College Students' Money -
Stretch It

College Students' money whether living at home or away at Uni or College, maybe for the first time, young students will find that this presents both pleasures and pitfalls.

Keen to enjoy the new life, often the need to save money and think about a budget falls temporarily out of sight.

A recent survey by Barclay's Bank found that by 2010 the average person studying at University will leave with a debt of £20,000 – which unfortunately, must be repaid and under present legislation can only increase.

Saving money for college becomes increasingly more important -
but hopefully not depressing.

Therefore, college students' money needs to stretch. If you can take the pressure off your budget, studying becomes easier and fun things can be much more enjoyable. Who wants to have the spectre of debt looming overhead all the time? So, what’s to be done?

First of all, make sure you have read our pages on saving money on meals and also taken a look at our Top Ten Tips. where you will find invaluable information on free text messages etc.

If you think college is expensive,
you should see how expensive ignorance is!

The tips below will take you further along the line by learning how to limit your debts, but still live reasonably. At the same time finding out where it is possible to track down some extra cash.  A tall order - but read on.

1. Stating the blindingly obvious - sticking to a budget is the first thing to do regarding college students' money.

Make a list of the money coming in from your Bursaries, Loans, jobs, parents’ contribution, etc. then divide this by the number of weeks you are at Uni – usually about 30. This is the length of time your annual college students' money needs to stretch.

The next step is to make a list of all money going out, bills, food, rent, transport. Balance the total money going against the total money coming in. You will then have an idea of your financial situation, and whether or not further cuts need to be made. Depressing – NO, because if you can get this right in the first place you will get rid of any worries of looming debts in the future regarding college students' money.

If you can't afford it - don't buy it.
This College Students Money is serious business.

2. You will need to check whether there are any means tested bursaries available. These are mostly non-refundable and well worth seeking out the next tip regarding college students money........

3. The newly created Department of Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS) have developed a Bursaries Aware Map with links to 219 Universities. This can be found at Bursary Map is divided into 9 regions and only covers England. This page is well worth a visit.

The University of Bristol offers a Bursary package worth up to £1,100 a year for students receiving the full grant. Students who receive a partial grant are eligible for a bursary of up to £700 a year.

4. Some Universities also offer a Sporting Bursary that may well be worth thousands of pounds. So again, individual checks must be made. The University of Manchester offers a sports scholarship of up to £2,000 a year. Thousands of people will qualify for a scholarship of some kind at university.

5. The Royal College of Music in London offers a bursary with a nine-month zone 2 travel card to poorer students who receive 85% or more of the maintenance grant. this is a good bet for college students money

6. At the University of Leicester, it is possible to choose to take a smaller bursary in return for a range of reductions including cheaper rent in first term, a local bus pass, and credit for university meals and at the university bookshop. Here you must balance one against the other.

7. The Services - the Army, Royal Air Force and Royal Navy all have Bursaries for which you can apply.

8. Typically, companies offering incentives to undergraduates pay £1,500 a year, along with summer placements of varying length at around £250 a week. The Shell Technical Scholarship Scheme is particularly generous, offering £10,000 over four-year courses to undergraduates studying mechanical or chemical engineering. Other opportunities for sponsorship exist, but they tend to be concentrated in areas with existing skills shortages, such as engineering.

There's little point money sitting there with bursaries and loans unclaimed while you scrimp and save. It's time to act like a ferret. Search them out - find college students' money. Also bear in mind that all of the above figures were correct at time of writing, but can change.

9. Make sure you take advantage of a student loan through Student Finance. If you are stuck for cash in the first few weeks at Uni visit your University Finance Office or Student Union and they should be able to help you bridge the gap.

10. Being away from home is an excellent learning opportunity as far as life itself is concerned, but keep in mind that you are at Uni to learn about your chosen subject for your future career. This should enable you to make money for your rest of your life. Therefore focus your mind and make your college students' money stretch.

11. On the making it stretch theme, take a look here for some more ideas.

12. For a choice of cheaper books Book Depository are often cheaper than Amazon and other suppliers. Thanks to Brian Thomas of Suffolk for this tip.

Taking the above tip one step further, when you have finished your course and no longer need your books, why not re-sell them on to someone else?

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