Students! 5-minute money must-knows

The new university year is just around the corner, but it pays to do some swotting up on your finances before student life starts.

And it doesn’t have to take long. Just five minutes of your time to follow these quick tips, and sticking to your uni budget should be a whole lot easier.

Getting the right broadband deal

Heading to student halls?  You’ll be offered the option to pay for broadband there. But if you’re renting your own private digs, you’ll need to find your own student broadband package.

  • Make sure you shop around for the best deals. POP Telecom’s Unlimited Broadband costs £13.50 a month including line rental. This will give you 16Mbps speed and unlimited usage. Split that between four of you sharing bills and it’ll only set you back £3.38 per month.
  • Consider a bundled deal which includes calls. Virgin Media Student Broadband with Take Weekends costs £31.49 per month, or £7.87 if split between four, and includes weekend calls. The connection is speedier at 50Mpbs, plus you get a nine-month contract so you don’t have pay for broadband out of term time when you’re not there.

Student bank accounts

You don’t HAVE to get a student account but you’d be mad not to as they are tailored to your days at uni. But know what you are getting into first.

“You don’t HAVE to get a student account but you’d be mad not to...”
  • Don’t be swayed by freebies. If you think you’ll go overdrawn, get an account with a generous overdraft instead. This year, HSBC and Halifax offer interest-free overdrafts of up to £3,000 for the duration of your course.  Check out the best student accounts for 2014. 
  • Set a budget so you’ll know how much of your overdraft you’ll need. MoneySuperMarket’s three work experience candidates of summer 2014 – all of whom are about to head into their second year of university – have pulled together their tried and tested tips for getting the best current account deal.
  • Stick within your overdraft limit else you could be hit with steep charges. You’ll have to pay a hefty 24.2% EAR for any unauthorised borrowing if you bank with Halifax for example, while Santander charges £5 per day, capped at 5 days per month. Not what you need.

Getting covered

You’ll probably be heading off to uni with a whole load of your favourite gadgets such as your laptop, tablet and smart phone. But if they get stolen, can you afford to replace them? If not, you’re going to need insurance.

  • Ask your parents if they can add your belongings onto their home contents policy – just remember if you have to make a claim, it will result in steeper premiums for them in future.
  • Going for a student policy? Some companies, such as Endsleigh, specialise insurance just for students. But always compare lots of different quotes before buying it as – due to the higher risk students pose – premiums can be pricey.

Please note: any rates or deals mentioned in this article were available at the time of writing. Click on a highlighted product and apply direct.

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