5 ways to save money as a student

OK Student | 31 May

Although university life provides plenty of opportunities, it is important that you save money as a student so that you don’t struggle with your finances. Yes, this can be a challenge, but remember that it is the path to adulthood and financial independence.

Discover 5 ways to save money as a student!

1. Know Your Shops

It is always a good idea to research what shops and supermarkets are located around your area. Different stores will inevitably have different prices and familiarizing yourself with these costs will work to your advantage.

For example, Lidl is much cheaper than any Sainsbury’s and Tesco. Sometimes local markets can also provide cheaper groceries than supermarkets, but that may mean that you have to wake up early on Saturdays!

2. Discount Apps

A very popular option amongst students for saving money is to use mobile apps, which are designed to offer vouchers and student discounts. UNiDAYS is one of the better-known apps in the UK and they provide both online and in-store discounts with most leading brands and merchants.

Another option is Groupon, a company that grants free items and deals for restaurants and shops. Their discounts can be as high as 70% per purchase so make sure to check them out!

Guy smiling, holding a phone

With OK Student you also have access to ISIC Virtual Card and access over 150,000 student discounts and offers worldwide!

Furthermore, companies like Spotify, Amazon Prime and Microsoft offer special plans for students like you! Make sure that, before subscribing to any service you google if there is any discount first!

3. Facebook Groups and 2nd hand websites

Wherever your university is, there are always local Facebook groups dedicated to selling second-hand items for very reasonable prices.

If you can’t find one, Facebook Marketplace is another option for purchasing cheap products that are usually of good quality. However, you should make sure that the seller is not attempting to deceive you with prepayments or faulty gadgets.

2nd hand books for sale for 3$

Other websites, like Gumtree (UK), Marktplaats (NL) and Adverts (IE) can also help you get that last piece of furniture or electronics for a cheap price!

4. Ride a Bike

Invest in a good 2nd hand bike and save the monthly fare for public transportation. Besides that, you can also save some money by switching the gym for outside exercise; if the weather allows, of course!

If you decide not to buy a bike, you should check for renting options in your city/country. For occasional trips, it will be cheaper than a Uber, for sure!

5. Don’t Buy Textbooks

As you start your induction week at university, your professors might tell you to purchase textbooks that are supposed to be essential for your class. However, such books can cost around £80-£100, or even up to £150 in the most extreme cases.

They are not only expensive but they are also not as essential as you might assume. When you eventually write your essays, you can research sources online or go to the library to find books from your reading list. You simply don’t need to buy the main textbook to receive good grades.

6. Learn how to cook (and cook!)

Eating in restaurants is, overall, expensive. Even if you chose economic options, buying groceries and cooking at home will certainly be cheaper. 

The best scenario is if you decide to cook with your housemates and share expenses. You can even set different days for each one to cook! Believe us, some of the best friendships are fostered around a cooking pan and delicious (or edible) meals!

Are you ready for the challenge?

Overall, there are different ways to save money as a student. The tips provided here are more general and apply to all students but managing your finances can also be personalized to fit your habits.

For instance, if you can’t resist buying drinks on a night out, you can leave your debit card at home and only carry the minimum amount you need in cash. Just try to think about your irrational purchasing habits and apply small changes to alter that behaviour. You would be surprised how much you learn about yourself…

If you go studying abroad with OK Student, we will offer you a complete webinar on this topic. So, if you want to know more about studying abroad, contact us!