Student Life: Kit Out Your Digs On A Budget

Starting university is an exciting and decisive time. Not only will you be meeting new people, learning new things and forming new opinions, but moving into your own space can also be a liberating opportunity to reinvent who you are and what you stand for.

Whilst it is neither advisable nor attractive to pretend to be someone you’re not, liberating yourself from the constraining influences of family and childhood friends can allow you to discover within yourself previously unexplored avenues of ideas and beliefs. Having your own space in which to grow and expand can have a surprisingly significant impact on how you begin to evolve as an adult.

Although it is important to create a calm, welcoming environment within that space, living on a student budget away from such luxuries as home-cooked food and free laundry services leaves little money for interior design. Luckily, styling your student digs doesn’t have to cost the earth, so hide that debit card in a drawer and start using your creativity.

Don’t Bring Too Much

As tempting as it might be to bring the entire contents of your bedroom (and your parents’ kitchen) with you to university, it’s simply not necessary. Rather than putting food processors and ornaments into the car on the morning you’re due to leave, set aside time well in advance to sit down with a practical parent or friend and make a detailed list of essential belongings you’ll need to pack.

Working out what you need to take in advance reduces your chances of splashing out on expensive panic buys at the last minute. Knowing just how much you need to take also allows you to plan your journey to university smoothly. If you find you really can’t fit everything into the car, working this out in advance allows you to plan ahead. Hiring a van can be cheaper than you might imagine and might work out as the cost-effective alternative to making several trips or buying lots of new things when you arrive.

Most van-hire companies take out insurance on your behalf, but if you’re planning to transport all your most important possessions halfway across the country, you may wish to take out additional cover. You can compare van insurance policies to find the best one.

However, unless your university is in the middle of nowhere, it will be much easier to buy things such as kitchen utensils once you have arrived as you can then team up with your flatmates to work out what you might need.

How to Jazz up Your Digs

Once you’ve moved all your essentials into your new home, it’s time to decorate. However keen you might be to make a fresh start, bringing a few home comforts such as photos or bedspreads can help to assuage any homesickness you might feel. In addition to these, even the barest of rooms can be made welcoming with a snazzy new duvet set, a string of fairy lights or a few scarves draped artistically around the corners, all of which can often be bought very cheaply in student sales.

Many universities also have poster sales towards the start of term, where new students can buy posters for very reasonable prices. Buying something decorative related to your subject, such as a world map for geographers, can help to keep you motivated during long study periods. When making any purchase, don’t forget to ask whether the store offers student discounts as these can save you a serious amount of money in the long run.

Article provided by Jeff, a British money saving blogger on behalf SO Switch.