Student Money Saving Tips

Financial

  • Open up a Student Account, choose the one that will most suite you.
  • Open up a high interest savings account, either online or on the high street. Ensure that the interest rate is well above base rate, and try and put as much of your student loan in it as possible. Make sure it is an easy access account which you can withdraw and deposit anytime you want.
  • Consider investing in bonds, if you have the money to lock away, you will be rewarded generously.
  • Try and save the pennies. You can take them to a bank or supermarket and usually have them exchanged or paid into your bank account.
  • Don’t go over your overdraft. You won’t enjoy it, it can be a painful experience on your wallet.
  • Try avoiding spending your overdraft on things that aren’t for university.
  • Keep £20 in cash in a safe place, just in case you just go over your overdraft and can quickly avoid the banking charges by paying it in before the day is out.
  • Don’t carry more than £40 cash on your person.
  • Don’t get a credit card, unless you know you can pay it off before the end of each month.
  • Don’t take money out of your account you don’t need, especially if you’re going to get drunk and lose it.

The Bills

  • Pay all the bills on time, ensure that you don’t accidentally get yourself disconnected from a service supplier.
  • Look for the best deals for your services.
  • Avoid services on a greater than 12 month contract unless you know your staying at that address for more than a year.
  • Remember to use Quidco to save yourself a bit more.
  • Do you need a TV license? Do you need pay TV? You probably won’t have much time for TV so why bother with these extra expenses, especially if you live in halls.
  • Turn off the lights, computers, televisions etc when they are not in use!
  • Keep the heat at a reasonable temperature, and turn it off in summer or when you are away for a weekend. Make sure the hot water is on sensible times.
  • Keep your house in good condition, so you keep your deposit.
  • Spread the bills out between everyone in your house, make sure no one has too much burden on them.

Shopping

  • Always ask retailers if they do student discount.
  • Consider an NUS Extra Card
  • Don’t spend too much when you go food shopping, stick to a budget (~ £15-30). Check out the reduced counter and the offers, but only get something if you were going to get it anyway, or if it can replace something you normally purchase. Don’t fall for the marketing!.
  • Try sharing kitchen items with your housemates, both equipment and food items such as salt, pepper, ketchup, towels etc
  • Buy items that a cheaper in bulk with your housemates as well.
  • Don’t shop hungry or hungover. You will buy stuff you don’t need.
  • Just because food is expensive doesn’t mean its better. Tesco Value Tinned Tomatoes taste the same as Tesco Finest…
  • Check online voucher sites as well as Quidco for big savings on online stores.
  • Check  charity shops for secondhand books and house equipment, you can find some gems in them, and you can feel good as everything is going to charity.
  • Get the Supermarket Loyalty card for the shop you shop in most. Get loyalty cards for all the shops you use regularly. (Tesco Clubcard, Co-op Card, Nectar Card etc.)

University Life

  • Consider purchasing second hand books, there are many available from graduating students and internet auction sites.
  • If you only need a book for a certain period of time, borrow it from the university library, or if its not available sign up to the local public library and see if they can order in a copy for you. You could save a lot of money and loan length at a public library is usually longer.
  • Don’t bother with a car, you won’t need one really, especially if your university is on a campus.
  • Consider whether you actually need a laptop. A desktop is cheaper and far more powerful. It’s also less likely to get stolen.
  • Go to your lectures.  If you fail exams it costs money to resit, and if you’ve booked a holiday or have to resit a year at university you could lose even more money.
  • If you live in catered halls with pre-paid food, eat the food you paid for. Go to breakfast. If you are fussy or don’t think you will make it up in time for breakfast then go for self-catered halls.
  • Close your windows and lock your doors when you go out. Turn on alarms etc if you are in a student house.
  • Choose your housemates for next year wisely… if you want your deposit back anyway.
  • The more creative you are at fancy dress parties the less you’ll have to pay in a shop and the better it will probably look.
  • Drink a bit with your friends before heading to the night clubs and bars. It saves a bit of money and its usually much more fun away to start a night.
  • Don’t excessively drink its not good for your liver or your wallet.
  • Checkout buy one get on free pub lunches and buffets when you go out for meals or dates.
  • Make sure you ask for tap water when you want water.

Misc

  • Consider a Young Persons Raildcard or Coachcard if you use National Express or the trains. They will save you significant amounts of money.
  • Listen to music online, or borrow CDs from friends, could save you some money.
  • Consider open source alternatives to commercial software!
  • Microsoft do student deals which drastically reduce their software costs, research on Google to find out more.
  • Take advantage of offers such as Orange Wednesdays and SeeFilmFirst.
  • Get some student insurance.
  • Use energy efficient light bulbs.
  • Sell any second hand CDs or games you don’t want anymore.
  • Consider getting a part time job, or selling a service you can offer e.g. computer repairs, piano tutoring etc.
  • Reuse and recycle.
 

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