September 12, 2012, by Anne Smart
Be your own money saving expert
Money matters to every student, as Gemma Ubah has already explained in her blog about student finance. There are many ways to save a bit of cash, but equally there are some easy mistakes which can be made and can be costly. I had a chat with Gordon Thomas from the Financial Support team in Student Services for some advice about living on a tight student budget
Make use of all the perks of your student bank account
When you open a student bank account you’ll usually get some great benefits that should include an interest free overdraft. If your student loan is delayed for any reason, make use of the interest free overdraft to pay any bills or expenses until your funding comes through.
If you’re short of cash, ask for help from the University and not from a quick loans website
A short term cash loan from one of those websites that advertise on TV comes with a hefty interest rate – 4,000% APR in some cases! If you’re worried about your finances, the Financial Support Team in Student Services is here to advise you. They run drop-in sessions throughout the year at the Student Services Centre on University Park campus and can also arrange appointments at the other Centres, on Jubilee and Sutton Bonington Campus. You can also get in touch using email or the phone. They can advise you about the Government and University funding you might be eligible for, which could really help you get through each term without worrying about money. The Student Advice Centre (SAC) in the Students’ Union can help you work out if you qualify for any benefits and give advice about any existing debts you might have.
Use your NUS card for discounts
You’ll be amazed at how many shops offer a student discount. Your NUS card will give you access to lots of discounts, and the NUS extra card gives you even more for a moderate £12 charge. Do be careful if considering signing up for store cards though as many charge you a large interest rate on repayments in exchange for a one-off discount.
Watch out for cash machines that charge you to withdraw money
Some cash machines in the UK may charge you to make a withdrawal, these are often located in shops and pubs. Cash machines operated by banks don’t tend to charge, but make sure you read the message on the screen before you enter your PIN and ask for cash.
Sites worth checking out for money saving tips and advice: