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Most universities hold a Freshers’ Week or a similar event. Its chief purpose is to help new students settle in quickly. As well as a series of informative talks, there is usually an energetic social programme and senior students will be around to help you to find your feet. Your university will probably send you an information pack ahead of your arrival.

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Creating the right balance at university

How to balance your budget

Being at university will almost certainly result in a change in your financial status. Much depends on your personal circumstances, and in particular the degree of support your family is able to provide; however, being a student will probably restrict your earning potential and almost certainly increase your expenses. These days, many students expect to carry a debt following their studies – one that you will probably wish to minimise.

Practical tip for cost saving and budgeting

Keep track of your account balance.
By doing so you can avoid going into the red or exceeding your overdraft limit. In particular, don’t forget to take a note of how much you take out of the ‘hole in the wall’ (ATM) to top up your wallet or purse. Try to pay predictable bills by standing order or direct debit, so that you can have a better idea of your outgoings and will not receive a surprise bill – but make sure that you always have enough in your account to service these payments and remember to cancel them when your obligation to make these payments terminates.

Keep money back for known costs and contingencies. When grant and loan money comes in, allocate some of this to known recurrent costs, predictable one-off expenses and ‘emergencies’. Use only the remainder for day-to-day expenses