Students love spending money. Students love complaining that they don’t have money.
Seems like a paradox? I know I’m generalising but this is my experience after 3years of uni.
I get it. The student loan system sucks. But we have to play with the cards we’re dealt.
So here are 5 practical tips on how to have cash left at the end of every month.
Plan your meals
Living in student accommodation for the past three years taught me one thing. We just love fast food and takeaways.
According to data collected from HungryHouse, students spend over £900 a year on takeaway food.
Avoid this pitfall and plan your meals. Try to make the planned meals easy to cook so you don’t get demotivated.
It’s ok to eat takeaways too – But try to only eat takeaway food once every fortnight and give the uni meal deals a miss if you can.
Ditch your habits (Coffee and snacks included)
A few weeks back I wrote an article showing how coffee could be costing you £806 a year. This also applies as one of my student money saving tips!
Whilst we all need that late night revision boost once in a while, grabbing a coffee every day into uni isn’t necessary. Not only will it limit the boost you get from drinking coffee but it’ll also burn a hole in your pocket.
I’ll put crisps, pop and sweets in the same category. You’ll be surprised at how much buying the odd snack here and there will damage your wallet and maybe even your health.
Try this: For a fortnight, keep a log of your snacks spending. Once you’re done imagine that money in your bank account instead!
This is my favourite. Complaining can really pay off.
Bad service at a restaurant?
Food not up to scratch?
Or just not happy?
I often use resolver to complain for me. It’s quick, easy and rewarding. I’ve gotten anything from a free coffee to £60 straight into my bank account.
BUT Don’t rush straight for your nearest coffee shop! Only spend it when you would have used cash anyway.
Don’t get sucked in by discount
Marketing people are geniuses. They can make you think you’re saving money, by making you spend money.
If you’re local takeaway is offering 20% off for one weekend only, and you order a £10 takeaway because of the offer you’re not saving money.
News flash: You didn’t just save £2. You spent £8!
Companies often offer ‘student lock-ins’ and all sorts of initiatives to help you ‘save’ money, when in fact they’re ploys to make you spend money.
Avoid this trap by only buying something that’s on offer if you would have bought it anyway.
Don’t rush into any contract
When you get to uni you probably want to rush straight in and buy a gym membership, get a TV licence and get drunk.
Going on a spending spree will leave you skint for the rest of uni. Digging yourself out of that overdraft is harder than you think.
So, PAUSE before you buy anything;
Don’t rush into gym memberships – Just because a company has a stand at the freshers fayre doesn’t make them the cheapest.
Places at freshers fayres are sometimes even reserved exclusively for university services in some sectors. If the uni has a gym, I doubt they’d be letting a competitor pitch a stall!
A TV License costs nearly £150 a year – But if you only use it to watch catch up TV (except BBC iPlayer) then you don’t need one.
If you do watch live TV or BBC iPlayer content, think if you could go without it for some cash in your pocket.
Insurance – Probably the most important tip. At freshers events you’re always going to have pushy sales people try and sell you contents insurance or mobile phone insurance.
Shop around! They’ll say they’re the cheapest – but they probably aren’t.
Check price comparison websites such as money supermarket before buying.
It’s also worth noting the plethora of exceptions that sometimes make insurance virtually pointless.
Common exceptions include ‘not covered’ ;
- For accidental loss
- If water damaged
- If stolen from a home when there are no signs of forced entry
I even had someone try and sell me laptop insurance that didn’t cover laptops that wouldn’t turn on. Chances are, if it doesn’t work it wont turn on!
It’s also common to see agreements that don’t start for 14days after you’ve signed the contract. So, if you smash your phone at a club the week after you bought insurance. Tuff luck!
Remember, if you’re struggling with cash universities often have a money advice service that will help you free of charge. It’s always important to get advice on any debts before things get worse.
Whilst my student money saving tips might help you avoid getting into a hole, it’s always best to get professional advice if things go seriously wrong.
I hope you enjoyed these student money saving tips and end up with extra cash at the end of every month (maybe to invest!)
Have any extra student money saving tips? Comment below.