The tale of the student struggling to make ends meet may be the ultimate cliché, but is also about as accurate and inevitable as it gets. Even with all the loans and discounts made available these days, getting by as a student really is no job for the fainthearted. Most find themselves entering university with almost no cash to their name whatsoever and then into a period during which almost every penny is already accounted for well in advance.
In truth though, not only is getting by possible even with such strictly limited resources, there can still be enough left at the end of each month for a good deal of enjoyment. It’s simply a case of being both realistic and proactive, when it comes to the fine arts of both sensible spending and saving. And of course, it also means ensuring that a variety of potentially fatal financial mistakes are avoided at all costs.
Here’s a brief introduction to six examples of these mistakes, which any student would be well advised to steer clear of:
1 – Poor Accommodation Selection
First and foremost, approaching the process of selecting student accommodation in Aberdeen without extreme care and attention is an absolutely terrible idea. There’s much to take into account when it comes to choosing appropriate student accommodation that’s both suitable and affordable. The initial rent price is of course the key consideration, but so too are things like utility bills, local living costs, transportation costs, deposit, Internet connection, required furnishings and so on. This is the single biggest bill anyone at university will ever have to face, therefore is one that must be dissected and considered in detail.
2 – No Proactive budgeting
Sitting down with a pen and paper and budgeting your finances and spending ahead of time comes across to most as about as much fun as surgery. And indeed it can be an extremely tedious process, but it is really the only way of determining how much you have, how much you will be required to spend and how much you can expect to have left over. By not doing these things, you leave yourself wide open to the prospect of completely running out of money at the worst possible time.
3 – Overspending While Intoxicated
Alcohol and terrible spending habits have always gone hand in hand. Whether is getting well and truly carried away on a night out and blowing a fortune or having a few drinks and spending more money than you can afford to online, there are so many ways in which becoming intoxicated can prove to be surprisingly expensive. The best advice therefore is to ensure that if and when you do decide to have a few drinks, you make sure your credit cards, debit cards and primary cash resources are out of reach.
4 – Not Considering Work
You can come up with every excuse in the world, but in reality there really is no reason why the overwhelming majority of fulltime students cannot also fit in part time or casual work. If you are perfectly honest with yourself, it really isn’t as if you spend every single second outside the lecture hall studying and working yourself half to death. As such, just a few hours here and there that you could dedicate to waiting tables or working behind a bar could bring in the kind of extra cash guaranteed to make your time at university infinitely more enjoyable.
5 – Not Seeking a Better Deal
Wherever it is you are staying, there is always the opportunity that you could be getting a much better deal on things like utilities and your Internet package. Comparing the market for a better deal is something that more students should be doing on a much more regular basis as there are enormous savings to be made which can take a matter of seconds to put into effect. If you are paying any service providers directly for gas, electricity, Internet, television subscription services or anything else, consider comparing the alternative options as soon as possible.
6 – Keeping Up With the Crowd
Last but not least, one of the most common (and often difficult to resist) mistakes when it comes to overspending is attempting to keep up with the crowd. The simple fact of the matter is that there will always be some people at university who have considerably more money than others, or at least appear to somehow have near-bottomless pockets. Learning how to say no and being willing to sit out the events and gatherings you simply cannot afford really is of the utmost importance. If you try to keep up with the crowd, you will only end up falling flat on your face…in a financial sense, anyway.