If you are a student, chances are you are not living the life of a rich and famous. Being a student goes hand-in-hand with being poor, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing after all, because that situation is forcing you to become more responsible and learn how to manage your expenses. If you are spending all of your money on booze and start borrowing for some food, then you won’t judge us for being worried for you. We will list the best ten tips that will help you save money, and if you are implementing them properly – you will literally change the quality of your student life.
1. Watch free, but legal TV!
BBC has imposed some license fee terms which allow you to watch and record the TV program as it is broadcasted only if you pay for the services. However, you don’t need that license if you want to watch on-demand TV via Internet, so we recommend you to buy a cable instead of buying your right to watch TV. If you connect the TV to your laptop, you will provide yourself with access to a lot of good-quality, but free viewing that will still be legal.
2. Invest some money in travel cards
If you purchase a 16-25 Railcard, you will be provided with a third off anytime you make a rail journey across the UK. This is not the only benefit you get from the Railcard, as it also provides you with access to competitions and partnership offers that can save you a lot of money on holiday and theatre options. If you want the card to be valid for one year, you will need to pay only £28 for it, but you can get a better offer if you pay £65 and buy a three-year card.
3. Ask for discounts all the time!
Searching for discounts online will stretch your budget a long way, but you should be aware of the fact that not all stores publish their discount offers. Don’t be shy and ask if the stores offer discounts for students, and make sure to always have your university card with you. You will be surprised by the fact that most stores have ‘hidden’ discounts and you will have access to great offers only if you ask for them.
4. Buy in bulk and cook from scratch
Buying ready meals in the supermarket is not only unhealthy, but it also destroys the fun you could have if you cooked your meals from scratch. Although learning how to be a good cook demands more effort and you’ll need to go through the phase of trial and error, it is a very rewarding experience for your wellbeing and your budget.
5. Invest in a printer!
As a student, you surely have to print a lot of material all the time. Printing options on the university campus are shamelessly expensive, so you will be happy to have a printer at home and get the work done cheaply and quickly. You won’t have to break the piggy bank to buy a decent printer, since there are great offers on the market today and this will be an investment that will pay off very soon.
6. Get a job!
If you are a regular shopper at a particular chain, ask if they offer jobs for students there. Working in retail is better then you imagine, since you will not only earn enough money for decent living, but you will also have access to some great staff discounts.
7. Hunt for free or cheap stuff!
If you search for them wisely, you will definitely find some hidden gems in the form of free and ridiculously cheap things right when you need them. Good deals are always available if you know how to search for them, so you can start researching local car boot sales first. Finding great books, accessories, CDs and clothes at super-cheap prices is not difficult at all if you visit some charity shops in your area. You will be surprised by the great things that can be found there!
8. Do not purchase contents insurance before you get informed!
If you are interested in purchasing contents insurance, you should at least consult that decision with your parents before you spend money on it. In fact, your parents’ household policy may feature ‘contents away from home’ terms, so make sure you check your options first!
9. Free condoms are awesome!
Let’s get to the really fun stuff: there is no need to spend your money on condoms when you can get them for free. If you are a student and you’re not getting free condoms, there must be something wrong with you! There are sexual health and family planning clinics that always offer free condoms, and you can also get tested on STDs for free there.
10. Have few drinks before leaving the house!
Yes, now we are advising you to drink. Of course, you are a student and you like beer, pubs and bars. However, regular visits to the pubs can have a devastating effect on your budget, so drinking before you leave the house can actually save you a lot of money. This is not an especially graceful practice, but you can make a great party at home with your housemates before you go out – this will not only save you money, but it will also provide you with fun times to remember for life.