Great 'Your Top Tips For New Uni Students' Hunt



  • emilyjayne wrote: »
    In my Opinion the one thing every student needs is ! !
    Has helped me loads throughout last year, just a bit of money saving here & there adds up :rolleyes:.

    & Defo make the most of the wee discount cards & free entry to clubs cards they give out at freshers week. If you live in halls most of the clubs will be in walking distance so no taxi fares to pay for (or long taxi ques to stand in at 4am !)

    Most of all though, enjoy it ;). Being a students the best excuse to have fun 24/7 :rolleyes:

    Oh you've just reminded me - on the discounts note, at least two taxi companies in York gave out business cards that were good for a 10% discount if you ordered a taxi with them and showed the driver the card before getting in. Occasionally I managed to get this without showing the card when I got cabs back to halls.

    Also definitely agree with getting some means of backing up - when I got my laptop before uni the lovely generous man at PC World threw in a 512MB USB drive after a bit of haggling. It's still going three years later and I've barely dented the capacity on it.

    List making is good too. Although I am also an advocate of buying something you would use if it's on offer, even if you don't need it right then but will soon (although do check what the items cost individually to make sure it's a good saving!).

    Finally, there may well be a cheap student fare on the local bus between campus and town - the bus company in York did a £2 student return deal from campus to the city centre, which considering a single ticket was £1.90 is pretty darn good! It was only valid on certain routes though so I used to sneakily get around the expensive fare from the stop near my second and third year houses by walking to campus and going from there. It may not be as MSE as walking but some days you're late or it's raining or your feet are tired...
    "A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge." - Tyrion Lannister
    Married my best friend 1st November 2014
    Loose = the opposite of tight (eg "These trousers feel a little loose")
    Lose = the opposite of find/gain (eg "I'm going to lose weight this year")
  • Found this on the internet earlier, thought it might be relevant,

    http :/ /www.

  • We are parents of students who have all graduated now....thank goodness!

    We would say ,take a camera (video or digital) and get a good amount of footage of your accommodation before you move in. I would say that even in halls it could end up being useful ,but mainly for private landlords.

    We didn't have any problems as it turned out but we have heard some horror stories which is what prompted us to do this.

    Good Luck, have fun and take care, it's what I always told mine,it seems to have worked!
  • Humphrey10
    Humphrey10 Posts: 1,859 Forumite
    Live in university halls for the first year, not at home or in a shared house, you will meet so many more people.

    Join stuff at the Student's Union, it's a great way of making friends.

    Take your own PC or laptop, you really don't want to have to be relying on the libary PCs when you are in a hurry to finish coursework.

    If you know or think you might be dyslexia, dyspraxic, have Asperger's, or anything else at all that could affect your studies, don't be embarrassed, go and speak to the student support people at the university and get assessed. There is a lot of help available (essay writing tips etc, and help with the cost of equipment).

    Make friends with someone with a car! Very useful for shopping trips :)

    And as someone has already said, always backup your work, you really don't want to lose your only copy of a 10000 word essay!
  • try and save some of your student loan more so if you live at home. While i know it works differently in England i managed to save some of my student loan and put it as a deposit for a flat. i know this is unlikely for most students but it is the cheapest lan you ill ever get and can be very useful later on.

    i know its been said but the laser printer is a really good idea i got mine from pc world a year ago for £50 and have only just replaced the toner. i have friends that pay £30 a month to print things out.

    not sure if its the same in england again but in scotland you get your travel money back after the first £155 if you take a loan. this is really good so dont try and save money only buying a train pass if you still have to buy a bus pass to get around at home as you should get the money back in january.
  • People have covered most things - except...fancy dress clothes. Most Uni students have a fancy dress evening most weeks. Think of sheets for togas, wrap up cardboard boxes for walking presents - my daughter spends almost as much on fancy dress as food! And if the Hoosiers visit the campus, it's compulsory!
  • Don't be afraid to take out all the government money you can get. It's set to the rate of inflation (or supposed to be) so in real terms you pay nothing anyway, the repayments are really small and conditional on you getting a well paid job and the opportunity cost if you don't take the money is absolutely huge. Read the guide on this site.
  • Jake_027
    Jake_027 Posts: 15 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Post
    edited 20 August 2009 at 3:46AM
    Here's what I've learnt in the past year:

