From bills to budgeting and beyond – financial experts share their top tips for students

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COLLEGE life can bring a range of new life experiences – including what it’s like to manage your own money.

And with the cost of living – including energy bills – on the rise, it’s important to know how to optimize your budget.

To help give college students a head start, we asked money experts to share their top financial tips for college students…

:: Ban Mahsoub, Head of Money Services at Tesco Bank

“Limit what you buy before you go. Before you go, you’ll no doubt have made a list of everything you need or want for your new notebook, from pots and pans to bedding and stationery. But how about choosing to reuse or borrow If you are already in touch with your roommates, you may even be able to compare lists – and each will buy certain items to share the financial burden of buying common items .

“Shopping around and finding out about the discounts and freebies your new student status gives you can be a big help,” adds Mahsoub. “If you’re just getting started with managing your budget and paying your own bills, don’t expect to be a money master overnight, it usually takes three to four months to master things. Regular check-ins at the online banking apps can help you understand what you’re spending and where you may need to cut back.”

::Aseem Munshi, founder and CEO of financial app Updraft

“Do your research before getting credit. Before you take the plunge and apply for a credit card, make sure you know all of your options. Credit cards aimed at students usually have higher interest rates, a lower credit limit and can sometimes offer rewards and perks, such as discounts on clothes and going out. Check to see if you’re getting the best card for you. Credit cards can be great for emergencies and to start boosting your credit score, but be sure to pay them back.”

Munshi also suggests removing credit card details from auto-filling on shopping websites, adding: “Having to get up, find your card and enter the details gives you time to think about whether you need this. you’re about to buy. Also, if you find yourself tempted by marketing emails promoting the latest sales, unsubscribe!”

:: Chris Hutchinson, CEO of rental platform Canopy

“From gas and electricity bills to our mobile phone contract, these regular small payments could impact your credit rating if not paid on time. If you miss or default on a payment, it can potentially affect your chances of receiving credit later.While it may seem obvious, it’s important that your payments are made on time – setting up a direct debit is usually the best way to ensure this. “

Hutchinson also suggests encouraging roommates to pay on time, adding, “If your roommate doesn’t pay their share of the bills on time, it could hurt your credit rating. If you’re worried, it’s best to keep your finances separate.” as strictly as possible, so that there is no risk of you being “co-rated”.

:: Emma-Lou Montgomery, Associate Director at Fidelity International

“The job market has felt the impact of the pandemic, so preparing now will ensure you are in the best position to start applying. Make an appointment with the university’s careers department to review your options and see whether you can join companies or employment around college or during vacations, to give you the experience you need.Working part-time on campus or at home could also give you extra independence and increase your income.

Montgomery says money management is essential to college life and beyond, adding, “It’s critical that you spend time understanding how to grow your savings. Fidelity International research found that 47% of people in their 20s worry about their financial situation. situation since the beginning of the pandemic.

“Understanding the different types of bank accounts, savings, and investments will put you on the right track for the future. There are plenty of podcasts, books, and videos online to help start your journey to wellness. financial.”

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