Being a university student living away from home, you’ll more than likely need to be a bit more frugal than when you were still living at home. Moving out and into student accommodation is a huge life change, and there are so many things you’ll have to learn. Here are some of our best tips for saving money and budgeting successfully as a student!
See what freebies you can get
Students don’t have to pay council tax, for example, and there will be all sorts of free entertainment offers available to you on campus. There are always plenty of deals offering students a free membership to an online service, a free hot drink or new product sample and so on. Keep your eyes peeled for these freebies and take advantage of them – every little helps.
Don’t forget student discount
Freebies are the dream, but don’t forget that so many places offer a student discount. From shops to restaurants to venues, you’ll be able to save a small percentage by flashing your student ID card. You can enjoy savings from Adobe and Apple to assist in your studies, from Domino’s when you want a treat, and from ASOS and Boohoo when you need a new outfit for an upcoming night out. These savings aren’t huge, but they do make a difference!
Make swaps where you can
Some things are important, but there are sacrifices you can make. Do you need to spend £11 on a shampoo or will the £2 version next to it do the trick? Try the supermarket’s own brand of soup instead of Heinz, and opt for no-name toilet roll rather than luxurious Andrex. It may take some getting used to if you usually go for the finer things in life, but as a student it is important to cut back where you need to and make the most of your budget.
Don’t have too many takeaways
It can be so easy to get sucked into ordering a takeaway after a long day of studying and socialising. But those £10 splurges here and there really do add up – and you can get a few days worth of food for that in your local Aldi or Lidl. Cooking can be so much fun, too. Get your flatmates and make a night of it, serving up make your own pizzas or DIY taco nights. You could even do a Come Dine With Me-style competition across the week. Loser washes all the dishes for a week…
Buy your books second-hand
For nine out of ten university courses, you’re going to need a variety of books. From novels to textbooks to journals, there is so much material out there which you’re likely to need at some point. Borrowing these from the library is ideal, as it costs nothing as long as you remember to return it on time. But if it’s something you need all year round (or for the entirety of your course) then you’re better off purchasing it. Look for it second-hand; students who have recently graduated are always eager to get rid of the bulky textbooks cluttering up their space. This will work out much cheaper for you!
Budgeting, like many things that come with being a student, isn’t always easy. But if you try your best then it will be worth it – especially as you won’t find yourself scrabbling for money when you’re waiting for the next loan to drop.