Living as a student can sometimes leave with a pot noodle and very limited money left in your bank account. We’ve all been there when you get to the end of term, and you have about £5.62 left. Therefore, it is so important to watch your money from when you get your loan and prepare yourself for the whole of term, so you do have money by the end of it. It is no fun at all when you don’t have enough money left to join in with all the things your flat mates are doing!
I wanted to share 5 ways you can try to save money as a student so that you do not run out!
Stop the takeaways and meal prep
I know many people who get 4/5 takeaways a week which is not only draining their bank account, but it is not the healthiest option either. The best thing to do is treat takeaways as a treat and at least limit them to once or twice a week.
Start spending your money on buying groceries from the supermarket and cooking at home. This way you will save so much money. A good tip is to try and meal prep. Or if you are cooking a curry for example, make 4 portions of it and save the other 3 for later in the week or the week after. You can freeze so many things and eat them at a different time and this way you are using up all your ingredient and not letting any of it go to waste.
There are many resources that can help students with their cooking at university. There are even students on TikTok that are showing how they make their meals at university. One girl even shows you how to live off £10 a week and still get all of your meals in. If you are not on TikTok then you can simply google student recipes or how to budget for your weekly food shop. There are sites that show you the best ways to save on your food shopping and to not waste any of the food.
Put a budget on your nights out
The worst feeling is when you wake up in the morning and you have spent £200+ on a night out! To make it even worse you can’t even remember any of it…
So, one of the best things to do to stop this is put a budget on your night out. You can either do this by mentally reminding yourself. Or on your banking app depending on who you use, you might be able to set a limit. When you reach this limit, your card will stop working and you won’t be able to spend any more money. Of course, it is always a good idea to carry some cash in case you need to get a taxi on your way home but try to keep this as emergency money.
Night outs do not have to be expensive. If you like to drink, then the cheapest thing to do is to buy your drinks from the supermarket.
Use money saving incentives
There are many different student deals and discounts so make sure you look into this. For example, if you are going to buy a takeaway then wait till you get a 50% off code. Or if you want to eat out then cheap first if there is any student discount. Check on UNIDays or Student Beans to see if they are doing any deals.
Before you buy anything, whether this be clothing, food, or events tickets, check if there is any student discount. This way you ill be saving money on things you were going to buy anyway.
Keep an eye out for any discounts on grocery shopping. Some apps like Uber Eats offer groceries like Aldi or Sainsburys where they occasionally offer £10 off or 40% off which would make it very worthwhile. It also means you don’t have to spend anytime doing your food shop!
Stop impulse purchases
If you struggle with impulse buying on things you don’t really need then this is where all your money is going to waste. Everyone falls into the trap of buying things you won’t use that much or don’t really need such as Amazon gadgets or Poundland items.
The same goes for clothes shopping, although we all love a bit of retail therapy, it can be very costly. So, an alternative is to go charity shopping instead where your money will be going to a good cause, and it is way cheaper. Plus, you never know what you might find!
If you can’t stop yourself from clothes shopping then when you find an item you like, think about it properly before buying it. Think. Do I have any items like this already? Do I have space in my wardrobe for it? Will I get lots of wear out of it? If you answer any of these questions with a no, then it is probably best to leave the item in the shop.
Like I said with the takeaways, treat yourself to a new item of clothing or a new gadget you really wanted to try rather than buying anything at any time.
Create a monthly budget
To try and counteract all the impulse buying and costly nights out, the best thing to do is to create a budget. Work out how much money you have or will have (if you are working) to cover your first term. You can either split this up monthly or weekly. I would recommend splitting it up monthly, so you have a bit of leeway if you massively overspend one week.
You can write up a little budget each month on your notes and just make sure you are sticking to it by checking your bank account every now and then.
If you are one of the students trying to save your money at university then you are not alone! So many people are in the same situation. If you are really struggling with your money, then reach out to your student services who will be able to help you out!
Budgeting is one of the easiest ways to save your money along with all of the other tips I have mentioned so make sure to give these a go and see how they work!
If you want to find out more about how to utilise your student loan, then check out that post: How to live off your student loan