There’s nothing worse than being a few weeks into the term and realising that you’re bank account is already severely lacking in funds. All of those nights out, takeaways and shopping trips have finally caught up with you and now entering your overdraft seems like more of a certainty than a possibility.
But before you make that awkward phone call to Mum and Dad to ask for some extra money, have a look at some of these easy ways to save money at University…
“Do I really need this?”
This one question “do I really need this?” is what always goes through my mind when I buy stuff. Could I get a cheaper alternative or could I survive without it? You soon realise that you probably don’t need to buy as much stuff as you realise. It only takes a few seconds to stop and think about what you’re spending your money on and it could potentially save you a lot of money over time.
Whilst buying lunch on campus is okay once in a while, spending money on food every day easily adds up. Therefore, investing in a plastic container for bringing your lunch into Uni could be very useful.
Also, I personally find it quite hard to cook for one, so I often store my leftovers in the fridge and have them for lunch the next day. It depends on what I cooked, but if there’s not enough for a full lunch, I often make it into a sandwich or add some pasta/rice to it to bulk it up a bit! This way, you get two meals for the price of one! What’s not to love?!
Make your food shop go further
This is probably the part of your outcome that you can influence the most. It’s easy to let go a bit when you get distracted in the supermarket but if you go in with a plan and don’t get tempted by all the offers then you’ll probably save a lot… If you don’t already then make a list of meals which you’re going to cook over the next weeks before you go shopping. From this, you should know exactly what you need to buy and what you don’t.
Whilst it lasts, utilise your status as a student to get as much discount as possible. A lot of places offer 10/20% for showing a valid student card at the checkout, so it’s always worth asking the person behind the till whether or not they do a student discount.
Also, a hub for all things student discount is the mobile app/website Unidays which offers exclusive discounts for signing up for free!
Likelihood is that you’re only going to be using the majority of your books a few times before you try and sell it on for a few pounds. So why buy them brand new? Sites like Ebay and abe books sell books that are second hand for a fraction of the price. If you have friends that have already done your modules then ask them if they’re willing to sell theirs too. Yes, buy them brand new if you must, but consider it as a last resort if you can’t find a book anywhere else. I’ve bought quite a few books second hand in the past and they have ended up being brand new and still in its cellophane. Needless to say, it’s well worth having a bit of a search online before you get your books…
Find your own ways to cut the pennies!
Over time, you’ll eventually find your own easy ways to save a little bit of cash here and there as you become a seasoned student. For example, I’m a fan of getting a lime and soda at the SU bar for 30p instead of spending £1.40 for a pint of coke. Going to the supermarket in the evening is also a good idea as they try to sell their fresh goods off by offering massive discounts before they become unsellable.
Make your own money
If you find that you have a go at all of these tips and you still find yourself strapped for cash, then it might be worth trying to get a part time job alongside your studies. There are various part time roles and frontrunner placements available on campus through the University and the SU, so make sure you keep your eyes out for when they advertise. Also, keep an eye on career hub, an online vacancy board run by the university, to keep updated with what the wonderful people at the employability and careers centre are doing.