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Financial capability - students

Case studies

Here you can read real stories about financial difficulties people - just like you - are facing. To learn more about what you can do to prevent this happening to you, read more information in our dossiers.

The freedom of moving away from home was great, but it does cost more than you think!

When I found out that I actually managed to get to the university of my choice, I was really excited. At last some independence, and moving away from home but I knew I had to learn about the real cost of living on my own for the first time! I didn't want to go into halls so I decided to rent a house with a couple of friends who were also going there. I quickly realised it was going to cost me more than I thought for 'setting up'!

Some of the places were really awful, but we managed to find a house that was in good shape and close enough to the university that we could walk (great for saving on transport costs). Although the rent cost £400 a month each, the landlord needed a six-week deposit in advance. So along with the first month's rent we had to each pay out £1,000 up front, that took a big chunk out of my savings!

Of course we had to be responsible for our own bills and get them in our name including electricity, TV Licence, internet and a landline phone. Luckily we didn't need to pay council tax because we are all studying full-time, so I called the council to let them know. This helped us save £30 each a month!

Now we're in the house I have set up a simple budget to track the regular bills and expenses and to see how much I have left to spend after all of the necessities. I've also taken up a part-time job to bring in extra cash, so this income goes in my budget too. I am learning how to manage my expenses with the money I earn, and if I stick to my budget I can save a bit of money for going out with my mates!

Research the costs of university accommodation in your area - look on university websites and search for letting agencies that specialise in student housing. What is the cheapest rent you can find and what is the most expensive?