Getting New Glasses On A Student Budget

Students often have to juggle their finances. Generally speaking, undergraduates need to make the most of their loans and other meagre income just for food, rent and, oh yes, the occasional book. Even mature students and postgraduates, who might well be a bit better versed with budgeting, can find that one-off problems can throw them into financial disarray. One of the commonest problems for many students is when things go wrong and something that is absolutely essential becomes lost or stolen. In such circumstances, you simply have to find a replacement even if it means going to an inferior model. Okay, so this might be acceptable, if not desirable, when it comes to a laptop PC or a mobile phone, but what about glasses?

With corrective eye-wear, you are addressing your ability to read quickly something that all students need to be able to do as well as increasing your chances of following what is going on in a lecture theatre. Of course, if you are used to wearing them, then you will know this already. However, knowing this doesn't make replacing your broken ones any easier, or cheaper. Likewise, if you are struggling to see and suffering from occasional headaches, then it might be time to head to the opticians and face up to the fact that you are going to have to fork out on a pair of glasses. For NHS registered students, which should mean just about everyone who has a UK residency entitlement, then help is at hand with the diagnostic part of the costs and you can find out more about this elsewhere at studenthealth.co.uk. According to the NHS, being over 19 and in full-time education means that you are entitled to a sight test free from any charges. Nevertheless, this does not help much if you are a part-time student. Under such circumstances, your income may mean that you are still entitled to assistance from the NHS. Call their low income helpline on 0300 330 1343 for further information.

Okay, so once you have had your eyes tested by an optician - free or otherwise it is time to move on to the knotty problem of buying glasses. Your prescription will define the type of lens you need but the frames are all choice, choice, choice. Most high street opticians will favour their designer frames which will be prominently displayed, usually at the shop front. It is certainly worth trying a few of these on to get an idea of how light they are compared to their budget ranges. But if you want the designer look, then you are going to have to pay for it, right? Well, no. These days savvy consumers head online for just about everything even after they have tried out the goods in store. Designer frames, even ones that are good for varifocal and bifocal prescription glasses, are available from e-stores. So long as your prescription is under two years old, the online world of shopping for glasses frames is just as valid as taking the more traditional high street approach. And the savings are generally through the floor compared with normal retailers.

So, if you need a new pair of glasses or have been putting off that eye test because you know already it will mean having to reorganise your student budget, then think again. A pair of prescription glasses, even in a swanky designer frame, probably won't break the bank or eat into as much of your student loan as you might have thought.

 


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