The basics

The information in this guide was last updated on 26/02/2014

Going to university can be expensive. Here, we’ll take you through the basics. This way, you can spend less time worrying about your account balance and more time enjoying university life.

Start to save

If you’re aged between 16 and 18 and planning to go to university in a year or more, now is a good time to start saving, especially if you’re currently living at home. If you’re working, or have an allowance (and can afford it!) try to put something aside each month. The more you can put away now, the better your finances will be when you start university.

There are several savings options to choose from:

Cash ISAs

You're allowed to save a certain amount each year into a cash ISA without paying tax on any interest you earn. If you're aged 16 or 17, you can open your own Junior ISA (eligibility criteria can apply). These tend to offer better rates of interest than adult ISAs, however the allowance is usually less. See our tax-free savings guide.

Savings accounts

When choosing a savings account think about how long you want to put your money away for- If you’re confident you won’t need your money any time soon, you could choose a fixed term savings account.

With fixed term accounts you can choose to lock your money away for a set period of time, usually in return for a more favourable rate of interest.

Alternatively, if you think you might need to withdraw some of your savings, you could choose an instant access savings account, or a tax-free cash ISA (but there are limits on how much you can put in an ISA each year, so you won't be able to replace it once it is withdrawn if you are over that limit).