Money Saving Tips
The time has come for many young adults to take charge of their finances, as they embark on their first year at university. Hence, it is essential to analyse what you need to budget for.
- Common Course costs – This will include books, printing, stationary and field trips. There are several ways to reduce costs, when it comes to literature, online sites such as Amazon offer great deals on second-hand books, which can save students a fortune. Also, printing at university can be steep, why not invest in your own printer and share ink costs with housemates.
- Transport – Take advantage of the student travel cards to help minimize the cost. The 16-25 railcard is just £30 a year, so very handy for students travelling home at weekends. In addition, the National Express Young Persons Coachcard is just £10 a year.
- Food – One way to frivolously spend money is on takeaways, a common habit of the 21st century student. Prevent this by making a shopping list and planning your meals, so that there is no need to buy junk food if you don’t need to! Cook in bulk and keep leftovers for lunch/dinner, this reduces waste and allows you to get more out of your money.
- Entertainment – The best advantage of being a student is having the ability to go out during the week and utilising the cheap student deals available. Also, make sure to visit student-specific discount websites, such as NUS Extra or UNidays for discounts on clothing, food and days out.
Practical Saving Tips
It is important to be a sensible spender, as a recent graduate from Heriot Watt university I found the below tips to be incredibly valuable.
- As a student you will be required to buy an extensive amount of academic literature at a hefty price tag. So, why not recycle? Once you’re done sell your books online, this also applies to any unwanted clothes and furniture.
- Get a part-time job. Many students will have plenty of spare time. Although a large proportion should be prioritised for studying there is leeway to get extra cash and work a few hours during weekends. This is beneficial for your bank account, but also your personal profile, as employers today look for individuals with life experience. Those who can juggle a job and university illustrate good time management.
- Order your food shop online with fellow flat mates and split the cost of essentials such as, butter, milk, bread and any other items. This method also prevents impulsive buying as you are not physically in the store.
- Monitor your outgoings versus your income. Make a spreadsheet to help you see exactly where your money is going and if what your spending is necessary.
Overall, be realistic about your budget, but don’t forget to have fun. These are the best, yet most challenging years of your life, so make sure to have a healthy bank balance. To all students embarking on this new and exciting journey we wish you the best of luck on your future endeavours, spend wisely.
By Ashleigh Jane McCann
Digital Marketing Executive - City Room Rentals