I’ve been a money mentor for three years and have become the money guru for my friends, but you can’t avoid dealing with the unexpected. Even the most careful plans can be turned on their heads and have you thinking on your feet. Being in control of your money gives you the freedom to adapt to changes and stops the panic from taking over.
I was choosing my placements for my final two years and decided I wanted to be placed out of London. As you will know, London rent is expensive and being placed out of London means accommodation is provided. I thought I’d be saving thousands over those two years and I could save my student loan for a holiday, future rent, or a new car. Then, I got my placements. October to May that year was all in London. It was a disappointment, but I knew I could afford it and I felt comfortable with living in London, amongst my friends.
The time came to apply to halls, and I decided it was a good back-up as I had lived there before and knew the process was simple and that King’s was a good landlord in terms of repairs and residential support. This year the process was different, and I struggled to get a room at one of the residences I wanted. The only ones available were out of my price range and I started to panic a little bit. Without a hall’s reservation in place, I felt worried I would be struggling to find a place. I investigated all the usual renting sites as well as Air BnB and considered posting on the social media groups for my course or asking friends about spare rooms. I was working out all the various combinations and permutations of how to make my money stretch furthest. Could I rent a room temporarily until the Christmas break and then rent a different place January until May? Or would I have to rent somewhere for 12 months?
It was late in September and I was running out of time but thankfully I was offered a place back in halls until the end of the academic year. Due to the pandemic, I haven’t had to pay for the Christmas break this year either, so it all worked out better than expected. After May I’ll be in hospital accommodation, famously shabby but no rent helps make that feel more shabby chic.
Most people are students for at least three years which is a long time, providing many chances for the unexpected to happen. They say to mend the roof while it’s not raining and so I would encourage any student to make an effort to save any spare student loan for an emergency fund. We all need that pot of money at some point, may it be in the final years of your degree or post-graduation. Do your future self a favour and save, save, save.
King’s Student Money Mentor
Part of Money & Housing Advice
Studying Medicine MBBS (UG)
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