Coming to university can be a big change, and for many it will be the first time you’re managing your own money. This may seem daunting, but not to worry! We have outlined a few money matters tips below.
If you are experiencing financial difficulties and would like to discuss your personal circumstances with an adviser who specialises in money advice, you should contact us to make an appointment with a Student Support Adviser. We can provide advice about student loans, loans from other sources, budgeting and financial assistance for students. We can also help you to make contact with your funding body if you are having issues, and we can signpost you to other services who can assist you with money advice.
- Advice for New Students
New students are advised to ensure that they have applied for their student finance by the date stipulated by their funding provider, i.e. SAAS or Student Finance England. Please be aware that the payment of student finance is dependent on completion of registration and there can often be delays in receiving the first payment. With this in mind, we recommend that all new students arrive with enough money to cover their living expenses for the first month at University.
- Childcare Fund
The Childcare Fund provides assistance with the formal childcare expenses for dependant children. Formal childcare includes registered childminders, after-school clubs, and providers of day care and education.
If you wish to apply please read the Childcare Fund Guidelines, complete the Childcare Fund Application form and return in person to the Reception Desk at Student Advice and Support Office, Top Floor of The Students' Union Building, Elphinstone Road, Aberdeen, AB24 3TU.
Please note that the childcare fund can assist with costs during term-time only.
- Discretionary Fund
The Discretionary Fund is available to UK full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students. Some UK part-time students may also be eligible. Once you are registered, please come and speak to us about applying. This is usually a non-repayable award.
Awards will be made only for unexpected and/or exceptional circumstances: we can not assist with tuition fees, normal living costs or missing parental contributions. We cannot assist with anticipated financial need.
If you wish to apply please read the Discretionary Fund Guidelines, complete the Discretionary Fund Application Form and return in person to the Reception Desk at Student Advice and Support Office, Top Floor of The Students' Union Building, Elphinstone Road, Aberdeen, AB24 3TU. We can usually give you a decision, by email, within 3 weeks of receiving your application.
- Emergency Financial Assistance
If you are experiencing a financial emergency, please contact us to make an appointment with a Student Support Adviser. We can provide advice about how to manage your finances and in some cases we may be able to provide a short-term loan or food vouchers for those in extreme, unexpected, financial circumstances.
- Fees and Funding Opportunities
Please visit the Fees and Funding section which provides information about tuition fees and bursaries and scholarships.
- Financial Assistance for EU/International Students
If you are experiencing a financial emergency, please contact us to make an appointment with a Student Support Adviser. The University does not receive funds from the Government to assist students who are from out with the UK, but we can discuss where you may be able to access support, and provide advice about managing your finances whilst studying here in Aberdeen.
Student Top Tips
- Discount Codes
Before purchasing anything, always look to see if you can get a further or better discount than your student discount. Below are a few tips:
- Student Beans
- Daily Mail
- UK Hot Deals
- Voucher Codes
- Money Saving Expert
- Voucher Cloud
- National Union of Students
Also make sure to download the Yoyo app for deals and discounts in all University outlets!
- Credit Cards
Do you have Debt? Are you paying interest? If you are shop around for a 0% balance transfer, if you are accepted transfer the whole amount and start paying off as much as you can and pay it back within the terms.
- Days/Nights Out
- Always look for deals on the Discount Codes webpages before setting off. Bring a picnic along so you are not tempted to buying overpriced sandwiches.
- Worried about the cost of a night out but still want to socialise? Why not invite friends round to your flat/house instead, everyone can bring their own drink and food.
- Cinema – Look for 2 for 1 deals, and always remember your student discount
- Keep in touch with AUSA for one off jobs that may lead to regular work.
- Register with temping agencies:
- Plan ahead and seek work during the Easter/Summer/Christmas break.
Register with market research companies, for example Top10bestpaidsurveys, you can often get paid to shop/eat or you may receive goods in exchange for your time and feedback.
- Online Shopping
- Look for free delivery or a time slot that is during the morning as prices can be as little as £1.
- By doing online shopping you are sticking to your shopping list and you are not tempted to throw in goods that you don’t need.
- Freeze leftover food.
- Prepare your meals in advance so you are not tempted to buy take-aways.
- You can always treat yourself to a take-away at the weekend if you stick to your food planner.
- Organise a leftover swap with flatmates or friends – eating leftovers can get boring, but if you swap leftovers with your friends you get to try new foods while keeping costs to a minimum.
- Use a reusable bottle for your coffee and water – this will not only save you money but is also environmentally friendly
- Do you have a garden? Grow your own vegetables/herbs.
- Also refer to our Off Campus web pages which have a vast variety of information on them!
