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So, you've got the A-level results you needed, you've packed what seems to be everything you own into a few cardboard boxes and you're ready to start the next stage of your life: it can mean only one thing. University.

At this time of year, people up and down the country are preparing for - or already beginning - student life, often away from home in a brand new city, and ready to start a new course, meet new people and face new responsibilities.

But between planning for Freshers' Week and buying what appears to be a library's-worth of textbooks, the cost of being a student is another important thing to think about. After all, with the cost of tuition fees now standing at up to £9,000 in England, and the current climate squeezing many people's finances, student life is perhaps more expensive than ever.

Lloyds TSB's second annual Student Finance report recently revealed that 16% of full-time students surveyed did not have enough cash to get them through each month - and a further 40% were only just keeping on top of their finances.

Furthermore, three in five students believe that they will graduate with debts of more than £10,000 on top of their student loans.

In light of this, financially planning for your costs as a student could go a long way to making sure you can budget for the things you need (food, rent, bills, textbooks, etc.) - while still leaving you some money for the fun stuff.

A spokesperson for thinkmoney commented: "A well-planned budget should be at the heart of any student's financial planning. Working out exactly how much money you have for your essentials - and how much for socialising and other activities - could help you make sure you don't overspend. If you want that extra reassurance, a budgeting bank account could also be a good idea - ensuring the money you need is separated from your spending money."

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