    • Food-online shops are good, it saves having to drag everything home, you get it delivered right to your door, and because you're not carrying it you can take as much advantage of Multibuys as you want! I'd recommend ASDA, the tesco site looked complicated and the delivery charges were higher. We used ASDA and had no big problems, plus now I haven't used it because I'm at home they keep sending me offers of free delivery etc! However always google "ASDA discount code" before you pay-I did this (as I coordinated our flats shopping) and for the last 3 times we did an online shop (they usually lasted about a month) we didn't pay a penny for delivery, even though I've never read mother and baby magazine :D
    • Communal stuff-works in some ways but not others-I always kept my own stuff becuase I've had problems in the past, but on the whole it works well. However I wouldn't do it with food personally, if you keep to your own there's no arguments (unless someone steals your food) about who has used how much and what the cost is. Most stuff will freeze so no need to worry about that, I split my bread loaves into 3 x 6 slices, 2 lots of 6 slices get bagged seperately and put in the freezer, other to use immediately. When you are running out/have run out, just take one out before you go to bed, open the bag, and leave and it will have defrosted in the morning ready to use-I only ended up buying bread every one and a half weeks. DON'T freeze milk though, it tastes awful when it's been frozen and there isn't a lot of difference in price between supermarkets and on campus shops (around 10p in my case). Not worth it for how rubbish it tastes after freezing! Also communal utensils can be risky-if you don't all have the same idea of "regular" washing up it can be very annoying to come into the kitchen to use something someone else did 3 days earlier-only to find it STILL hasn't been washed yet!! Also try and keep track if you share things-you'll find your stuff will go missing unnoticed if not!
    • Agreed with transferring your Natwest Overdraft-however I would recommend e-savings rather than an ISA, I found the e-savings to offer a far better rate (opening bonus admittedly) and theres no limit on transfers in and out-also unless you have a high income fill in an R85 form and tax won't be taken off interest either. I opened a cash ISA on branch advice and put in £100, it's earned £1 interest. In comparison I put £1000 into my e-Savings plus my student loan as and when received-and transferred funds when needed, and I've gained £25 interest off that this year-there was a 2.10% bonus for the first 12 months on my e-Savings, keep an eye out for similar offers, but even without it still offers exactly the same rate as an ISA without the pay-in limit, and is a lot more flexible I find.
    • Course books-we got told at the start of each course it's "recommended" to have this and that-wait a couple of weeks before going ahead and buying and/or use the library before purchasing. It's a good idea to check out books in the library before you buy a personal copy-I found many of the recommended texts to be of little use to me as they were not very understandable, related little to the topic, or gave information that I already knew. If you do decide you want a copy-check noticeboards/ebay etc before buying from a shop, you may well find it cheaper. Also in essays google books comes in very useful for information you can't find elsewhere. Check that this is OK with your tutor/course department before going ahead, but ours had no problem as long as they were referenced properly (all of this information can be found in the "about this book" tab on there), and these saved me on more than one occasion as well as in many cases providing more useful and interesting facts and reading than the books on the reading list.
    • Bedding and kitchen utilities-ask around family to see if they have anything going spare-most of my cutlery and plates were from other family members or old stuff of our own. For bedding Wilkinsons do cheap duvets and pillows, and last year tesco had a value 3 saucepan (different sizes) and a frying pan pack for £8, it has lasted the entire year and will be going up again this year. My drinks glasses are a 4 pack of 79p tesco value ones (although there are only three now :o) and my mugs are a £3 4 pack, again from tesco. I'm sure theres equivalents in ASDA etc.
    • Printers/laptops-if you have your own computer, take it. If not and you're thinking of buying one check for student discout. I know apple do it if you're a mac user, and I think the natwest student account comes with an offer of £100 off selected ASUS laptops (certainly used to). If you buy from elsewhere check for student discount, and if you want office google "the ultimate steal" to get it for £38.95-although a week or so into term last year I got an email from UCAS with an additional code-and I got office ultimate for £12.95 :D Don't know if it will happen this year, but might be worth waiting to see. If you are buying a printer, check argos catalogue, I got a canon print/copy/scanner for £40, reduced from £80, from the back page of their catalogue-also worht checking the small additional booklets they have every now and then as well. For printer ink, buy compatibles. I use choice stationery but I'm sure there are others, saves a fortune though. Also change your printer settings to fast/text only etc when printing lecture notes-the quality doesn't need to be perfect and I've only gone through 2 sets of cartridges this year, despite printing off notes for at least 120 lectures as well as essays and personal stuff, so use wisely and it lasts.
    • Finally if you're up North and use TranspennineExpress on your journey home, if you have a 16-25 railcard you can take advantage of the student offer on transpennines website. Go to the homepage, click on "tickets and offers", then click on "students" and book through the 50% off link. Basically on any TPE only advance fares, providing you have a 16-25 railcard it gives additional discount so instead of getting 33% off you get 50% off-effectively child fare! But this is only on advance tickets on TPE trains only-they will be the ones highlighted in green on the fares results screen. Also you must have a 16-25 railcard to take advantage-otherwise it's no discount!
    I can't think of anything else right now, MSE email has been helpful over the year too and is recommended, but hope the above ramblings help somebody!
  • KatP wrote: »
    2. NEVER NEVER NEVER sign for a shared house on one contract where you are "jointly and severally liable" this is a recepie for financial disaster. Find a house where each tennant has a separate contract. It can be slightly more difficult to find a landlord content with this but you do not want to risk being liable for another student's rent and bills if he clears off or drops out part way through the term.

