Trying not to get into debt while studying appears to be getting harder and harder. New research shows that in the first week of term the average student spends the bulk of their student loan in more or less one go, mainly on rent. It also shows that many students don’t spend time on money management preparation before attending university. Starting your life as a student is ‘an experience’, but many are still paying for it years later. Some pre-university financial guidelines could provide a strategy to combat falling into unmanageable debt. Relying on the ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’ is not.

shutterstock_157058126Don’t ruin your credit rating by financial mismanagement

Don’t let your excitement about starting your next phase in life prevent you from finding expert advice on managing your money. Living within your means is the prime strategy for staying on budget. Another strategy that could be useful to explore is to consider studies abroad; in this way tuition fees and cost of living can be considerably reduced. Other strategies include: looking closely at your budget, figuring out what you can and cannot afford. Talk to other students and advisors to find out the best places to shop. Make use of student discounts, and explore price comparison sites.

Avoid ‘quick fix’ answers

Managing your finances is an ongoing, learning process, and something you probably think you are fully capable of undertaking. Unfortunately, the research is showing that student’s bank balances do not reflect their confident attitude. If you find yourself having money problems, seek advice. But avoid profit making management companies that will charge you for any “help” they provide. Do not be tempted to extend your overdraft. Don’t take out a payday loan, and stop using your credit card and store cards. There are reliable, and free advisory services for students. Go and see them as soon as you realise you are in difficulty. Or even better, before that time.