and easily.

1. Open a student bank account that meets all of your need at the minimum costs possible. You may want to favor one bank over another because of the freebies that are used as incentives for university students bringing their business there, but no CD or cinema ticket is worth the cost of an account that gradually eats away at the value of free items with fees and costs of doing business. On the other hand, some incentives – when coupled with advantageous student account terms – make for attractive and money saving offers.

2. Work on your budget. Know how much money you will receive on a monthly basis and then set up a list of all expenses. Your expenses cannot be more than your incoming funds, and it is important to make the budget and then follow it. Online budget planners are a good way of inputting schedules for paying your tuition fees and also rent and other expenses. This prevents any last minute surprises and will not catch you halfway through the month with no money left.

3. Find a job. Even as your primary job is getting a good university education, a secondary job that brings in money is oftentimes the only way to make ends meet. In addition to helping with defraying some of the costs you incur during your education, you are gain valuable work experience and references, which will come in very handy after graduation.

4. Open a savings account to help with the big ticket expenses. Payments on your student loan will come due thrice in a year, and having this much money in you main operating account might tempt you to buy things you really should not spend any money on. A secondary savings account will put the money out of harm’s way, let it earn some interest, and allow you to contribute to it at regular intervals. When the student fee payment comes due, you do not have to scramble but have your funds ready.

5. Save money in the right places. Second hand buying is synonymous with student living, and skimping in the right places can save you substantial sums of money. Books almost always can be had second hand, and the same is true for a bike and basic appliances. Always check for deals at the grocery store, and make use of group discounts at clubs and other venues.


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