Things You Need To Know
As a student, you will know that money is often tight. We have picked what we think are some of the best money tips to share with you. Hopefully if you give these a go you will find yourself saving some pennies.
- If you've got your eye on something but aren't sure if you should buy it, why not use the 30 day rule? If you still want that item just as much after 30 days, consider making the purchase. You will normally find that you will no longer want that item once the 30 days is up.
- Challenge every expense you have - you will probably find that you can cut somethings out. Want to know what to do? Write down every expense you have, look for the expenses that you can fully cut out and look for ways to save money on the remaining expenses.
- One tip that we think is very important is to review your bank statements each month. It is not uncommon for random charges to appear on your account.
- An emergency fund is always good to have so that when you are faced with an unexpected bill you have some money set aside to ease the financial strain.
- Stores like to send multiple emails with discounts and offers to tempt customers into buying something. Unsubscribe from all store mailing lists to stop the temptation, it really does work!
- If you need to make a purchase for an occasion but know you will never use it again, why not look at renting instead of buying. These days you can rent dresses and formal wear, sports equipment and camping gear.
- Budgeting is key to make sure you have enough money. You may find it hard sticking to a budget at the start but you will get used to it and you will definitely see the benefits. Check out our modules for more information, hints and tips on budgeting
Nearly everyone shops online these days and why not!? It's easy, quick and accessable from almost everywhere. What people don't think of is the security risks when making purchases on public computers and WiFi networks. Take a couple of minutes to read our top tips on how to keep your bank cards and your identity safe.
- Only buy from trusted websites. Yes this may sound obvious but many of us don't do this.
- When online shopping, ensure that the URL begins with 'https' instead of 'http'. Also, check for a lock symbol or security firm icon from a trusted firm - these symbols indicate that the site should be secure.
- Avoid using public computers and WiFi when making online purchases and checking bank accounts. It is becoming more common for people to online shop and check their bank accounts on their mobile phones using public WiFi. This can be dangerous as these platforms are especially vulnerable to hackers. Wait until you are on a secure computer that you know before making your purchases or checking your bank accounts.
- Always be cautious when receiving emails from retailers/HMRC etc asking to click a link on the email or asking for card numbers - these could potentially be scams. It is best to contact the retailer that you received the email from to check if they had sent it.
Payday loans are short term loans designed to tide you over until your next payday. Taking out a payday loan can seem like an easy way to get extra cash but it is also a very expensive way to borrow money. If you can't afford to pay back the loan, the lender may offer you an extension, known as a deferral or rollover. This may be tempting but payday loans are only manageable if you use them for short term borrowing.
If you're considering taking out a payday loan, first ask yourself:
- Is it for something essential?
- Can I afford to repay on time?
If the answer to either of these questions is no, then you cannot afford one.
If you are facing financial difficulties, consider the following:
- Extending your overdraft
- open a 0% credit card
- Borrow from a credit union
- Apply to the Swansea University Opportunity Award for financial support
If you are struggling to repay a payday loan or meet other debt repayments, free confidential and independent advice is available from Citizen Advice or National Debtline. Alternatively, you can come to one of our drop in sessions and speak to one of our advisors.
If used carefully, credit cards can be a good tool to help you with your finances but they can be costly, confusing and can hurt you in the long term if they are used irresponsibly. Check out our pros, cons and rules of a credit card if you are considering one.
- Build a good credit history if used properly.
- If you're faced with going over your overdraft limit, using your credit card for purchases can be a cheaper alternative to paying the high interest rates and penalty charges for exceeding your limit.
- You will get extra protection from your credit card if you use it to make purchases over £100.
- Damage your credit history if not used properly.
- Fees and charges if you miss any payments.
- Higher interest rates for withdrawing cash and using abroad.
- Higher interest rates for students.
- Credit cards are an expensive way of borrowing money. Never think of using a credit card as an easy means of borrowing money.
- Never incur late payment charges by missing a payment. Set up a direct debit or standing order for credit card repayments. Always try to clear the balance of your credit card. This will help build your credit rating & control your spending.
- Pay off your balance in full & you won't pay any interest otherwise any purchases made using your card will end up costing much, much more!
- With interest being applied every time you take money out, never use your card to withdraw cash.
- Always pay off more than the minimum amount. Pay the minimum amount & you'll carry the debt for longer and pay more interest.
