Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Howtostaysolventas a Student; with the New University Year Approaching, VICKY SHAW Looks at How Freshers Can Get Top Marks While Learning about Finances

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Howtostaysolventas a Student; with the New University Year Approaching, VICKY SHAW Looks at How Freshers Can Get Top Marks While Learning about Finances

Article excerpt

Byline: VICKY SHAW

FINANCE and freshers are not always a grade A combination. As students prepare to head off to university, many will get their first real taste of financial independence.

And with a whirlwind of social engagements, the pressure to blow the budget when you're settling into student life can be strong.

More than half (56%) of students who have already had their first taste of university life say living away from home was more expensive than they had expected, research from HSBC found.

The study found that, on average, students can expect to spend PS3,304 during the first 100 days of starting their first term and also suggested students spend nearly twice as much on alcohol and nights out during their first 100 days of study as they spend on course materials. The PS3,304 average figure includes PS1,279 spent on rent, PS670 on food, PS184 on travel, PS155 on clothing, PS328 on course materials and PS626 on alcohol and nights out.

As a result of their spending habits, one quarter (24%) of students borrow money, use a credit card or dip into their overdraft before the first term is over, the research among more than 1,000 university students found.

To fund their first 100 university days, three-quarters (75%) used a student loan and 42% had help from family members such as the "bank of mum and dad".

One in six (16%) had a job to finance their first 100 days of studying and the same number used an overdraft.

It seems a lack of planning is behind many money mistakes made at university.

Looking back, 35% of students surveyed would have budgeted more carefully and 33% would have saved more money beforehand.

One big financial decision students will need to make is which student account provider to use.

Rachel Springall, a finance expert at website Moneyfacts.co.uk, says just because a particular bank is nearby or on campus, or offers particular perks, this doesn't mean it's the best deal for your needs. …

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