6 tips to help you spend less when preparing to go to university

Going to university isn’t cheap –one of the costs that’s often overlooked is all the stuff you need to take with you.

We’re talking before the first instalment of your student loan, when you’re trying to prepare for the most significant event of your life in those last few weeks of summer. No pressure.

Luckily for you, we’ve compiled a list of 6 tips on how to keep the costs down and acquire the necessary things whilst spending as little as possible. Here they are:
  1. Check out what you already own-Although university is an exciting new stage in life, you don’t need everything you bring with you to be new and sparkling, especially if keeping to your budget is a priority. Although it can be tempting to accompany the brand new you with brand new things, that’s frankly unnecessary.  So first things first, check out what you already own. Duvet and pillows? Check. Pencil case, pens and pencils? Check. An entire wardrobe of clothes? Check!
  2. Pilfer what you can from your parents (with their permission!)-Chances are your parents won’t leave you in the lurch, and they might be able to supply a few things to get you started. Plenty of new students won’t own their own kitchen or household items, but your parents will, and if you’re lucky they’ll be able to spare a few things; think old plates, a frying pan and clothes pegs.
  3. Research-Sometimes you need more expensive items for uni, like a laptop. This will be expensive regardless, but one way you can reduce the cost is taking the time to do research. You’ll definitely need a laptop to get through university and complete all of your essay writing, but you don’t need a super expensive one.

    It’s not just about getting the best price either; you’ll want to get a decent quality, because the last thing you want is it breaking midway through the year! So check out deals and reviews online and shop around to allow you to make the right decision. You want to make sure you get your money’s worth, especially on a tight budget.
  4. Check out the student sections of cheap shops-You’ve probably already noticed the banners and brightly coloured stands in a wide variety of shops, advertising great deals for students heading off to university for the first time.

    You can pretty much buy everything you could ever want so they’re a great place to start for all the things you don’t have. It’s also great value; where things are directly targeted at students, they have a price tag to match.

    But be careful… things might seem cheap, but the cost is the same regardless of whether you buy one thing for £100 or 100 things for £1! So whilst these sections can be a great budget-friendly option, it’s important to remember…
  5. Don’t buy what you don’t need-It’s easy to be blinded by the treasure trove of student sections, but the truth is you don’t need everything. Kitchen utensils are plentiful in their variety, but let’s face it, are you really going to use an apple de-corer, or a garlic crusher? Put it back – and if you really are desperate for it, then you can wait until you have your student loan, or ask for one for Christmas.

    Even a pizza cutter isn’t strictly necessary – you can just use a knife (although I’d be lying if I said my university pizza cutter didn’t get a lot of use!)
  6. Wait until you get there-Of course, it’s great to be proactive and well-prepared. But sometimes, a little patience can save a lot of money.

    When stocking up for university, people often get a bit carried away; from toasters, kettles, panini presses to toilet brushes, bathmats and bins… spot the problem yet? You will when you arrive at your university accommodation to discover every single one of your new flatmates has turned up with exactly the same. No flat needs seven kettles and five toasters, and there’s certainly not going to be any room to store them all. 
So the best thing to do is wait until you get there and see what others have brought. If you do need to get a toaster, you can split the cost and buy one together – budget-friendly and a great way to bond with your new friends! In terms of course books, unless your university have sent you through a really clear list of what books you will need, it’s sometimes worth waiting as well in case you buy the wrong editions and end up wasting money on books you don’t need to write coursework.

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