Savvy Student: 10 Ways to have more money as a student


1. Work before going to university and utilise your long summer before term begins. Getting a summer job or organising employment before getting to university can really reduce the worry of overspending, especially during freshers week. I had a gap year before attending university and worked part-time for half a year before going travelling. After travelling I still ensured I had a cushion of money in my bank account should I need it during university.

2. Budget before going to university and have a grasp on how much you have. In the UK, this normally consists of a tuition fee loan, maintenance loan, maintenance grant, any other bursaries or scholarships and of course any money you personally have. The key to making a sensible budget is to remember that a loan is  a loan, and not just free money. Work out how much money you have each week to play with, and come up with a suitable budget that leaves you with enough on the side for leisure activities, but that also saves a little bit in case there are any unexpected expenses. University is so expensive now that minimising the amount of debt you rack up is important whilst still making sure you enjoy yourself. These budgeting skills will help you so much when you leave education too.

3. Don't get sucked into bank freebies when choosing a student bank account. It's very easy to choose the closest bank to you, or the one offering freebies but make sure to do your research. Many of my friends dipped into their overdraft whilst at uni, so assess if this is something you're likely to do. If so, make sure you go for the biggest 0% overdraft bank account possible in case you run into money troubles. Ask yourself does the freebie such as a railcard make it worth getting a lower percentage bank account if you're likely to go into your overdraft? For some it is, and for others having a bigger overdraft is a necessity.

4. Learn how to cook and skip the ready meals as they're really expensive! Buying big batches of rice, pasta etc etc makes it a lot cheaper to eat as well as being way healthier.

5. Be shopper savvy and shop around for things. In third year me and my housemate Sam would often buy fruit and veg from the local market (which was waaaaay cheaper than any supermarket) and divide up things like big bags of peppers as we were both addicted to roast vegetables. And don't shy away from places like Poundland for basics like shampoo and kitchen roll!

6. Consider getting a part-time job to fund your student lifestyle. I actually didn't spend a lot of money at all at university, however I did have a car and insurance to pay and my maintenance grant wasn't all that big. I got a part-time job and worked only Sundays and the occasional evening and managed to pay for my weekly outgoings with it. During the summers I babysat when I was on holiday to fund petrol money and the cost of the ferry to France so I wasn't delving into my savings. I know a lot of my friends didn't have jobs during university, but they were able to ask for money when they needed it. Keeping as financially independent as possible is actually a really good lesson to learn at university and it prepares you for the "real world" afterwards.

7. Pre-drink and get water when you're out, trust me it saves so much money, as well as a hangover! I'd spend £4 on wine for predrinks and wouldn't have to spend anything else for the night. Tap water is always free in clubs, and they have an interest in making sure everyone keeps hydrated!

8. Ditch the fast food on the way home from a night out and have something you can munch on when you're at home ready. I often had chips in the freezer ready to cook when I got home which would also make me remember to down a pint of water! Some of my friends loved having toast, so would have that when they got in.

9. Share clothes instead of spending all that loan on the latest fashion pieces. Dresses and accessories often got circulated throughout our friendship group which saved a lot of money- especially on things you would only wear a few times.

10. Don't buy textbooks, just get them in the library. I had instances of people running to the library to get the books before everyone else, but with some books going for £20+ a pop, its worth the sweat! I became much better at this by my third year at uni, and often got the books out at the beginning of term ready to write my assignments as i knew once the deadlines started approaching there would be a mad rush for them.

What are your student money saving tips?


4 comments

  1. Some really useful tips!

    I have saved a bunch of money in comparison to alot of friends as I have always resisted the takeaway, and never bought any drinks at the bar. I always pre-drink and 30p cornflakes/20p Tesco noodles is my post drinking snack of choice after a big night out!

    Getting to the club before 11 for free entry has definitely been the biggest saver for me!
    xx

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    1. Resisting the takeaway is always a good idea! It saves so much money when you calculate how many times you go out. That's a good idea to arrive at a club before they start charging an entry fee :)

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  2. Kyriam |effervescent life by K15 February 2015 at 15:21

    My #1 easy tip is: make your own coffee or tea at home, instead of buying at Starbucks or something! This is between 2 to 5$ each day that can save up to a lot of money !

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  3. Such a good idea Kyriam! Visiting Starbucks or your local coffee chain can definitely rack up A LOT of money over a year! Thanks so much for your comment

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