Written by Rachel Shepherd, Editor, Graduate Prospects, October 2012
Postgraduate study can improve your career options but committing to another year in the classroom can have serious financial implications. Find out how you can make your pennies go further...
The first thing you need to do is work how your outgoings compare to your income and the best way to do this is by listing everything. As well as allowing for basic costs such as food and rent, make sure yout ake into account things such as your mobile phone bill and social life.
Once you've worked everything out, if the amount you have coming in is outweighed by your outgoings, then its time to look at where you can make some savings.
Available from your students' union or the NUS website, an NUS Extra card costs £12 and on average saves students more than £500 a year. Discounts are available at many shops, cinemas, restaurants and travel companies.
Everyone has unwanted clutter lying around, so go through your belongings and see what you can sell online. It's also worth looking out for a local Freecycle group - a scheme which matches people who have things they no longer want with people who can use them. The only thing you need to do is organise collection of the item.
From the weekly shop to car insurance and banking, shopping around for the best deals can be a good money saver. The internet can help with this and visiting a comparison website allows you to see the whole market at a given time. You can then choose the one you like and visit its website for more information.
Treating yourself once in a while is fine, but buying lunch out everyday from a cafe or on campus is going to take its toll on the purse strings. Instead of spending £3 a day, spend £5 a week on salad, bread and sandwich fillings. It's much cheaper and will save you a fortune over a month.
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