5 University Costs You Probably Haven’t Budgeted For

Students working together on budgets

October 26, 2016 - bellvue-admin - Student Life

A proportion of students will think of some if not all of the costs to make this list, but a number of those students will still fail to adequately budget in order to afford the real cost of them. Hence, give our list a read through; the time it takes you do so is likely to cost you far less than miscalculating your spending, after all.

1. Books and Study Materials

Almost fifty percent of freshers here in the UK admit that that study materials have ended up costing them more than they expected to spend, with some having not budgeted at all for having to fork out for books and likes, according to figures collected by and published via  the Which?  University website.

Other students, of course, assume the books and texts in particular that they will need to use and rely on throughout the year will be available in their university library. In reality, university libraries are more often dedicated to providing a diverse and broad range of materials students are unlikely otherwise to have easy or in some cases any access to and to introduce students to a breadth of information. The idea is, any book you are likely to use regularly or need for a prolonged period or piece of work your will yourself purchase.

Fortunately, many of the university books you need to use and are best off buying are available to buy second hand online via the likes of the Sell Student Stuff website or even directly from your university at a reduced price. Many universities hold second-hand book sales on campus which enables students to sell the ones they no longer need and for other students to buy those they do at a reduced price. Hence, it is worth enquiring if your university runs such events or their own university bookshop. Otherwise, you will need to purchase your books new. When doing so, just remember to make use of your NUS card; in major bookshops, it will usually save you 10% on all you buy.

2. Utilities

For those moving into University halls, utilities are most often included in the price of the rent. This is not always the case for those privately renting. Hence, way before securing accommodation it is paramount to establish the maximum rent amount you can afford to pay each month both including and excluding utilities. After all and otherwise, it is surprisingly easy and frightening to realise that whilst you can afford the rent you have no to suddenly somehow afford to pay for electricity, gas, water rates.

3. A TV Licence

Again, if you opt to live in university owned halls, private halls, lodge with a family or board it is likely (though not guaranteed) that the cost of an annual television license will be included in and budgeted for from the rent you have agreed on with your landlord, university or the people with whom your board.

If, on the other hand, a TV licence is not included and you fail to realise this and consequently use a television without first acquiring a licence to do so, not only are you effectively breaking the law here in the UK, what is worse, get caught (which in 2016 is highly probably) and you could find yourself facing a fine of up to £1000. And that figure is not including any legal fees you may subsequently also be billed for should you get caught with a TV and no licence.

Further, it is no longer simply television watching via a standard TV set that is likely to get you in hot water. In fact, the law has recently changed as to how a person is permitted to use the internet and what they can legally access, stream and watch via a computer, tablet or even mobile phone in 2016. Hence, it is worth setting aside the £145 it currently costs to purchase a licence and also referring to the TV Licensing website to familiarise yourself with exactly what your TV licence permits you to do and watch.

4. Insurance

Insurance is a matter that split many students; those who bother with it, often swear by it. Meanwhile, those who decide to do without insuring their property whilst living within student digs, often do not see the point of forking out ‘just in case’.

To help you to decide for yourself whether to budget for and take out insurance and one way to decide the matter for you is to take a few minutes to think about and calculate the value of your belongings. The figure you end up with might just surprise you. Then, imagine losing any number or even all of those belongings. How likely is it that you will be able to afford to replace them, or even just the items such as a laptop, tablet and books required in order to complete your studies?

5. Internet

Last but not least, do not forget to budget for the cost of having the internet as a student. The internet is not only in most cases and in 2016 necessary and required in order to complete your studies and as well submit your work once completed, but it is likely to also be a major factor in your social life and keep you connected to family and friends back home.

Hence, even a week spent as a student without the use of the internet or access to it within your accommodation can plummet the happiest go lucky student into a state of homesickness and social media withdrawal, if not make getting their studies done near impossible.


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