As it was results day, I’m sure that soon-to-be university students are gearing up for the move. Oh, how I miss those IKEA trips. Whilst heading towards a new stage in life is exciting, there’s always a recurring worry about student life. Money. Being a student comes with its financial woes. With that in mind, here are my student money saving tips, so you focus on enjoying the uni experience, rather than stressing about your bank account.
Student Money Saving Tips
If you’re not doing this already, then start now. Student discounts are brilliant. Even if it’s just 10%, every penny counts. The best student discount provider in my opinion is NUS. Whilst you pay to get a card, it’s worth it. You don’t have to spend time at tills waiting for your phone, simply show your card.
NUS still has an app for online purchases and it’s useful to see where you can get a discount. If physical cards are a thing of the past for you, then I recommend downloading UNiDAYS and Student Beans for discounts. I’d say that overall, NUS has the best discounts though.
A big expense for me over the past two years has been travel. Whilst coaches are a lot cheaper than trains, the journeys are much longer. Despite the fact that I had to change on the train to get home and the coach was direct, train was always more appealing. The cost is an issue though.
The solution? Get yourself some student travel cards. The 16-25 railcard is a life saver, with 1/3 off rail costs. Again, you have to pay for the card, but you soon see the rewards. If you get a Santander student bank account though, you get the card for free, which is what I did.
The National Express coachcard works in a similar way, with a 1/3 off fees. I don’t have this though, as NUS do a coach discount and the prices aren’t bad anyway.
As tempting as it may be to pop to the closest shop every other day to keep your supplies topped up and rely on ready meals to reduce cooking, let me tell you now, this is the most expensive way to shop. Plan ahead when it comes to meals and try to do one big shop a week. If you have some spare time at the weekend, cook in big batches and freeze portions for the days when lectures finish late. I know it’s hard, but do take the time to cook fresh meals, rather than opt for takeaways and ready meals. Healthier and cheaper! (Also, something which I know students will hate me for saying, cutting back on alcohol will save you A LOT of money)
A student money saving tips essential! Ashamed to say this is something I only started doing in 2nd year but keeping a record of your spending is a must! Whether it’s an Edexcel spreadsheet or notes on your phone, do what works for you. Set yourself a weekly or monthly budget and stick to it. Write down everything you spend, even if it’s 50p. I suggest weekly budgeting as you only have to last a week before the new budget kicks in. An advantage to keeping track of your spending is that it’s so satisfying when you spend less than your budget and the money rolls over to the next week.
Think before you spend
One of my main student money saving tips to conclude and this relates to all of the above. Think before you spend. As an impulse buyer, I had to drill this into me big time. Asking yourself pretty deep questions is the way to go. Is this really going to benefit me? Do I need (not want) this? Could the money be put to better use?
What are your go-to tricks for saving money?
Feature image source: Pixabay