FRESHERS: What to buy with your first student loan

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Seriously… You don’t understand until your knee deep in your overdraft how much forward planning really saves your skin later on in the term. The first semester (September-December) is the longest, so you really need to be smart and savvy with that student loan of yours rather than spunking it all in Topshop at once. Here’s some guidance on making sure you have the essentials in early enough! (Clue: it’s not fizzy drinks or pizza).


Calculate what needs putting aside for rent and bills first

If you haven’t got time –or you can’t be arsed – for a job at uni, then you need to make sure you have the money for living somewhere first. Work out how much money you’ve got coming in all semester, including if you have any income other than your student loan or if your parents are kind enough to help you out. Then put aside the total cost for your rent for three months and an estimation for your bills if they’re not included.

A nice bottle of your spirit of choice 

Drinkers: rest assured you WILL become sick of buying (and drinking) value vodka after a while, so have something a bit nicer stashed away to treat yourself every once in a while.

Salt, pepper and cooking oil

You will not be able to afford these sorts of luxuries halfway through the term, so ensure you get them in stock right at the beginning of the year. Because nobody wants bland food, amiright?


Take advantage of the “3 for 2” offers while you have the money to do so. Stock up on shampoo, conditioner, tampons, cotton wool pads, make up wipes etc in a way your Nan would be proud of.


Sort your stash of paper, staples, highlighters, and pens at the start of the year before all you can afford are Pot Noodles. The union shop has a forever-running offer on stationery and it’s the only place I’ve found you don’t need to take a mortgage out for nice paper (well, you know what I mean).

That gig or house night you want to go to in November

If you’ve seen it, get your ticket for it while you have the cash. It will probably sell out if you don’t do it now.

Some niceties for your room

Student rooms need to be homely, that’s a fact. Treat yourself to a couple of things that will make it feel a bit nicer for you; a throw, a nice scented candle, some wall art and a couple of cushions are good examples.


Got some tips for the freshers on how to spend their money wisely? Tweet them to us at @LibertyBelleMag using the hashtag #FRESHERS with your thoughts.


Words by Lucy Abbersteen

Rebecca Curry is your Editor-in-Chief

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