As students, we all know what we would rather spend our money on; certainly not books and food. So this post is dedicated to those of you who want your money to stretch further.
Weekly budgets are usually split between two main things; the weekly supermarket shop and nights out. However, other things need to be considered such as train tickets or petrol money, course equipment or books and bills or any home amendments. Very few students manage to get through their university life without dipping into, or in some cases, living off their overdrafts. Unlike many of my friends, I have managed to successfully reach third year without using my overdraft at all, let me tell you how.
I work for my university’s Student Union for 8 – 10 hours each week, which earns me from £55 – £65 a week. This is enough for me to live on – including nights out.
Tip one: Withdraw your budget out at the start of the week. Use your bank card for emergencies only.
Tip two: Write a shopping list. Boys don’t seem to like lists whereas girls love them! This will guide you on your weekly Tesco trip, and stop you from being distracted by the Krispy Kremes counter.
Tip three: Buy alcohol for pre drinks. Sometimes pre drinks can be more fun than the night out itself if you invite the right people and play the right drinking games, and there’s always that one person who doesn’t actually make it out…oops!
Tip four: Only take out what you intend to spend. don’t take £50 on a night out because the chances are you WILL spend it. “WHEEY, LET’S DO SHOTS!” Sound familiar? That’s where your money goes. Take £10 or £20 – a reasonable amount that’s enough to enable you to have a good night.
Tip five: Yes, it’s always fun going to the local takeaway after a night out, but why not have a pizza in the freezer ready to save you drawing that extra fiver out to waste on greasy chips that you know will make you feel worse in the morning?
Tip six: Heard of Home Bargains or B&M’s? I hope you have! Instead of buying your toiletries from your local supermarket, take a trip to the town centre and visit these shops to stock up on toothpaste and shower gel. You will eventually get over the shame of walking round with Poundland bags.
Tip seven: If you’re a slight shopaholic, then make sure you take your student card with you everywhere! It’s incredible how much you can save at some stores. And make sure you wait until stores have student lock-ins or student offers – it’s even better!
Tip eight: Going home for the weekend? Instead of being a typical student and leaving it until the last minute to buy a ticket, why not use discount sites such as Trainline? And buy a railcard – they’re worth the hassle!
Tip nine: When you return to your student life after a luxury weekend at home, stock up on everything your parents offer you! Make the most of hot baths and Full English Breakfasts whilst you have the chance. Let them fill your suitcase up with noodles, cola, soaps and loo rolls – and you never know when Grandma’s knitted blanket may come in handy!
Tip ten: Stick to a routine. Take these tips on board and you should save a few quid here and there. It may not be a lot, but it all adds up. Every little helps!