8 Ways to Save Money as a Student
By Lara Thompson on May 10th, 2022
Your student loan payment feels like a lot of money when it lands in your account, but you’ll find it quickly disappears. So, here’s our top money saving tips to help you ahead of starting university.
Budget as soon as your loan lands in your account. Resist the temptation to have a little shopping splurge and put money aside for all your essential expenses. Ensuring you have budgeted for your rent, food, books and any other fixed costs will allow you to determine how much you have spare to spend how you want.
Setting up a student bank account when you start university is a good way to manage your finances. Your overdraft will be a great buffer as you navigate your way through Uni life. Aim to choose a bank with the biggest and longest 0% overdraft. This is where you don’t get charged for falling into your overdraft. Never go over your overdraft limit as this is where big interest rate charges will apply.
You will find student accounts often come with additional perks such as railcards or other freebies. Look at websites such as Money Saving Expert to find the best student bank account for you.
There is so much choice when it comes to student accommodation. There are university halls of residence and lots of private accommodation too, like Downing Students. Choosing to live with a company like Downing Students means not only will you benefit from a wide range of high-end student accommodation but you will also enjoy complete transparency with a trusted, reputable landlord. For example, your rent includes all your bills, access to high speed wifi, contents insurance and all the onsite facilities such as gyms and cinema rooms.
Sign-up to the free student discount app Totum to access huge discounts from 100s of major retailers. You can upgrade your membership by paying a small fee to access even bigger benefits and savings.
You will most likely have a long list of books required for your studies. Don’t rush out to buy them. Wait until you arrive at university and you will inevitably find second hand books that you can buy from other students. Or you can use the university library. Suss out which books you really need a copy of and those you can use in the library or buy second hand.
The average books costs around £20 – £30. You can make huge savings by finding second hand books or getting comfortable with the library.
You can purchase a student rail card for only £30 per year. This card saves you a third on all rail transport. These are really useful if you’re travelling at weekends to visit friends or family. Other tips include car sharing to split the costs.
Thrift shopping is a great way to buy something new but at the fraction of the cost. Helps do your bit for the environment too. There are so many local second hand stores, charity shops and apps like Depop and Vinted where you can find some amazing, money saving items.
Your weekly food bill can quickly stack up if you rely on ordering takeaway meals. We know food delivery apps like Deliveroo and Uber Eats are so convenient, but you will notice a big difference if you avoid the temptation and cook at home. Supermarkets like Aldi, Lidl, Iceland, Asda and Morrisons have some of the best items for less.
A good tip is to shop at the end of the day too. You can pick up some bargains with items that are reduced as they need to be sold that very day. You will find some items are sold for up to 50% less if you shop after 5pm.
Eating out is fun and food delivery app often have promotional vouchers available. Search for discount codes. You could even sign-up to Tastecard which offers up 50% savings at more than 6000 restaurants across the UK.
Experiencing new things is one of the best things about university life. You can go out and enjoy yourself, all whilst getting the most from what you spend.