Back to school: tips for students to save money!

09/05/2018
tips for students budgeting YC

With freshers soon and the beginning of your first semester, it’s important to know how students can save money!

Part of growing up is learning how to keep track of your expenses, keeping an eye on your loans as students and saving money for the future. And we’d be lying if we told you it was easy…

The first weeks of school are often a haze of new faces, long nights (and probably heavy ones). Once the stress and rush of the new school year is over, it’s time to learn how to spend as little money as possible to get you through the year!

One of the hardest things is to try and juggle being a student as well as being sociable at the same time… it doesn’t always go the way you want! Being a student means that you have a lot less money and a lot more expenses.

It’s no secret that colleges and universities are not cheap! When you think about the resources, the equipment, the appropriate attire, accommodation, course cost…. well the list just goes on! That’s why we’re here to share a few tips and tricks to help prepare you for your first year!

Used resources

Text books and course equipment are expensive, however they’re not always fully used! Second-hand websites or bookshops can offer you a solution. And you’ll find that there’s no real difference! For example, websites such as Stubooks and Bookmatch offer second-hand equipment for you to purchase.

Make use of the campus facilities

Make the most of what your campus has to offer, in terms of activities. This saves quite a lot. Many unis and colleges offer gyms as well as swimming pools, museums, private library’s, sports clubs/teams, film evenings and many other social activities. Being a student will either get you free use or hugely discounted… take advantage!

Offers and freebies

Ever heard of UNiDAYS? Or any sort of student discount? It’s out there! A tonne of companies, be it restaurants, groceries stores, clothing shops and even cinemas give all sorts of discounts to students.

So by making smart use of student discounts you could save a pocket load of money! You can apply for student discount cards using your uni ID or just simply your name and university name, they’ll run a check and you’ll receive your discount card ready for your next shop in know time.

Do not make impulsive purchases

It’s so easy to make impulsive purchases, you see a bag of M&M’s… “It’s only £2.99.” but what you need to remember is if you make these excuses for impulse purchases up to 3 times a day, it all adds up at the end of the month! Impulse purchases drastically impact your daily budget and the ability to save money! For what? A couple seconds of satisfaction?

So… how can you avoid this?

Try to refrain from taking your debit card with you when you go shopping. If you set yourself a target for how much you think you should be spending on your weekly shop, withdraw it in cash. This way you’ll have to make decisions on what you need rather than what looks good. Using cash is a perfect way to keep track of your financial expenses.

Your financing

Student finance/loan is paid into your account every month and though most students use it to fund their social outings, if you sat down and worked out all of your bills, you’ll be more aware of what you can spend on nights out. This way, after a week of nonstop partying you won’t look at your bank account and realise you’re in your overdraft or have no money for your rent.

Here are three steps that will help you conduct a budget:

  1. What is your exact income every month?
  2. What are your expenses every month? (Be honest with yourself)
  3. Then you deduct all expenses from the income, and you divide it by the number of weeks of the given month. Once you have done this you get an idea of what you can spend weekly.

So for example, let’s say you got £500 a month as part of your student loan and a weekend job earn’t you £450 a month…

Income (monthly) Expenses (monthly)
£500 Groceries: £150
£450 Rent: £350
Total: £950 Total: £500

£950 – £500 = £450

£450/4 (weeks) = £ 112.50 per week

So you would have £112.50 a week to spend on whatever you like, or even save! Being aware of how much things cost allows you a stable financial situation so you don’t have to worry.

Include money what you need

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again… using cash for all of your expenses (except your fixed costs), will help to save money! If you want to make sure that you spend less on your food bill, give yourself a budget, withdraw that amount of cash from the nearest ATM and it’ll encourage you to spend your cash on the necessities!

Hopefully these tips help you to be more aware and to have more control over your expenses. We’ve covered your overall student finances, now it’s time to sort out your party lifestyle spending! Check out this blog to find out how you can still have a great night out, on a budget!

Let us know via social media, how many times a week you use cash and whether it helps you to save.

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