It’s an exciting time for all students at the moment. Whether you’ve just received you’re ‘A’ Level results and are preparing for the big move to University or even if you’re a returning student heading back for the second or third year, the excitement levels are building ahead of the reunion with friends or the meeting with new ones and experiencing student life.
One unfortunate part of the student lifestyle is of course budgeting, with money always hard to keep hold of. You want to show that you can survive on your own, without having to run to the bank of mum and dad every few weeks to borrow a few pounds for a night out or a food shop, (there’s only so many tins of own-brand beans you can survive on!) Associated with the budgeting issues is of course the concern of making an impression on your new flat mates and course mates. You want to show them that you’ve got the latest gadgets, the best trainers and the designer clothes. So how do you combine the two? It’s nearly impossible.
Evaluating the market is a great place to start. While it looks great to show off your brand new device from the biggest name out there, it doesn’t look so good in the bank account. A lot of manufacturers of smartphones, tablet computers, laptops and even colour laser printer models have realized that there is a gap in the market and are targeting those customers. This gap has been identified as the people priced out of buying the big name brand models, and the majority of these more cost-effective and customer-friendly devices feature the same, if not similar, specifications as the product that is twice as expensive. This means not only do you save substantial amounts of money, but you get just as good a product, only with a different badge on it.
If you set yourself a budget before walking into the electrical store, and think about what you actually want your product to do and help with, it is much simpler to shop. If you know you want your computer, for example, to help with word documents, have a built-in webcam and microphone and help you with your graphic design course, then the one with the best spec for those requirements should be top of your agenda, not looking for the one with the best software package providing you spend over a certain amount.
Checking online auction sites is another great way of getting the latest tech without having to pay full price. Students just like you might have gotten into financial difficulties and need some quick money, so they decide to sell off items that are worth decent money, or even items that they don’t need any more because they’ve either finished their course of a specific module. By checking here you could get some real bargains – and you’re not a proper student until you get into the habit of hinting for a bargain!
If you can find a way of remaining within budget, you’ll be in a very healthy position at the end of your academic year. You’d be able to go on more night’s out at the end of the semester and even be in a position to either clear some of your overdraft, put money towards the next year of your course, or survive the summer without having to look for seasonal work, allowing you to relax ahead of the new term.