    3. READ your contract before signing for a rented house. Don't be afraid to ask for changes to be made if you are unhappy with any clauses and check the inventory before handing over your deposit. It wasn't until our letting agent laughed at us for doing this and complained about law students that I realised how many people don't do this. It is important you are aware of what you are agreeing to.

    Couldn't agree more.

    When you move into a new house - take photos of the room and look for ANY damage already there. If you find anything at all - frayed carpets, stains on carpets/curtains/bed, damaged wallpaper, mould... take a picture, write it all down, sign and date it and give it to the landlord/letting agency. And keep a copy to refer back to at the end of your tenancy. Actually, if you come across any mould on walls or windowframes when you're looking at a house, tell the landlord or letting agent that you expect that to be sorted out before you move in. The area might need to be treated and repainted, as you can keep cleaning mould on walls away, but it just comes back.

    Make sure you have a copy of the inventory, and you can locate everything on the inventory when you move in. Some agents will have photos of all the items on file. Ours didn't, and when the bookcase got broken after a drunk guy fell into it, we just replaced it with a cheaper one. The inventory just said "bookcase". So that's what we left. :)
    KatP wrote: »
    11. Check you have the necessary TV licence. A fine is not good money saving. If you have a TV in your own private lockable room (like in halls) you probably need an individual licence, if you have a shared house then you probably just need one for the whole house.

    I'd say don't bother with individual licenses. As long as you have one for the house, the TV licensing people aren't going to come over and check. Their records will say that your house is covered, and that's all they're bothered about. In theory, you do need a separate one if you have a lock on your door, but unless you invite a TV licensing person into your house to have a look - WHICH YOU DON'T HAVE TO, then they will never know. You never have to let one of their inspectors in unless they have a court order - which is extremely difficult for them to get. And if the worst comes to the worst and they find out and expect you to pay for a license, in my experience they don't fine you if you just pay ASAP.
  • minerva_windsong
    minerva_windsong Posts: 3,808 Forumite
    edited 24 August 2009 at 11:24AM
    Personally I wouldn't get a TV licence in halls full stop. This is what iPlayer and 4oD are for (as long as you don't watch stuff whilst it's being broadcast), especially seeing as with iPlayer and I think 4oD as well you can download programmes and watch them when you so choose.

    ETA: Just remembered ITV also has a catch up service called ITV Player, which works for all four ITV channels, and that 4oD also covers most of More4, some of Film4 (which you have to pay for) and most of E4, so hopefully all TV bases should be covered.
    "A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge." - Tyrion Lannister
    Married my best friend 1st November 2014
    Loose = the opposite of tight (eg "These trousers feel a little loose")
    Lose = the opposite of find/gain (eg "I'm going to lose weight this year")
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