Freshers 2021: Budgeting
There are a few initial costs that come when starting university, but don’t panic! We’ve given you a rundown of what to expect so you can budget accordingly. We’ll also provide you with a few tips on how to save money over the course of the year.
When you start
In order to make your freshers experience the best possible, your hall need money to do so. Your fresher subs cover your fresher T-shirt, wristband for entry to events, buses to nights in town amongst other things. You purchase your fresher subs from the LSU website. The pricing will vary depending on each hall.
TOP TIP -> The Student’s Union offer a package deal for nights out called Platinum. It includes year long free entry to LSU weekly nights out as well as your Fresher Ball ticket. If you think you’ll visit the Union a lot, it’s worth a purchase.
At the start of the term, you fill out a room audit, making note of the condition of your bedroom, bathroom and kitchen. This way, accommodation will know that you are not responsible for causing any pre-existing damages. If at the end of the year everything is in the same condition, you don’t have to worry! If there is any damage that was not reported in the room audit, you will be charged.
TOP TIP -> Make sure to fill out your room audit as soon as you arrive as you only have a few days to compete it.
Clubs and societies
To join an AU sports club or a society, you will need to pay an initial base fee, plus a fee provided by each organisation. These will vary in price depending on each club or society. Most sports clubs will have basic kit or stash you’ll need to buy in order to represent the team at events or fixtures, such as shorts and socks.
TOP TIP -> Buy the essentials first, such as the standard required kit (your club officers will tell you what you need) before bagging the leisurewear items.
Throughout the year
Your accommodation fees are split into installments termly (there are 3 terms over the year). Student loan payments drop termly as well, which will help cover the costs. You can get a full breakdown of your hall fee costs over the year here.
TOP TIP -> Try not to spend your student loan payments as soon as the money enters your bank account! Open a savings account and put the majority in there, budgeting by transferring over an amount each week to spend.
Every hall has a committee member in charge of stash, which is basically clothing and merchandise. If you want to take part in hall IMS (inter-mural competitive sport), you will need to purchase an IMS T-shirt from your stash rep to play. Over the course of the year, you can also purchase other items from your stash rep to show your support for your hall, from T-shirts, hoodies and hats to mugs, phone cases and cups.
Hall social events
Throughout the year, your hall will throw social events which can sometimes require purchasing a ticket. Examples of include the summer / winter balls and high-table meals that are held by each hall every year. The price of these events will vary from hall to hall.
If you are self-catered, it’s a good idea to gather a group of people to do a combined online shopping order. That way, you don’t have to trek to and from town carrying heavy bags containing your weekly shop. Plus, you can split the cost of the delivery between you all. If you are catered but weekdays only, it’s a good idea to venture out to town on the Friday to go food shopping or visit the Purple Onion shop on campus.
TOP TIP -> Make the most of student discount deals at shops, restaurants and other services! Ask at the till if they offer discounted prices for students, and make sure you have your student card with you wherever you go.
Before you know it, it’ll be the Christmas and Easter breaks and you’ll have to venture home. In Loughborough, there are fantastic transport links across the country, including trains and coaches. If you’re an international student, it’s worth checking with your hall what dates you can stay in your accommodation over the break, as some will be closed.
TOP TIP -> With trains and flights, it’s always worth planning ahead and booking your travel home early, as it will be a lot cheaper than buying last minute.
Although this may seem like a lot to take in, if you’re well prepared for what’s coming and budget well, managing your money at uni should come easily.
If you’re worried about your financial situation, see the fees and financial support section of our website: https://www.lboro.ac.uk/students/finance/ug/
Find out what makes 'The Loughborough Experience' by reading our student blogs.