So, you want to go to uni next year? Great, exams are out of the way and there’s nothing more you can do on that front.
And sure, you should be out enjoying your last summer of pure, unadulterated freedom. But now you’ve got a prime opportunity to give yourself a head-start by prepping for the year ahead.
Maybe think about thinking about creating a budget. It doesn’t matter if you have no idea what you’re doing. It doesn’t matter if you’d rather have your teeth pulled than check your bank statement. The important thing is to know where you stand so that you can plan ahead.
And that means no nasty surprises, you savvy, forward-thinker, you.
Think about what your monthly allowance is from Student Finance. And that means being pretty strict on yourself, because it’s a blessing and a curse that they give you your whole semester’s cash in one lump sum. You’ve gotta split that bad boy out and stick to your limits.
Once you know what you’ve got (or not) you can work out what to do with it. Like how much can go on things like…
Being aware of your budget limits is a crucial thing, because it means you won’t be overspending and getting yourself in trouble with the bank by accident. You can not only plan out a weekly allowance and how to spend it – think own-brand and reduced shopping, cycling instead of bussing, scoping out second-hand textbook steals online – you can also start looking for work before the masses move into their new digs and snatch up the student-friendly jobs, or get your applications for extra financial support in early.
Student finance are an obvious first port of call, but your university will likely also have various welfare departments giving out grants and bursaries to help students in financial need. But the purse strings are tight, so apply as soon as you can.
You might not know it, but as a low/no-income student there are also a few ways the government will help you out, like giving you free NHS prescriptions, free dental and free eye tests. For more info, look here.
LUCY HARDING is the Editorial manager for Push. She is an English Literature grad and an MA Publishing student at UCL. She is passionate about international relations and cultural diversity, having worked closely with her university’s Erasmus society to support European students. She also spent a year abroad studying at California State University: Long Beach
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