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17 money saving tips for students – words Alexa Wang
If you’re off to university this September you’ll undoubtedly feel a sense of anticipation unlike any you have felt before. There are a lot of exciting changes that will come your way on this amazing adventure. The most impelling of the things you will gain when you go to university is, of course, the freedom.
There are two sides to every coin though, and that’s exactly what this article is for, to teach you how to save those pennies. The true cost of university of England can be a mystery, therefore we’ve compiled a list of money saving tips for students on how to get you through with money to spare.
Before you move in
September will come around faster than you think with all the fun you’ll be having over the summer months, so it’s important to get some things sorted out in advance.
1. See if you can enlist the help of “The Bank of Mum & Dad”
Whether it’s beer money, the first grocery shop, or a lift to university – no gift is too small.
2. Bring the essentials with you
Cutlery, saucepans, soap and toilet paper – you’ll undoubtedly be downgrading from the luxury soft once you start budgeting.
Save at home
Save by staying in or preparing before you go out at home. But how?
3. Food shops
All university towns have budget supermarkets which smart students take advantage of regularly. Trust us, the money you can save by shopping in the cheaper stores will add up fast.
4. Eat at home
The biggest culprit of money wasting for students is frivolous fast-food orders. Up in advance by keeping some oven pizzas in freezer for a late night post-club snack to avoid ordering a takeaway.
5. Supermarket delivery services
Not all delivery services are bad. Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury’s run either free or super-cheap delivery on groceries and alcohol providing you spend a certain amount. Bring everyone together by doing your weekly shop with your flat-mates so you can save together.
Out and about
University is about gaining new knowledge, meeting new people and learning life lessons, but once in a while you’ll need to cut loose. Here’s how to avoid unnecessary spending while out.
6. Split the fares
Booking taxis in advance is always cheaper than getting in a meter cab on the street because their fixed prices are not subject to traffic problems. Organise transport in advance, and fill all of the seats with your friends to save on travel – the fare will be cheaper split four ways.
7. Bars and clubs
Student nightlife is exciting and extravagant, with special offers targeted to students specifically. You’ll see people touting these deals all over down, so keep those eyes peeled.
8. Student discount
There are so many student discount deals out there. If you want to find them you have to ask at the checkout – Topshop, Pizza Express and McDonalds are known for providing year-round student discounts.
Getting to class
One thing you can’t escape is going to your lectures, so here’s a few ways you can avoid the inevitable hidden costs of studying.
9. Get a bus pass
Pretty much every public transport service has a scheme for students, and these are more often that not in the form of a bus pass – buy yours at the start of the year to cash in earlier and save more.
10. Order your books second hand
The university will probably have their own on-site stationer and bookshop. Be advised, these will be much most expensive than shopping for second hand versions online.
11. You’re never too old for a packed lunch
Bring lunch with you from home, simple as that. You won’t believe how much money you will save by cooking at home and sticking it in some tupperware.
Which bank are you with and why? You could be missing a great deal elsewhere.
12. Choose your accounts wisely
Banks are always putting together special offers – from railcards to actual money – so shop around before you open your student account. It is also a good idea to open a second account dedicated to savings that you don’t want to accidentally spend while at university.
13. The dreaded overdraft
Think long and hard about whether an overdraft is for you, and if so how much you are realistically going to need. It’s very easy to spend money you don’t have, especially when you can’t see it disappearing.
Budget, budget, budget
If you follow all of the advice in this article you will definitely have a leg up financially. But there is nothing more important than budgeting.
14. Apps and services
There are hundreds of apps – both free and cheap – which are targeted at students looking to keep on top of their spending. Check out Mint, Pocket Guard and Good Budget to see which works best for you.
15. Important dates
Keep a note of when your student loan payments are coming in and when your rent is due. Budgeting is all about time-frames, so you’ll need to know when your next lump sum is coming in or out.
Next year you’ll be older, wiser and most likely in a house with people you chose to live with. Don’t forget these simple tips to get by after first year.
16. Student landlords
Landlords take advantage of students often, so make sure you and your guarantor understand the contract you are signing – it’s better to be safe than sorry.
17. Learn from your mistakes
Most importantly, remember what did and did not work for you. If you ran over budget or had to pay late rent penalties, make sure it doesn’t happen again.