Final semester is underway, here are some of our top tips in becoming a student money saving expert:
1. Pay rent ASAP
Hall fee charges aren’t always due when your loan arrives. With such a large amount of money boosting your finances, it’s easy to get carried away! An easy way to avoid the frantic scramble is to pay your rent as soon as you can or set up a different account and transfer your rent into it. This way you can see what you have left to spend on yourself.
2. Be careful with societies
When you first enrol to university, freshers are faced with hundreds of eager societies, all begging for membership. As tempting as it is to sign up for every club possible, only join societies you can see yourself actually attending throughout university, you’ll regret that £60 sailing society membership you’ve never been to when it comes to the end of semester!
3. Shopping Lists
Going shopping without a list can be simply disastrous. As good as it feels to be buying everything that catches your eye around the supermarket, when you go to cook a meal, you might not be quite so happy! Make a vague meal plan for the week and work out exactly what you need, that way you have minimal wastage and will keep down your food shop prices.
4. Closing time discounts
A lot of shops have massive discounts on fresh food around closing times. Do your shop an hour before the supermarket closes to save money! You can get a lot of good deals, however some days there might not be much left so make sure you have enough food at home for a meal if you shop this way.
5. Don’t shop hungry
Shopping when you’re hungry can wrack up some pretty impressive bills. Wandering around a supermarket surrounded by tempting treats is generally a tragic end for your bank account. Save yourself that £20 and eat before you shop!
6. Student discounts
Discounts are the joy of being a student! Everybody wants to give you money off in exchange for your custom. Be sure to download apps such as Unidays and Student Beans for money off shops, restaurants and activities.
7. …But be careful
Student discounts can also be a deadly trap. Don’t buy something just because there’s a discount, that way you end up spending more than intended and go home with an unnecessary addition for your already overcrowded room. Remember, small expenses add up!
8. Drink before going out
Nights out can be expensive, alcohol being the main culprit. To reduce the amount of money spent on alcohol, have most of your drinks for the night before you go out. Buying drinks in bulk is far cheaper than single drinks in the venue.
9. Cash on nights out
A financial crisis is the last thing you want to deal with the morning after. Each tap of your contactless is money gone, but it doesn’t feel that way. A good way to avoid this happening is to use cash on your night out. That way, you are conscious of what you’re spending and will think twice before buying that round of drinks!
10. Double it, then buy it
The freedom of university can make clothes, tattoos and piercings seem even more tempting, and many students end up blowing their bank in these spending sprees. A top way to make sure this doesn’t happen to you is to make sure you have twice the amount of money needed spare before buying luxuries.
Stick to your budget and follow this advice and you’ll soon be saving money. Make sure to keep an eye on your bank account to check you aren’t miscalculating your balance!