University is one of the most exciting times of our lives. You finally have the freedom to do what you want, meet new people and experience a new place – but it can also put pressure on your finances.
Nine out of 10 students worry regularly about money. With the constant temptation of going out socialising and only a student loan or part-time wage to get by on, it’s no wonder the stereotypical student lives on baked beans.
However, with a little saving savvy you can still have fun without waking up with a debt hangover. Here are four easy ways to get started:
Make a Budget
When your student loan lands in your account it can be tempting to blow it all – but you’ll thank yourself for making it last the whole term. Making a budget is a great way to start controlling your spending – make sure to factor in rent, bills, food and socialising, plus any study costs too.
Try to avoid factoring in your overdraft – once you go in to it, it can be hard to get out. There’s a lot of great free apps out there that you can use to track your spending and give yourself an idea of what you have left.
Learn to Cook
If it’s your first time away from home, it might be your first time cooking too. While it can seem like a hassle at first, cooking your own meals works out much cheaper than living off takeaways and ready meals – and it’s healthier too!
Making a meal plan will help you avoid waste by only buying what you need. Try to avoid shopping when you’re hungry as this way you’ll be less tempted into impulse buys.
Buy Second Hand
You can make huge savings by buying used items. If you’re moving into a student home, try hunting around charity shops for bargain furniture, while if you want a new outfit for a night out, vintage shops often have great options for a fraction of the price.
If you need to drive to campus, you can find high-quality used cars on trusted dealership sites such as Unbeatablecar.
Maximise Student Discounts
There are lots of perks to student life. Many high-street stores offer discounts in-store with your student ID, while there are also online schemes that can you can sign up to for free to get money off things like music streaming subscriptions and gym memberships.
If you’re not sure if a shop or website does offer student discount, there’s no harm in asking.