Learning how to save money as a student is probably the last thing on a student’s mind. Trying to study and learn something new as a student is incredibly tough.
Dont listen to all the talk of late-night parties and excessive drinking. Sure these go on but most of it is a release to forget the stress. Not only of learning a new topic which may decide your future career but also the heavy burden of a tight budget and student debt, and loans to also worry about.
Making ends meet and creating some kind of student budget is tough to get to grips with. I’m here to help with a few suggestions that could make your student life a little easier. This does mean you are going to need to stay clear of the student bar though. I’m sorry!!
Textbooks are a huge concern when going off to study. Dependant on what course you are doing these can add up to a huge amount of money when you already are on a budget.
The best way to get these books you need for your course is to buy second hand. In the end, it doesn’t matter too much as long as all of the pages are there and it is readable who cares.
World of books does a good line in second-hand textbooks for students that won’t break the bank. Abebooks is another good site that can help when buying second-hand textbooks. If you are looking to save money as a student then this is a great way to start.
Top tip: Sometimes you can get a world of books discount code which can reduce your cost even further. Excellent for saving those pennies.
You can share textbooks with other students. If you are looking to study through the night this can cause issues, however. The other option is to buy them from the students that have finished that course. I would suggest Facebook is a good place to start looking for cheap textbooks as well.
The last option is to borrow from a library. This does mean you will only have them for a short period. There can also there may be a high demand for the same book.
Whatever you decide to do making sure you get these books you need on the cheap is the way forward.
I know you are at college now and there are loads of hot students around that you want to impress in your designer gear. Well, guess what you dont have much money so you are going to have to forget about the latest trends and just go for practical.
Although you are not going to want to hear this I would try searching out charity shops. Yes, a lot of the clothes are going to be not to your taste or indeed your age group but there are some bargains to be had if you keep checking weekly.
eBay is a great start as well if you are looking for clothes on the cheap. Not only are the prices lower but you may even manage to get the odd bit of designer gear if you look around.
eBay is also a great place for you to sell some of the clothes you dont wear any more. Sure you may only get a few pounds for them but this can all go towards new threads.
Most high street retailers also have 10% off when it comes to students. As long as you can prove you are a student then you can get 10% off everything in the store. This applies to such stores as Burton, Topman, Dorothy Perkins and more.
Online stores such as pretty little thing and boohoo.com offer up to 20% discounts. It could be worth doing your shopping online. If you combine it with a Cashback site such as Quidco you could save lots of cash.
Pin This For Future Reference:
Not exactly a word that a student wants to hear. When you are trying to save money as a student then a budget is exactly what you need.
Make it a weekly budget as student finances tend to change quite quickly. Making it weekly means it is easier to keep up with the changes.
You can use one of the many budgeting apps that are now available for smartphones. Many of these apps come with a free version that will be good enough to set you up with a weekly budget.
The best thing about a student budget is it will give you a clear idea of how much money you have left for the week. More importantly if you can afford that beer after class!!
Student loans and funding are sometimes necessary to get through the years of studying required to get the result you want. Always make sure to apply in plenty of time and remember when taking out a loan that you need to use student loan calculators to make sure that payments can be made.
There are lots of choices when it comes to student loans but also lots of pitfalls. I would suggest checking out the government website on student finance to help you make an informative decision.
If you can get part-time work to help fund your way through college then this would obviously be the preferred option although make sure it leaves you with enough time to study.
One of the biggest oversights when it comes to how to save money as a student is food. For a lot of students, this will have been the first time they have done food shopping as normally it would have been done by their parents, etc.
It is easy to get carried away and end up with more snacks in your shopping trolley than wholesome foods with which to prepare dinner.
Firstly if you are going to a supermarket then try and use cheaper versions such as Aldi or Lidl. These are the budget supermarkets but a lot of the time their food quality is just as good as the more popular outlets and the price is much much cheaper which is your main concern.
Remember to bulk buy the larger dry food such as pasta and rice. This keeps for ages and bulks meals out so you dont need to spend too much on other foodstuffs.
