Going back to school can be financially difficult, but don’t worry, here are some tips to help you manage your money.

Buying equipment and books

If you're starting a new course this year:

  • Sort out what books and equipment you really need, your course leaders might be able to give you a list of what they want you to bring
  • Speak to last year’s students about what they actually found most useful and necessary. They may also have old equipment and books you could buy off them.
  • Set yourself a budget of what you can afford and then prioritise items based on this
  • Look for second-hand books and equipment - try notice boards in your college or school, speak to staff and older students, and use online bookstores
Young people on laptops

Buying and using computers

It's hard to make the most of your course without a computer:

  • Make the most of college facilities and your local library
  • Research any bursaries, grants and support that your local council, college and school may offer. There are also various organisations which offer financial support depending on your situation and where you live.
  • Shop around, read the small print, make sure the any electronics you buy do what you need them to, and don't forget to insure them both if you can
"Sort out what books and equipment you really need, your course leaders might be able to give you a list of what they want you to bring."

Young person

Once you're a student, there are lots of special deals and discounts available:

  • Your student card can get you discounts in local shops, cheap haircuts, cut-price cinema tickets and much more
  • Ask about discounts everywhere you go
  • Get a local student bus/train pass or a national young person's rail/coach card
  • You can also get bank accounts and insurance policies specially designed for students
  • Look online to find the best offers and deals

Budget yourself

Keeping on top of your money and making it stretch as far as it can is important:

  • Make a personal budget once you've worked out what your college income is going to be
  • You may have new expenses like travel costs and lunches, so take these into account
  • Your social life is likely to change too, so make the most of it!
  • Special deals for students

School uniform

Buying new uniform is something you tend to do every year. Here are some tips to get the best value:

  • Start early so you can shop around for the best deals
  • Cheaper school clothing in the supermarkets is a seasonal offer and don't forget the shoes!

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