It’s not surprising that wanting to live student life to the full and have the best experience at university comes at a cost.
With this in mind, we’ve put together 5 ways to make your money stretch further, including things that you can cut out and won’t even miss, so you can live comfortably on your student loan and have the ultimate good time at university.
Have a budget
One of the best ways to stop impulse buying and save money is to put a budget together – and stick to it! There are plenty of finance apps that can help you budget and allow you to put spending limits in place, so you don’t blow your whole student loan on the first day.
We’re probably all guilty of signing up to more subscription services than we need. A quick and easy way to save money is to cancel the ones you rarely use.
Simple things like paying bills when they are due and remembering to cancel free trials before the trial period ends, will mean you avoid unnecessary added charges.
Shop for the best deals
A tight budget doesn’t mean things have to be boring, there’s plenty of free events and student discounts to take advantage of. Your money will soon be going further when you start going to free museums and festivals and enjoying heavily discounted meal deals and drinks.
Remember to make full use of comparison sites to avoid overspending on utility bills and shop around for the best current deals, rather than auto-renewing at a premium.
When considering a new phone, look at cheaper alternatives and don’t fall into the trap that you always need to upgrade your phone for the latest model – there’s plenty of money to be saved, if you don’t!
Think before you drink
Grabbing a coffee whilst you’re out, is something you don’t even really consider, but doing it several times a week soon adds up. Start making your coffee at home instead and you’ll soon notice a difference to your spending.
Another great idea to cut down on waste (and save money!) is to remember to take a reusable water bottle with you, so you don’t have to buy bottled water when you are out. Some cafes will also give discounts if you take a reusable cup for your coffee (if you really can’t wait until you get home).
Cutting down on drinking, or enjoying drinks at home before you head for a night out, will also help you save.
Shop wisely for food
Making a meal plan and a shopping list will encourage you to only buy essential items and keep your food bill low. With a fully stocked fridge and cupboard, you’ll also be less likely to spend out on expensive takeaways.
One of the best tips for saving money is to stop buying branded products and switch to own label. You’ll be able to reduce your average bill by 30% and you won’t even be able to taste the difference!
The end of the day is a good time to go food shopping, as there will be plenty of reduced yellow sticker items, you’ll be surprised how often you can get 75% off food. Don’t forget to cash in coupons and supermarket loyalty points too.
If you switch to shopping in a discount supermarket, you’ll see another big reduction in your weekly outgoings. It’s also worth investigating where your nearest Community Cupboard is, as they are a great way to cut down on food waste and get free food.
Choosing to cook meals with your housemates will also mean you can bulk buy at a cheaper price and share the overall cost.
It’s so easy to call for a taxi or an uber to get around quickly, but swapping these journeys for public transport, or even healthier alternatives like walking or cycling will make a big difference to the money you have left over.
Planning travel ahead will also save you heaps. For longer journeys, or trips home, you can buy cheaper train tickets 12 weeks in advance. You’ll also find buying split tickets will keep the cost down, as will investing in a 16-25 Railcard so you can get a third off.
Looking to start your academic journey? Our friendly advisors can help. Call us today on +44 (0)23 9283 9210.