Two top tips for Food shopping, Always go late at night as foodstuff gets reduced in price. Also, Never food shop when you are hungry, Trust me this leads to bad purchase decisions.
It is always going to be worth your time to set up one of these but make sure that the overdraft has no fee. You dont want to be paying a charge if you happen to go into the overdraft by a few pounds.
Overdrafts are not there to be spent. They are there as a safety net should you encounter any unexpected surprises which you had not counted on in your weekly budget.
If you do manage to get a bank overdraft which has no fee remember to add this to your weekly budget so it doesn’t get confusing and added into your normal weekly spend or completely forgotten about.
No Spend Day:
If you haven’t heard of a No Spend Day then you are going to have to bear with me. It is exactly what it says. For a whole day, you dont spend a single penny and instead do things that are fun but cost you nothing at all.
Try creative things such as cooking but only with the ingredients you have in the cupboards. How about a board game session with friends.
There are literally hundreds of ideas on how to not spend any money in a day and if you try to do this once a week it could make a big impact on your finances.
Free Cinema Tickets:
Ok so not completely free but when it comes to how to save money as a student I’m guessing that going to the cinema without spending much money is a nice relief from all of that studying.
Compare the market have a 2for1 cinema ticket deal which lasts all year long and is for Tuesdays and Wednesdays. All you have to do is an online quote and compare and purchase a qualifying product. The cheapest products I could find was travel insurance and with a lot of this at under a fiver, it means you are making very big savings.
A free cinema ticket every week for 52 weeks. All you need is that one friend that is happy to buy the other one at full price.
Get Stuff For Free:
Yes, it is possible. If you check websites such as Freecycle you will be surprised at what bargains you can pick up.
Anything from home furnishings to garden furniture to books and DVDs. You can find most stuff you would need on Freecycle.
Freecycle is broken down into groups based on local areas. Just simply sign up and then browse groups in your local town. You may find some free items that are right up your street (Literally).
Dont Upgrade Your Mobile:
If you are nearing the end of your contract make sure you dont upgrade. I know you want the latest fancy handset but if your current handset is working ok then I would simply switch to a super cheap Sim-only deal.
These can be had for over half the price of a regular contract. This will include all the data and minutes you would normally receive.
If you can factor in some kind of phone insurance as well then that is great. The likelihood of you breaking your phone or having it stolen at college is quite high so insurance is a must. Check with your bank as some bank accounts have mobile insurance added as standard.
Skip Energy Drinks:
Ok so you have been up late studying and the next day you are so tired. What do most students do? That’s right they reach for their second or third can of monster energy drink.
Energy drinks are so expensive and you would do your body a much better service by drinking water. If you are tired water does actually help you sleep better and you will be more alert the following day.
Also, water is free so you would be saving yourself a fortune. If you are really tired then drink a couple of cups of tea which again is cheaper then energy drinks and then have an early night.
So dont reach for the Monster reach for the water and make the right choice.
Attend Your Classes:
I know sounds obvious right. Believe me the number of students who can’t be arsed to get out of bed and go to class because they have had a late night of partying or just can’t be bothered is astounding.
Listen you have paid a lot of money to be in the class so you are making the most of your money by actually attending. Not only that but while you are in class you can’t spend any money can you?
The other reason to attend is that if you dont not only are you going to find it harder to catch up but also you are more likely to spend money if you are sat in your accommodation twiddling your thumbs then if you were in class.
Any money you do save by perhaps following some of the above suggestions could be put in a decent student savings account.
There are lots to choose from and most of them give great introductory offers to students.
Some of my favorites include the HSBC student account which comes with an interest-free overdraft. Also, the Nationwide student account which includes a fee-free overdraft for you to use at your convenience.
There are plenty more like these out there and they all offer some incentives for students who can prove that they have enrolled in college or university.
Being at college is tough but if you can get a grip on your finances and learn how to save money as a student then this does make life a lot easier.
Once you make some of the savings described above this should leave you with a little bit more money each month which is surely going to make your college life a bit more manageable.