Fresher’s is well and truly over, and you’ve had to optimise on all those student discounts on the high street, but your bank account is now looking a little bleak and you need to stretch yourself till the next loan instalment comes in. Here are our top tips on how to save money till your next loan comes in.
First things first, make a budget. You need to work out how much money you have left for the term taking into account rent/bills and allowing for more expenditure for the more expensive times of the year such as Christmas. Now that you know your flatmates a little better start cooking meals together, it makes it a lot cheaper and you can take it in turns to cook giving yourself a few nights off!
Another top tip is to never go food shopping whilst hungry, you will ultimately end up buying endless amounts of food you don’t really need and possibly don’t even like that much. If you are able too always buy in bulk possibly from the wholesalers and freeze what you won’t be using that week. If you are really organised you will pre-make yourself a packed lunch saving yourself pounds each day on buying lunch out and let’s admit it we all have that loaf that inevitably goes mouldy in the cupboard.
Always use charity shops, they have some great finds for either your next upcoming fancy dress party or some vintage style, just be aware the hidden gems don’t find you- you have to have patience and constantly on the lookout. You can also find things you make need for your new place such as kitchenware or furniture. If you in need of some extra furniture or a second hand bike always check Gumtree.com for cheap or even sometimes free items in your local area.
Textbooks and old clothes, as students we have plenty of them and are always complaining about how we don’t have enough space for everything. Therefore, organise your stuff and have a clear out, rather than leaving them at the bottom of your wardrobe gathering dust start to sell your unwanted items on eBay- it is really simple and you can make a lot from it!
Prioritising is key, there comes a point in the year where you have to realise you can’t make every social event and you must start to choose between events. As well as prioritising you should also be organising your social events around the student deals to get the most for your money, for example always go to the cinema on a Wednesday when you can use an Orange Wednesday code to get 2-4-1 tickets. For after nights out always have a bag of chips in the freezer or bread and cheese to save you from spending extra in the local kebab shop.
Budgeting can be difficult to stick to, but as long as from the start you make it realistic and manageable then it makes the whole process much easier. Use multiple accounts with your bank in order to split your money into rent/bills and then social spending so you never dip into your rent money by mistake. It’s not as hard as it seems and everyone around you is in the same boat so just make the most out of the freebies and discounts you can get.