Money Saving Tips for Students
Ah, the carefree student life. Hmm, carefree? Perhaps not; with the rising cost of attending university, the rising cost of living and the sinking number of jobs out there, attending university or college is rarely carefree. Usually you’ll spend 90 per cent of your time worrying about money and 10 per cent about exams or essays. Learning how to budget and when and where to spend your limited funds can help. Here are some tips:
Looking Good and Feeling Good
• Walk everywhere. Well, not everywhere but you’ll save cash on bus and taxi fares if you walk to college or Uni. This shouldn’t be a hard task if you’re in halls, but might be more challenging once you’ve moved to private accommodation. If it’s too much to cope with, cycle instead.
• If you are walking regularly consider if you really need to join that gym or not. If you are determined to stay fit and healthy use the University gym, it will normally be the cheapest option.
• Staying stylish can cost a fortune. When it comes to getting your hair cut, check out your local college for Hair Stylist courses, they’ll usually be keen to find models and in return you get your locks trimmed perfectly - hopefully. If this sounds too risky, check with local salons to see if they’re looking for models, they’ll usually offer a good discount.
• Learn to cook. Ready meals have a tax on them – or at least they appear to – which means they are a far more expensive way to feed yourself. If you haven’t already mastered the simple art of cooking, Uni is a good time to learn. Shop for fresh food at local markets and try to buy fruit and veg at the end of the day – normally they are giving it away, literally.
• Forget paid TV services, like Sky, and choose Freeview. It’s, erm, free. You’ll have to pay for the set top box, but you get to keep it as you move around during your time at Uni. Sky is a luxury and you are a student - the two don’t mix. If you’re really missing something important you can normally view individual programmes on the internet for a small fee.
• On late nights out you should probably invest in taxis – but always share. If you’re out with housemates then this should be (relatively) straightforward, but plan ahead so as not to get caught out by the late night fees.
• On the rare occasion that you do feel the need to let your hair down and go out for a couple of sweet sherries make the most of “Happy Hour” and “Student Nights”. Bars and clubs are keen to attract student crowds (they know just how much sherry a student can get through) so always make the most of promotions.
The Big Budget
• Budget, budget, budget. If you get a loan, grant or allowance work out how much this will stretch over the full term. Take off rent and essential costs and work out how much is left. It probably won’t be much, but it’ll be more than you’ll have if you blow it in the first few weeks. Part time jobs can supplement the amount but try not to take on too many commitments.
Obviously this is a no brainer, if you shop online double check for promotional codes. You can sometimes save a small fortune for just taking a minutes to look for a discount code.
Written by The Spy, 23 April, 2012 - 06:00