So, here’s how to make the most of your money while you are a student:
Create a budget
It’s so easy for your money to disappear if you don’t pay attention to what you are spending it on. Before you know it, you are in your overdraft and wondering how you are going to afford the weekly shop, let alone a night out with your coursemates.
So, create a budget each week, starting with the essentials – rent, bills and food. Then have an amount you can spend on socialising and purchasing non-essential items as well as an amount you want to put into savings. This way you’ll never spend beyond your means but will always have that back up of savings for a rainy day.
Before you do the food shop, plan your meals for the week and then create a shopping list and stick to it. Consider meals that you can batch cook for lunches too. Remember, you’ve got a food budget – you don’t want to go over it, especially if it’s going to end up going to waste.
Look for discounts and shop in bulk when you can, to make savings there too. You could also share the cost by doing your food shop with a housemate and go towards the end of the day when you are more likely to find things have been discounted.
Use apps like TopCashback
When you are shopping online, whether you’re treating yourself to a takeaway or buying a new outfit, use apps like TopCashback. You simply search for the shop, click through to the site and then shop as normal. But, afterwards, you’ll receive a percentage of the cost back. It may only be pennies but it will start to add up over time.
Get loyalty cards
It’s worth signing up to loyalty cards, especially if you shop in the store regularly. A Tesco clubcard or Boots advantage card will mean you get points for every item you buy. These add up and when they get to a certain amount become money that can be taken off your next shop.
Look out for student discounts
There are many places that offer student discounts – so make sure you take advantage of these while you can. You just need to flash your student card and you could be saving quite significant amounts of money. This can be off everything from trains and restaurants to clothing and electronics. Check out websites like Save the Student and UNiDAYS to see where you can be saving money.
Search for voucher codes
Before you buy anything online, check to see if there is a voucher code. Simply type in ‘shop name’ followed by voucher code and if there are any, you’ll be able to find them. This will then give you even more money off the shop you’re already doing through TopCashBack.
Shop second hand
There are many benefits to shopping second hand – not only is it better for the planet, it will also save you a significant amount of money. From your coursebooks to clothing, these items may be pre-loved but they can also still be as good as new.
So, if you are a student make your money go further – by ensuring you are never spending more than you have to.