Being a student is great – you get freedom for the first time, choose what to do and when to do it, and go wherever you want. It is also, however, synonymous with having no money. If you’re at university, or are heading there in September, we’ve compiled some tips on saving money as a student.
Give yourself a budget
Your student loan coming in is an exciting moment, and you feel like you’ve gone from rags to riches overnight. Do not lose this advantage over your finances by spending this all in the first two weeks. Instead, work out a budget for yourself, accounting for what you need to pay for and how long you need the loan to last. For an extra edge, try this Brightside Student Calculator.
Don’t Buy Every Textbook
You can do all of your required reading without buying all of the textbooks and anthologies, which can collectively cost a fortune. See if the library has copies you can read, or team up with a friend and buy half each. Just don’t use ‘not having a textbook’ as an excuse for not doing your reading for class!
Be Strict on That Daily Latte
It’s a nice treat to get a coffee every day when you’re walking to university, but that will add up over time. A £2 coffee over five days is £10, which over a year is £520. Cut down, choose less expensive options, or buy a flask and bring your own with you – just how you like it.
Plan Meals and Buy Food in Bulk
Plan your meals for the week, including lunches to take to university (for an extra saving) and dinners. Work with your housemates to bulk-buy essentials like toilet roll, pasta and cleaning products and put it together in a weekly shop. Order your food shop online to stop you making unnecessary impulse purchases.
Choose Low-Cost Travel
As a student, you should be able to travel everywhere at a discount. Grab a student bus pass to get around the city. If you can, you should walk where possible – because it’s free, eco-friendly and keeps you healthy!
Ask For a Discount
Shop and restaurant staff are used to being asked if they offer student discounts, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with trying to bag yourself a bargain! Do your research and find venues that offer students discounts in your area.
Make The Most of Free Events
Your student union will organise free events to encourage inter-student mingling. This could be film nights or sports events, all of which are free to attend. Try going along; it’s free entertainment, and you could end up making new friends as a result.
Get a Job
After all this, if you’re still struggling to make ends meet, you could take the pressure off yourself by getting a part-time job. Bars and restaurants are known to employ students, and will be used to working flexibly around your hours.