This month, I start University. And the extortionate prices of student accommodation means I need to contribute a large proportion of my own money towards halls, as my loan no where near covers it. I work full-time at the moment and I am keeping my job when I go to Uni by reducing my hours to one day a week, however I have, as expected, not managed to save enough money yet.
So, I am writing this post as a promise… a promise to myself to not make any unnecessary purchases this month. I have set the following 9 money-saving tips everyone (not just students) can use:
1. Write down the things you HAVE to pay for
For example your phone bill, food, car payments, bus tickets etc… the things you just have to pay for without the help of the bank of mum and dad.
2. Organise your money into different accounts
Put all other “disposable” money into a savings account – if any unexpected payments need to be made, you’ll still be able to access the money quickly! And online banking helps you set these up in seconds.
3. Don’t avoid checking your bank balance…
We all do it. But keep a track of all transactions – write down (or use a fancy App) all transactions that you make, even if it was only 75p! This will allow you to track all of your spending and you’ll know exactly where your money has gone for the month!
4. You’ll be surprised how much money you spend on lunch and snacks
Take pack-lunches to work and spend no money on snacks – that means no 3pm chocolate bar from the vending machine at work when you’re feeling peckish! If you want snacks, it always works out better buying a multi pack from a supermarket, than a single bar of chocolate.
5. Use cash
If you do treat yourself to a night out (c’mon you’re a Student), take out cash before you go out and leave your card at home. This way you’re more aware of how much you spend when you physically hand the money over, rather than tapping your contactless away and not being able to keep an eye on what’s going out!
6. Walk straight past that H&M
No shopping trips! Only allow yourself to purchase essentials and have the occasional window shop. This has to be one of the hardest things when you’re at uni and trying to look your best.
7. Cook for your mates!
Instead of going out for dinner, try cooking something new – this will save money and hopefully improve any diabolical culinary skills! It will be so much fun to have friends around, and maybe you can take in turns to cook for each other.
8. There’s plenty of free activities
Fill the weekend with free things to do – e.g. trips to the seaside (but take a picnic and stay away from the fish and chips), going for bike rides, visiting the museums and having movie nights at home.
9. One man’s trash…
… is another man’s treasure. Look at ways of earning a few quid – I think I might try a car boot sale and an eBay selling spree.
So please wish me luck on my saving adventure – hardly an adventure I know, it’s actually going to be torture, but positive thinking and that!
10. Free postage and packaging
You can actually get free ‘Amazon student prime’ for 6 months on trial, and as long as you cancel before the end of the 6 months you pay absolutely nothing! I set a reminder on my phone calendar the day before to ensure it doesn’t roll over.
11. O2 priority
If you are on O2 then you are eligible for O2 priority. I personally live for O2 priority moments, I got free popcorn at the cinema four times in a row. If that doesn’t convince you then I don’t know what will
12. Points cards
If you spend a lot in certain shops then always check to see if they have a points card. That way you can build up points when you do make purchases and spend less the next time you shop there.
If anyone has any other money saving advice, PLEASE do let everyone know in the comments below!