The Hidden Costs of University
Published Monday, 02 September, 2013 by Amy Murnan
DON’T PANIC. I’m not about to tell you that your student loan is actually about to triple (although, at this rate, who knows?). However, what I am about to tell you may make you one of the rarest kinds of student – the kind that aren’t overdrawn by Christmas.
Everybody knows that University costs money, and if you are already studying you’ll know this fact all too well. If you’re a Fresher, though, there are some costs that you may not have considered or even been told about. Considering this and the loan-day splurge many excitable students embark upon come October, it is useful to know what to expect.
You might think that the most important University expense would be nights out, social activities and (for some) alcohol. The things people usually find the most expensive on moving away from home, though, are less apparent.
Even if you know how to cook, takeaways and ready-meals can become habitual purchases at University and so the bills mount up. If you want to keep your purse full, make sure you try to break these habits ASAP by checking out more of Student Recipe’s tips.
Moving into student accommodation can be a shock, but if you find that your place is actually miles away from civilisation it can be doubly so. If you’re going to have limited access to public transport, especially at night (and it is worth checking before you go), you may find you have to set aside taxi money. Taxi fares vary hugely, so try doing a little digging first.
Again these depend entirely on your location, but deposits for your accommodation next year are something you may have to think about sooner rather than later. If you live in a city, often the best houses are being nabbed fairly early - this means having a significant amount of money available to secure any independently owned house or flat. Having a student overdraft is an essential precaution in these situations, so talking to your bank before moving is also a good idea.
If you are moving into independent accommodation straight away, you may not realise just how expensive water is. Often people think of water as something that is ‘just there’, but unfortunately this is not the case. If you are moving into a new property, chances are you’ll get a bill soon after moving in (and not always after your loan comes through). Many companies offer monthly payment plans that can spread out the cost, though.
One thing that always gets overlooked when people talk about University is the actual cost of studying - and I’m not just talking about the fees. In my first few weeks at University I spent £200 on books. On top of the various studio fees, software, equipment and not to mention the all-important laptop, it can all get quite extortionate. Spreading out the cost of these things can help if possible, or buying second hand (do not knock a pre-owned book, folks. It’s vintage).
By keeping tabs on expenses like these, you’ll never have to make that awful decision between socialising or saving money for your next stack of books. If you still have worries about money, talk to your University – many have services especially for this.