But failing to get to grips with budgeting, insurance and tax could quickly turn what should be a wonderful adventure into a nightmare of poverty and debt.
Most first years won't have been responsible for their finances before and, with sudden access to a student loan and interest-free overdraft, the temptation to spend can be overwhelming.
Tracey Bleakley, chief executive of the Personal Finance Education Group, said: "Parents have a key role to play in helping their university-bound children learn how to manage their money as new students. The next few weeks may be their last chance to have 'the money talk' - we strongly encourage them to take it."
Students should ensure they apply for all the funding and benefits they are entitled to. Visit the websites of the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (saas.gov.uk) and the National Union of Students (nus.org.uk).
The simplest way to make student cash last is to draw up a weekly budget in advance, and stick to it.
Ms Bleakley advised: "Once you know how much you have coming in and what you will need to pay for, it is crucial to prioritise your expenditure. Make sure you can pay for high-priority items, such as accommodation, any utility bills, food and, of course, text books, before the non-essentials."
Using a budgeting app such as YourWealth.co.uk, which is available for phones and online, can make this easier. YourWealth.co.uk director Toby Hughes said: "Students can create a realistic budget, and quickly and easily see where they are spending their money and where they may need to make cutbacks."
Keep the bulk of the term's cash in a savings account and set up a monthly or weekly transfer into your current account. Withdraw a set amount on the same day every week, never carry more than a single day's money and don't supplement it by borrowing from friends.
Get into the habit of comparing prices and taking advantage of offers and student discounts.
If you are self-catering, plan and shop for a week's meals at a time - home cooked food is cheaper than takeaways, ready meals or eating out. Shop at the end of the day, when markets and supermarkets often reduce prices, and bulk buy with friends to save more.
Where possible, borrow books from libraries or buy second-hand, and set strict spending limits for going out and other luxuries.
Don't dip into your overdraft until it is unavoidable - and bear in mind that all borrowing has to be paid back eventually. Never go over the agreed limit without permission, as paying penalty charges is like burning money.
Don't be tempted by offers of credit and store cards, and don't even consider taking out a payday loan: the interest rates are crippling.
Ms Bleakley added: "If you need help with managing your money or are worried you are getting into difficulty, don't hesitate to seek free advice. All universities have student money advisors."
Finding part-time work can help keep your head above water, and campuses often have a job shop or employment service specialising in student opportunities. But think about how you will combine working and studying, and make sure you are not charged more income tax than necessary.
It is also important to think about insurance. Aviva says the average student's possessions, including electronic gadgets, laptops and bikes, are worth £1725, and as many as a third could become victims of burglary or other theft.
Jonathan Cracknell, the insurer's underwriting manager, said: "Students are a high risk group when it comes to theft, and clearly safety and security are not the first things on their minds. But it's important to take simple precautions to protect their belongings."
The first step should be to read the small print of your parents' home contents policy, as this may provide student cover during term time. If this doesn't apply and you are going into college or university accommodation, check whether tenants receive automatic contents cover.
If this isn't sufficient or you are living off campus, take out a stand-alone student policy. Find a good deal is via price comparison websites, but don't just go for the cheapest without checking it gives all the cover you need.
Mr Cracknell added: "Very basic measures, like ensuring your student room or house is properly secured and not left open for anyone to wander in, will help reduce the chances of being a victim of crime. And don't flash expensive gadgets around when you are out and about."