Now you're at university, how much is it going to cost you to live and study?
- Rent - could be £0 if living with parents, but a general average would be approx £300 per month.
- Utilities - We'd suggest you think about putting something aside every month for your gas and/or electricity. This will make the difference in January when you get your first winter bill! Alternatively, set up a direct debit to pay monthly. Tarrifs vary, but you need to think about £40-£80 depending on the kind of heating you've got.
- Internet/TV - don't go all out and get the most expensive package! Temper your viewing to your budget. The key thing is to have internet access at your accommodation to help with your last minute adjustments to your assignments! £20 per month should do it.
- Telephone costs - mobile contracts can be pricey! Try with pay-as-you-go if you don't make many phone calls. You can get by with spending less than £30 per month for a mobile.
- Food - well, this is one area many students fall down in! Try cooking instead of ready-made meals, in fact, try taking turns cooking one meal for the whole flat and you'll save loads! Give yourself a generous £200 per month coz you'll need to eat some fresh fruit & veg at some point!
- TV Licence - as from 1st September 2016, you will need to be covered by a TV Licence to download or watch BBC programmes , including catch-up TV on BBC iPlayer. This applies to any device or supplier you use. See the TV Licensing website. NB: if you go home for the long summer vacation, you can apply for a refund.
- Travelling to Uni - if you're staying in Dundee, you can get a discovr student card which is £9.30 per week. For students under 19, you can travel by bus for even less with the young person's card for £8.50 a week.
- Clothing - keeping up with fashion may have to take a back seat whilst you're at uni. Still, it's Scotland, so you'll need warm jumpers, jackets and shoes, so allow yourself up to £60 per month.
- Books & Equipment - the cost of these can grow arms and legs! Be measured with buying books - many can be found in the university library, others can be bought second-hand, just don't buy everything on your book list! Equipment is another matter, so look at spending up to £85 per month for both.
- Social costs - last, but being students, no means least! This is the one to watch. It's wonderful going out with your pals in Welcome Week & .... , however, you will literally count the cost if you don't watch your spending.
Credit and store cards
- Used wisely they can help bridge temporary gaps and are good for emergencies
- If the bill is paid in full and on time each month, then this can contribute to building a positive credit history
- You can benefit from the initial discount a store card offers, pay the bill in full and on time and then use it rarely.
- They can offer some purchase protection
- You can end up spending money you don't have
- Interest rates are usually very high
- It's easy to allow bills to mount up unless you are very disciplined
- This can cause huge problems and potentially wreck your credit rating for a very long time
Essentially, if you are not confident that you can keep on top of these kind of bills, don't take these cards on!
Here's a video from the Money Advice Service where students discuss how they feel about money: