It’s no fun being skint. Surprisingly, you may find that Uni life isn’t just about grafting for grades but also for money! Many students have to take a part time job just to cover their basic expenses. Furthermore, the government maintenance grant has been CRITICISED for not offering enough or limiting the maximum loan to a smaller margin of people. Those whose parents make neither too much or too little are finding that they are left in a financial limbo when it comes to a suitable maintenance grant allowance.
Hence the importance of saving, planning, and being wise with our money becomes clear. This guide offers 6 quick tips on saving you money so that you don’t have to worry as much!
1 Organise your shopping and meals!
You know all those health nuts that are meal prepping a week in advance? Well they’re not only cutting the calories but also their bills. If you spend a half hour just planning your shopping list and a few meals that you can make, you will be less inclined to buy that “meal deal” (where you purchase the meal deal with an additional sausage roll, can of Pringles, and energy drink). Prepping your meals is healthier and you will get much more for your buck if you take the time to plan good ingredients in bulk! Check out how to meal prep HERE.
2 Quit smoking (if you do)
I have a friend who loves a cig… smokes a 20 pack a day. He cut down when I told him how much he was spending, though! Let’s say that a 20 pack costs on average £7, 7 days a week, that’s £T.W.O. A.N.D. A H.A.L.F .T.H.O.U.S.A.N.D£ a year! And that’s with taking a week off! Roll-ups are cheaper, but if you are strapped for money, it may be worth kicking the expensive habit. You’ll thank yourself in 20 years and you’re £50,000 in pocket.
3 Choose cheaper accommodation (even if you can afford the expensive stuff)
Unless you’re a diva, you may find that you don’t need a top spec student flat to function. If you’ve enjoyed living in nicer accommodation but don’t mind ˜downgrading” to a humbler abode, you could save thousands of pounds across the year. After all, your student accommodation isn’t forever; at the end of the day, consider whether an extra £70 a week to have someone empty your bins or to have a fancy oven is really worth the premium cost! You can find a whole range of nice and affordable accommodations local to you at www.accommodationforstudents.com.
4 Really try to avoid payday loans.
Need to pay that deposit but don’t have any money? In a stressful situation, it’s easy to lock on to payday loans as a quick way out. These payday loans are not really out for your best interest, however. With APR ranging from 300-4000%, you’re going to be paying off an obscene amount when it comes to repayment. In the long term, you’ll lose money. The first thing you should do if you are in financial trouble (and your friends or family cannot help) is contact your university’s Student Hardship and/or Support Fund administrators. They ought to guide you and potentially provide some financial relief if you are in a real fix! You can check out this guide on accessing additional cash if you need it.
5 Get a student bank account.
Whether you believe you’re a pro budgeter or you admit to being awful with spending left right and centre, it’s worth taking advantage of a student current account. You never know when a big bill may come up, so it’s worth having the safety net of up to £3000 with 0% interest. For example, Santander offer a £2000 overdraft at 0% interest with the addition a four year railcard and up to 3% in credit interest. Other branches such as Barclays offer a £3000 overdraft at 0% interest with a 1% credit interest up to £1000. You can check to see what student account suits you HERE. Whether you think you’ll need the overdraft or not, the benefits of Santander’s railcard or HSBC’s £80 Amazon card and 1 year of student Prime can really add up!
6 Get your books for free
The cost of university textbooks can add up to the hundreds over the course of your semesters. But before you get all excited and order your entire reading list on Amazon, check to see which books are already available online through education portals or in the library. Of course, some of you may prefer a physical book than a digital copy; in which case, if you have to buy books, consider looking on eBay or the used section on Amazon instead of buying new copies.
Of course there are many more ways in which you can save cash. Some of these tips are not only money-savers, but healthy lifestyle choices! Try them out and see how you get on!