The years you spend as a student will probably be some of the most inspiring and meaningful of your life, however this comes at a cost. According to a recent article published by The Telegraph, the average student will graduate with a debt worth £50,000. So what can you do as a student in order to avoid getting into deep financial trouble? Here we list four wallet-busting habits that you are better off without.
Many students simply go with the flow when it comes to opening a bank account, going for the same institution their flatmates bank with. However, everyone’s financial status and needs are different, so it is very important that you do some research on things like hidden fees or overdraft limits. On the subject of overdrafts, it is always better to go for banks that offer a generous amount (say £1,000 instead of £250), as you don’t want to go over your limit in the event of an emergency and end up paying hefty charges, but at the same time you should aim to avoid dipping too deep into it.
If you leave food planning to chance, you can easily find yourself grabbing more takeaways than your budget can handle. Not planning your meals can be a costly habit even if you decide to cook at home, as chances are that you won’t have the ingredients that you need and you will keep popping out to the corner shop, where prices tend to be higher. Besides, it’s very likely that your meals won’t be nutritious or filling if you just eat whatever is lying around in the fridge, and this can easily lead to snacking, another expensive habit.
This point is linked to the one we just mentioned above. Shopping on impulse is a very expensive habit that not many students can afford in the long run. Instead, set aside a morning (or even better, an evening, when most supermarkets offer discounted goods) to do your weekly shopping, carry a list with you, and stick to what it’s written on it. Buying branded products is unnecessary, especially when you have the option of buying a supermarket’s own brand for a fraction of the cost. Also, don’t be tempted by the cashier’s offer of cashback at the checkout, as once you have money in hand it’ll be too easy to find excuses to spend it.
According to this article, students spend more on alcohol than on food. It’s unlikely that you will stop drinking altogether, but how about starting your evenings out with some pre-drinks at home instead of heading straight for the pub or club? Limiting your drinking to the weekend only could also save you £30 a week.