Let’s face it – as a fresher the thought of your student finance hitting your bank account can leave you planning how you are going to spend it and what you may (or may not need) for your new pad and life away from home. We all at times imagine ourselves with a decent amount of money in the bank and being young, we seem to think ‘well I’m only going to live once…’ which can often find us more inclined to splash the cash. I’ll put my hand up and be the first to admit during my very first year at university when living in halls, I went a bit crazy and bought some things that I really did not need, but convinced myself I did. In order to help you save your money for something that you will actually need below are the five worst things I bought at university!
1. A George Foreman Grill
Moving into halls can leave you wondering what you need and what you’ll have to work with in the kitchen. At home you’ll be used to home cooked meals and a variety of equipment (mainly used by your parents) to prepare your food. The top thing I regret purchasing at university would be a grill. Why you ask? Because it was used once, and not even by me!
2. A television
Thinking that a TV would be a great addition for my new room, I purchased one with a built in DVD player during my first few weeks of university. Without considering the cost of a TV license I led myself to believe that I’d often have nights were I wanted to catch up on the shows I watched at home or simply watch a film whilst with friends. How wrong I was.
You may find yourself asking how someone can class buying books in their worst things I bought list, but trust me, books are definitely something I regret buying. Within my first year I’d spent over £200 on the books that were recommended by university staff. With lecturers pushing and outlining the importance of reading, I jumped straight in and spent money before even paying a visit to the library where, yes you guessed, the books can be borrowed for free!
4. Course Equipment
Similar to the reason I regret buying books, I regret buying the course equipment that we were told was crucial to have. After the first few weeks at university, I discovered that a lot of the items I had purchased were free for students to rent from the university itself. If you are doing a practical course, I would 100% recommend checking with tutors and university staff whether any equipment is available from university.
5. New Clothes
Kitting yourself out with a new wardrobe full of clothes is all well and good until you realise how often you find yourself wearing the same things. Before heading to university, I purchased a whole wardrobe full of new clothes, thinking I’d wear them all, but as you can imagine, I didn’t. I’d heard that I’d need this and that for freshers, so of course I toddled off and purchased outfits for each of the themed nights. But did I actually wear half of the garments? You bet I didn’t!
My advice for anyone that has recently started university and moved into halls would be to wait until you get there to see what you actually need! You may kit yourself out with kitchen utensils prior to moving, but if you wait, you are more likely to save a bit of money as you’ll find that your new flat mates will split the cost with you!
Written by Rebekah Litherland