11 money mistakes all students need to avoid

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University is often the first time most of us are in full control of our finances (or least actually have some money to be in charge of) so don't cock it up.

Here's all the important money mistakes you should avoid to help save cash...

Not using student discounts and deals

As a student plenty of discounts and freebies are available so use them! Always ask if a student discount or deal is available - the worst result will be a 'no'. Take advantage of things like O2 Priority for top offers.

Not comparing prices

Never commit to paying anything until you've done your research. Compare EVERYTHING from car insurance to gas bills, petrol prices to bank fees. Use websites like MoneySupermarket or MySupermarket to compare your weekly shopping across the likes of Waitrose, Tesco, Aldi, Lidl, Asda and more.

Wasting food

Throwing away food = throwing away cash. Simple. Make sure to keep an eye on what's in fridge and use it to avoid mouldy grub. Make use of your freezer and learn how to turn leftovers into meals.

Not keeping an eye on your statement

It's much easier to avoid getting into financial trouble if you spot issues early. Regularly check bank statements to see what you’re spending cash on, especially week to week living expenses like shopping. Calculate if you’ll have enough money to cover you until any future student loan payments and if not, CUT BACK NOW!

Giving in to peer pressure

If you can't afford to go out, don't. You shouldn't let others drag you into debt. If you're friends are that desperate for you to join them, they can pay your way.

Ignoring your credit score

While you may not need to take out credit now, financial decisions you make in University could have a lasting impact when it comes to future mortgages, loans or other money applications. Make sure you pay any debts on time and learn how to improve your credit numbers.

How to improve your credit score: 8 ways to a better credit rating

Buying books new

At least at first. Always look for second hand copies either online at sites like Amazon or look out for previous students who may be selling on campus. For more book buying tips, see our guide to cheap student books

Not budgeting

You can't stick to a budget if you've not got one planned. See our student budget guide HERE to get started NOW.

Enjoying expensive habits

Smoking, gym membership and even bad driving can cost lots of cash. Stop your expensive bad habits now and look for cheaper (or better yet, free) options.

Paying for a TV licence

Do students need a TV licence? You may not and could save yourself £145 a year. Even if you do need a licence, you may be able to get a refund if you spend summer at home.

Turning to credit cards or even pay day loans

If you do run into money problems then do NOT go rushing to grab credit cards and AVOID pay day loan services at absolutely all costs. Contact family for help and turn to your University, they’ll be able to offer advice and give access to a hardship fund to help you if things are that bad.

About the author: Thomas Brella

Thomas Brella is the founder of Student Hacks, starting the website in 2013 while studying at the University of Brighton to share tips and tricks on life as a cash-strapped student. He's now spent over 10 years scoping out the best ways to live on a budget

More on: Living Money
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