- Never exceed your card's limit. You will be fined for doing so and a block will be placed on your card.
Things You Need To Know
We have picked our favourite home hacks that we think will really benefit you during your stay at university. Check them out below:
- Need more worktop space in the kitchen? Take a chopping board and place it over an open draw - ensure that the chopping board is bigger than the draw, if it isn't the chopping board will not balance.
- Need extra hanging space in your wardrobe? Save the ring pull on cans of drinks and slip them over the top of a coat hanger. Now you can have another coat hanger hanging off another one. You have just doubled your hanging space!!
- Keep your takeaway containers, these are handy and can be used as lunch boxes.
- Need a ice pack? Grab a sponge and put it in a resealable clear plastic food bag and pop it in the freezer.
Next time you have to give a gift, why not make it a homemade gift? Below are some of our favourite inexpensive homemade gifts:
- If you're feeling creative, grab a permenant marker pen and a plain white mug and jazz it up to suite the recipient.
- Save a glass jar, wash it out and fill it with the recipients favourite snacks. Don't forget to decorate it to make it more attractive.
- Pick up a cheap wooden photo frame, take out the glass and backing, paint the frame and attach rows of string to the back, now you have a multi picture frame.
Student discount is brilliant, it could potentially save you a lot of money. Some retailers will only accept NUS cards as proof of student status but most will accept your university library card. Check out our list of just some of the retailers that offer student discount
- Amazon - 5% - 10%
- Warehouse - 10%
- Blue Inc - 10%
- Miss Selfridge - 10%
- New look - 10%
- Accessorize - 10%
- Soletrader - 10%
- Office - 10%
- The Fragrance Shop - 10%
- Superdrug - 10%
- Savile Row - 15%
- Surfdome 15%
- Jack Wills - 20%
- Megabus - 10%
- National Express - 25%
Food and Entertainment:
- The Co-operative Food - 10%
- Frankie and Bennys - 20%
- Chiquito - 25%
- Odeon - 25%
- Pizza Express - 40%
Many students will have to take public transport during their time at university. Take a look at our hints and tips on how to get cheaper travel:
- If you have to fly home, use a flight comparison website to check for the best flight prices. You will also be able to set up notifications to let you know when the cheapest flights are available.
- Always fly during the week or during unsociable hours if you are able to. Not only will the flight tickets be cheaper but the flights will also be quieter.
- Railcards can save you 1/3 off the cost of a ticket - a great money saver if you use the train frequently. But remember, if you forget your railcard you will have to pay the difference between a railcard discounted ticket and a normal priced ticket.
- If you take a train journey which has a number of stops, check to see if it is cheaper to buy the tickets separately for each stop - it usually is considerably cheaper.
- Some of the main bus companies have very cheap bus tickets, sometimes for just £1! Don't forget to check the buses out next time you would like to go home.
- Will you be using the bus to get around Swansea while you are here studying? If so, it may be worth you buying a bus pass. Not only could it save you money but you will never have to worry about paying for a bus after purchasing a bus pass.
The cost of living in Swansea is relatively low compared to many other cities in the UK. However it is still vital that any potential student prepares their finances before they attend University.
On average students studying at Swansea will spend between £6000 and £9000 (over 40 weeks) on living costs. The level of these costs depends heavily on lifestyle and will vary from person to person, but it's always a good idea to draw up a budget - and stick to it! All of the below figures have been calculated for Academic Year 2016/17.
|Halls of Residence||Private Residence|
|Expenditure||Costs per week||Expenditure||Costs per week|
|Rent||£82 - £133||Rent||£64 - £85|
|Gas/Elec/Water||Inc in rent||Gas/Elec/Water||£15|
|Contents Insurance||Inc in Rent||Contents Insurance||£2.50|
|Broadband||Inc in Rent||Broadband||£4|
|Travel Costs||£12||Travel Costs||£12.50|
|General Living Costs||Costs per week|
|Phone (Mobile & Landline)||£7.50|
These figures are based on actual costs paid by students and could easily be reduced with careful budgeting. Some of these outgoings may not apply to you and, depending on your circumstances, may not reflect the actual cost you will pay. These figures cannot account for individual circumstances and are only intended as a general guide to help you prepare your finances before attending University.