Students always want to save money, this is, of course, a given. Students are also generally either constantly strapped for cash or somewhat lacking when it comes to budgeting, saving money or money management – this is not a hard and fast rule however and we appreciate that there are many students out there who are skilled at managing their money! Nevertheless, we have put this piece together for all of the students out there. We will be explaining for you some of our favourite tips and tricks for saving money as a student, with the hope that you can follow them, learn from them, or make them your own in order to save yourself some cash!
Budget, Budget, Budget
There are many ways of budgeting as a student, however our favourite (and easily the simplest) is, when your loan amount comes in, split it down by week, and give yourself a weekly budget. If you are worried about sticking to your budget (which many of us are/would be) then it is a good idea to keep a track of everything you are spending. This will also give you a realistic idea about how effective your budget will be, as it’ll give you total clarity regarding expenditure and your spending habits.
Get Yourself A Student Overdraft
Student overdrafts are a godsend and chances are you won’t ever get offered better terms on any sort of overdraft again in your life! You can get a limit of up to £3000 (depending on which bank you go for) that will be completely interest-free and will remain interest-free for the duration of your course (with this period actually in some cases lasting for a few years after your graduation). Opening a student account with an overdraft attached may also come with an excellent freebie attached, such as an Amazon gift card or a railcard! Make sure you get the best terms for you – thankfully the only requirement for getting yourself an overdraft will be that you are a student in full time higher education!
Take Advantage Of Any And All Student Discounts!
As a student, you are entitled to a wide range of different discounts, from a wide range of different businesses, industries and companies. We recommend that you take advantage of as many of these as you can before you stop being a student! To best make use of your student-status regarding discounts, you need to get yourself a TOTUM card, formerly known as the NUS extra card. Having this card gives you unlimited (for as long as you are a student at least) access to some amazing discounts:
- 10% off at clothes outlets (Topman, ASOS)
- 10% off at participating co-ops
- Limited offers and exciting discounts at a ton of different restaurants
Once you have got the TOTUM card, have a browse of their website to see all of their offers and discounts.
Don’t Choose The Easy Option When It Comes To Food Shopping
If your university has a co-op on site, or an SU run shop, then it can be tempting to just get your food shopping there – do not do this! Not only is living off ready meals unhealthy, but you are throwing money out the window. Take the bus to the local Aldi, Lidl or Asda (generally the cheapest options when it comes to supermarkets) and stock your cupboards with food and ingredients that will last and that will make multiple meals. The following are more tips regarding shopping on a budget:
- Use packed lunches and get yourself a travel mug
- Buy in bulk (big bags of potatoes, rice, pasta)
- Share the meal/dinner duties with your flatmates or friends, splitting the cost of ingredients (or taking it in turn to buy the ingredients)
- Get familiar with the reduced section (and learn when supermarkets reduce their food)
This is of course just an example list and there are so many ways that you can save money on your weekly/monthly food shop.
Second Hand Is Your Friend
You can buy everything second hand nowadays and doing so will no doubt save you money. If you are in a course that requires a steady stream of new textbooks or expensive source materials, then buying second hand must be your first port of call. You can also buy the following items second hand for a fraction of their original cost:
- Course books, source materials, books (for English students)
- Clothes and sports equipment
- Furniture, such as sofas and coffee tables etc
- Ornaments, decorations for your room
If you find yourself in need of something, then always consider whether that something can be sourced second hand.
Consider Getting A Job
We appreciate that this is something that many students do not even want to consider. Juggling studies and employment can be a mental and literal challenge, however, if you have multiple free days, or if your workload is generally quite light, then getting a part time job can give you the cash injection you need each week to help you keep a strong grasp on your finances. University towns and cities are always in need of bar staff, waiters, or porters. Use Indeed or Monster to check your local vacancies.
How A Payday Loan Can Help You As A Student
As a student, we would always recommend that you exercise caution when it comes to securing yourself a payday loan, or any type of credit for that matter. This is because it can be difficult to repay your loan amount in full if your only source of income is your student loan. However, if you are in employment and earning above a certain figure then we would say that a payday loan can be a useful tool to help you out if you are experiencing short-term financial difficulty. We will run a credit and an affordability check against your application so that lender and loanee alike can be confident that that the loan amount will be paid off in full and on time. Get your application started here today!