Although university life provides plenty of opportunities, it can also come with some difficulties. Budgeting is certainly one of those challenges that most students need to face on their path to adulthood and financial independence. Since you are likely to be in an unfamiliar environment, managing your money can be difficult without some help.
Here are top our 5 tips 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. Also keep in mind that supermarket prices are often reduced during the evening as they restock items overnight.
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!
3. Facebook Groups
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.
Transport around the UK can be either pricey or sometimes even nonexistent. Nextbike is nevertheless a great way of saving money as it provides free 30-minute bike rides for all students.
Nextbike is quickly becoming available in many regions across the UK so do find out whether it is available in your area! Bike stations are placed all around the city-center and it is very likely they are close to your university as well.
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 for sources online or go to the library to find books from your reading list. You simply don’t need to buy a main textbook to receive good grades.
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 what your irrational purchasing habits are and apply small changes to alter that behaviour. You would be surprised how much you learn about yourself