Everyone loves to save money, especially when you’re living on an income that is limited by design. If you’re a student, chances are you are always looking for ways to stretch your dollar as far as it can go. Over time, we’ve learned some very valuable and unique ways to save money every day of the week, so we’ve decided to put together this list of the top ten student money saving tips that will help you tight your belt and keep your money right where it belongs – in your pocket! Here they are…
How to save money as a student
Money saving tip 1: Learn how to budget
One of the best money saving tips for students is to learn how to budget. You’ll need to figure out how much money you have coming in and going out each month. This will help you make informed decisions about your spending. There are a few different ways to budget, so find one that works for you and stick to it.
For example, you could create a spreadsheet to track all your monthly sources of income and all your regular monthly outgoings. That way you’ll know how much you have left over for your weekly shop, drinks with friends and your Netflix subscription.
Money saving tip 2: Smart food shopping
If you want to save money as a student, one of the best places to start is with your food shopping. Here are some tips to help you out:
– Eat less meat: Vegetarian meals can be much cheaper than those containing meat, while still being nutritious and delicious. Many supermarkets have weekly vegetarian deals on items such as pasta or soup that provide great value for money. It’s also easy to make healthy vegan meals yourself!
– Bulk up: Avoid purchasing small amounts of perishable foods that can go off quickly; instead buy in bulk when it’s cheap and then use them sparingly throughout the week or month.
– Cook at home: Making your own food is often significantly cheaper than eating out. If you’re looking for something new to try, look through recipes online. You’ll likely find that this strategy saves you heaps over time and leads to tastier meals too!
– Think about cost per kilo/litre/unit: The price of any product will vary depending on the unit (i.e. kilograms, litres) so always check which one suits your needs best before making a purchase. For example, buying apples by weight may seem more expensive but they’ll last longer and there will be no wastage since you won’t need so many units of apple slices in order to get the same amount of fruit. Buying vegetables by volume might be cheaper but if you cook vegetables from scratch you could end up wasting a lot more. Shopping around for these types
of products will not only save you money, it’ll mean that you avoid wasting ingredients and getting stuck with an overflowing fridge full of rotting produce!
– Fill your freezer: Having frozen goods in the freezer means that once your ingredients run out, all you need to do is pull them out and cook them. It’s much easier than trekking down to the shops just because one meal has run out and means that even if money gets tight there will always be food available.
Money saving tip 3: Be clever with bills
When it comes to bills, be clever and take advantage of any discounts or deals available to you. If you’re moving into new accommodation don’t simply resign with existing suppliers. Haggle and make suppliers fight for your custom! The best way to do this is to search online for ‘student discounts’ or ‘money saving tips for students’.
You could also ask around and see if any of your friends know of any good deals. If you find a good deal, make sure you take advantage of it! Or, why bother with sorting out your bills if you don’t have to? Our The Stay Club accommodation sites across London have studios and suites with bills included.
Money saving tip 4: Use public transport
Public transport can be a great way to save money as a student. These days it’s definitely cheaper than driving, and you can avoid the hassle of finding parking. Plus, you can use the time on the bus or train to catch up on reading or get some work done. Or, invest in a bike or walk into uni. That way you can get in your daily exercise.
Money saving tip 5: Importance of pre-drinks
It’s no secret that student life can be pretty tough on the ol’ bank balance. Drinking and nights out are known to drain your student loan. Student bar deals may be tempting, but they won’t be as cheap as mixing your own beverages at home. So, make the most of pre-drinks. Invite friends over for pres before a big night out- that way you’ll save a couple of quid that you otherwise would’ve used to buy unnecessary jaagerbombs.
Money saving tip 6: Don’t buy textbooks
You’ll be enrolled in different classes each semester. Each class will probably require a different textbook – and textbooks aren’t cheap. There are ways to avoid spending your dough on a bit of paper. Most textbooks will be stocked in your university library – either online or as physical copies. Actual textbook numbers will vary, so it’s wise to get in there quickly. Alternatively, you could buy a secondhand copy. Lots of students will be wanting to get rid of their old textbooks for a cheaper price.
Money saving tip 7: Finesse the fitness
There needn’t be a price to get fit. Gym memberships can be spenny but many offer fantastic student deals. Shop around to find the best deal for you. For example, the difference between a
£30 pcm membership and £40 is £120 per year. Or, you could find accommodation which also offers gym access. The Stay Club’s Camden and Kentish Town accommodation have gyms onsite. So you’ll have no excuses to miss a workout sesh.
Money saving tip 8: Cook, don’t order
One of the best ways to save money as a student is to cook your own meals rather than ordering in or eating out. Deliveroo may be tempting, but you can’t afford to be spending £15 on your dinner every evening. It may take a bit more effort, but rustling something up in the kitchen is worth it when you see how much money you’re saving. Plus, you can get creative with your cooking and try new recipes that you otherwise wouldn’t have had the chance to try.
Money saving tip 9: Watch out for student deals
Many businesses offer student discounts if you have a valid student ID. Whether it’s a percentage off your total purchase, or a freebie with a purchase, these deals can save you big time. Be sure to ask about student discounts before you make any major purchases! Check out the NUS TOTUM card, Student Beans and UNiDAYS.They can help you save money on purchases at places like Apple, Boots and Spotify. Don’t forget that students often get access to free software such as Microsoft Office via their universities – so see what deals your uni can offer you!
Money saving tip 10: Get the most from your bank
A great way to save money as a student is to get the most from your bank. Many banks offer free or discounted services for students, so be sure to shop around and see what your options are. Some offer free CoachCards, TasteCards or other discounts when you sign up. But don’t be too easily persuaded by shiny deals. Instead, aim for the biggest and longest 0% interest overdraft deal possible and never go over your overdraft limit.
Don’t just bank with whoever offers the most attractive freebie, weigh up all the pros and cons. Use lazy saving to stockpile cash for a rainy day by rounding up or saving-the-change of the cost of goods bought and stashing it away in a savings account see what overdraft options they offer. You can also take advantage of online banking and mobile apps to help you keep track of your finances and budget more effectively.
Dealing with debt
A big drain on savings can be servicing debt if it’s not paid off when it’s due. With access to large overdrafts and student loans, it can be very easy for students to slip into debt. Remember, you’ll have to start paying this debt back as soon as you graduate! No one wants to graduate with debt, but it’s unfortunately a reality for many students. If you find yourself in this situation, there are a few things you can do to minimise the impact of debt on your life. But there are some things that you can do to make debt easier to deal with.
Don’t panic! Panicking doesn’t solve anything and there is always a solution to paying off debt. Most importantly, try to prioritise paying debt off. As soon as you get paid each month, pay off a bit of your debt. Student loan debt is automatically paid when you’re earning above the threshold so there’s no need to worry about that. But, when it comes to getting out of your overdraft, try reducing the limit each time you get paid – to make spending further seem less attractive.
Also, do reach out for advice if struggling. There’s no point struggling on your own. Citizens advice has lots of resources to help you deal with money issues.
Hopefully if you follow our top 10 tips, you’ll be saving money in no time! You can still do all the things you love, just on a student budget.