- Online Shopping
- Looking for a new item (furniture/electrical goods/bicycle/car etc)?
Always look to see if you can get it for free before buying:
- Amazon PRIME is free for 6 months if you register with your @aberdeen.ac.uk email address.
- Sending a card for a special occasion? Look at the Funky Pigeon or Moon Pig promotion webpages first for current offers - if you register for a new account you may get your first purchase free.
- Haircuts or waxing? Use your local college (NECOL). Students require models to train on, and they sometimes offer their services for free or at very cheap prices in return for your time. All services are supervised by qualified staff.
- Looking for a new item (furniture/electrical goods/bicycle/car etc)?
- When shopping on the compassion websites, try a few different occupations - yes you may be a student, but also try getting a quote that confirms your part-time job status as it may be cheaper than confirming you’re a student.
- Add a parent/guardian as a named driver or vice versa - it may be cheaper to include someone even though they won’t drive your car.
- Do you need insurance? Is your phone worth more than your 12 months instalments or annual policy? If not, it may be cheaper to buy a new phone rather than paying for insurance.
- Is your phone covered under your house insurance? Ask your house insurance company or your parent/guardian company instead of assuming it’s not, as you may be paying for insurance twice.
- Savings / Bank Accounts
Choose your bank account wisely. Never assume that your interest rates stay the same, banks/building societies can change the interest rate at any time - you may have gotten the best deal at the time, but keep a close eye on your accounts:
If you have debt but you also have savings - if your debt interest rate % is higher than your savings, use your savings to pay of your debt unless you are not getting charged interest. Do not get a bank account with a daily fee – if your account currently charges a daily fee – change account!
- Do you live close by but use the bus/car? Cycle or walk instead.
- Get involved with BeCycle for a free bike, you just have to put down a deposit!
- Parking – always look for a street with free parking or cheaper rate.
- Top Tips
Got lots of old books, CDs, DVDs, Clothes, electrical goods, phones etc that you no longer use? Sell them!
- Advertise on Gumtree, Facebook, University Social Media, School Notice boards, etc
- Before advertising, check websites like Ebay to see how much they are selling for
Going home? Driving? If so , advertise for car buddies on Facebook, school noticeboards etc by listing when you will be leaving and where you would be willing to drop people off. Perhaps ask for fuel contributions.
- Always know who you are taking with you in your car and let people know who is in the car with you. Also empty your car boot, if you drive around with unnecessary weight you use more fuel.
Holidays – if you know in advance that you are going home for Christmas Break, Easter Break etc, book in advance:
Foreign Exchange – if you know in advance, start keeping an eye on the exchange rate. If you see a good rate, buy!
Going away for the week-end? Shop around for cheap hotels, remember to always check out approximately 5 different websites:
Compare prices that include breakfast and without, as sometimes it may be £35 more to include breakfast when in fact, you could go elsewhere for breakfast and pay as little as £6.
- If you are travelling as a group it could be cheaper to get an AirBnB and split the cost than to get separate hotel rooms.
Only use your gas or electric when required - switch everything off when not being used
- Charge USB electrical goods at uni or work when using a PC.
- Request a FREE smart meter from your service provider.
Need an item but only going to use it once? Ask family and friends to borrow the item and return once finished.
Require new books?
- Advertise on the School noticeboards/Social media etc for a used copy.
- Look in your local charity shops, local car boot sales, school jumble sales before buying new.
Renting a flat
- If your lease is coming up for renewal – shop around see if the rental market has fallen. If it has, ask your landlord for a reduced rate to be in line with other rental properties.
Got a spare room – advertise looking for a new flat mate. Always do checks before allowing a person to move in with you.
- Always log onto free wifi
- Download your providers’ app and keep an eye on your usage, don’t go over your Data allowance.
- Send pics via Messenger/WhatsApp rather than paying 25p per picture text.
- Create your own Budget Planner
- Complete the 'Saver or Spender' questionnaire to see if you need to work more on your Budget Planner
- You can head over to https://www.savethestudent.org/money/student-budgeting/student-budgeting.html to get tips on budgeting or download their tool.
- Which.com – 10 things to remember to budget for at University.
Do you have a hobby that can make money?
- If you play a music instrument, get involved in a society or band that will pay you!
- Do you draw, knit, paint? Sell your goods on Ebay or Etsy, or have a stall at local fayres at Christmas or Easter.
- Do you use your gym membership? If not, cancel your direct debit and go pay as you go.
- Use public parks, team up with friends and meet at the local park and create your own boot camp style workout – lots of fun plus socialising at the same time.
- If you don’t own a TV or if you don’t use it to watch live TV you may not need to pay for a TV License – find out more.