Over A Third Of Student Millennials Regret Going To University

It appears that generation rent is fast becoming generation regret as over a third of student millennials say they regret going to university according to Aviva’s latest Family Finances Report.

  • University is a costly regret for 37% of ex-students, while 49% believe they could have got to where they are now without it
  • Majority of millennials (63%) are relying on a one-off event to help them financially in the future, rising to 72% who went to university
  • With just £156 to spare each month after essential living costs, 18% are depending on family inheritance and one in six (17%) have said they are hopeful of winning the lottery
  • Over one in three (35%) millennials agree their generation is priced out of the property market  
  • EU referendum compounds money concerns of 18 – 35s as the proportion worried about their future finances leaps 23 percentage points since the vote

The studies findings have highlighted just how important it is for students to budget well when they are at university to make their money stretch as far as possible.

We have put together some great tips to save you money whilst studying.

Think beyond student halls to save on rent

Uni accommodation is not always necessarily cheaper.

If living at home is an option for you it could save you £373 a month. Another alternative is to check out property sites such as Rightmove and Zoopla to filter areas and private accommodation that fits your budget.

Remember, wherever you live, students do not have to pay council tax.

Get student funding

You can find money tucked away in bursaries, scholarships and grants. Your university will have some schemes, but there are also private scholarships, sponsorship, grants and emergency funds out there too.

Disabled student allowance is definitely worth checking out of you have a disability or learning disadvantage (e.g. Dyslexia), with cash for kits and specialist equipment available if you are eligible.

Study abroad

Finland, Norway, Germany and Austria top the charts for free or low-cost study, including international students, which could save you thousands each year.

However, the cost of living can be extremely pricey in some of those destinations and you may need to know the language to get a place, or a job to help support yourself.

If studying abroad appeals to you give yourself plenty of time to get the funding together and learn the lingo!

Quit smoking

Smoking could be costing you anything up to £2,500 per year.

You can get patches, gum, spray, and medication on the NHS to help. Or, you could try switching to an e-cigarette which, although they still costs money, is far cheaper than cigarettes and it will give you a chance to ween yourself off them.

Many people have given up using Allen Carr’s Easy Way to Stop Smoking – check the library to read it for free or download a copy.

Student discounts

Grab yourself a discount card and take advantage of any student savings on offer.

You’ll need to pay for the NUS Extra Card, but you could recoup the cost in just one spend.

If you enjoy eating out, also get yourself a Taste Card with 50% discounts at thousands of restaurants.

If you don’t want to pay for a discount card, you can still use your student ID to take advantage of discounts at clubs, pubs and cinemas.

Earn money from your student loan

A fantastic way to make your student loan work and earn money for you is to invest it into a high interest ISA.

If you have other funds to live off, such as income from a part time job, and you have a lump sum of money that you don’t need straight away, you’ll earn more tax-free interest by leaving it alone to grow in a high interest ISA or a high interest savings / current account.

If you can’t afford to invest a lump sum, work out what your living costs are and start to save anything left over. You’ll still earn some interest, plus it will instill a degree of discipline when it comes to managing your finances, something that is going to help you manage your money term-to-term.

Renegotiate subscriptions

If you have a  mobile phone contract, Sky / Virgin TV or a broadband package coming up for renewal, tell the supplier your intention is to go elsewhere.

This works particularly well with mobile phone providers. Try and cancel your contract and you’ll be transferred to their “retention” or “loyalty” team who have the power to offer you significant savings and discounts to keep your business.

Haggling is something we don’t do enough in Britain, play hard ball and get a discount.

Slash energy bills

Spending an hour of your time one evening to compare your gas and electricity prices can save up to £300 per year.

Switching is easy and free and is usually completed within four weeks.

Another way to slash the cost of your utility bill is to do the basics such as turning lights off, not heating empty rooms etc. You can see more tips to reduce your gas and electric costs here.

Use 10% rule

When you receive money from your student loan and wages, or money gifted to you, save 10% of it.

Better still, if you’re in employment, set it to go out by standing order so you don’t have time to think about it.

Even if you only manage £20 a month, you are still going to have a bit of emergency money at the end of the year just in case.

If you invest it into a high interest savings account you can earn more.

Cashback sites

Check out cashback sites such as Topcashback and Quidco before you buy, between them they cover pretty much every online retailer  and it’s amazing how much you can get back.

Final word

The cost of tuition fees is now so high students cannot afford to build up any added debt whilst studying. Make a budget and get to grip with your finances from the start and you will quickly learn to manage your money term-to-term.

It only takes a few minutes of your time right at the start of your university journey to make a huge difference to your financial outlook.

Do you have any tips for surviving university?

You can find the PDF  Family Finances Report here.

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