Over the years, the majority of students have gained a reputation for questionable money management skills. However, this doesn't have to be your experience at University.
University is likely to be your first time away from home and newfound independence combined with a lump sum of money at the start of the term, often leads to the temptation to spend it exactly how you want to.
While it's definitely not an easy road, maintaining a student budget is possible and all it takes is a little bit of savviness. You are probably in your second week of living away from home now, so let’s dive into some tips to make your money stretch further.
1) Make a Plan When Your Loan Comes In
Many students will now have access to their quarterly loans. The inner voice in your head will be telling you to ‘treat yourselves’ but trust us, make a plan before you start spending.
When your loan does finally hit your bank account, set aside money for essential expenses such as rent, utility bills (if not included in rent) and food shopping. With these essential things being taken care of, you’ll now know how much you have left to spend.
2) Get a Student Bank Account
Every year the banks will try to draw you in with irresistible perks linked to their accounts. The key here is to do your research and see which one is best fitted to your requirements.
One of the biggest perks when looking for a student account is an interest-free overdraft. Having one allows you to have a backup when faced with any sudden, unexpected costs.
Find out which student bank account is right for you.
3) Get to Know Discounts
As a student, one of the biggest perks is the discounts. There will be an abundance of retailers dangling discounts at you for the entirety of your University stay, so keep your eyes peeled. See our guide on the best student discounts.
It’s definitely worth investing in an NUS Extra Card - the card costs just £12 a year and you’ll be able to access over 200 discounts online and in stores. Having an NUS card could save you a fortune!
4) Cook With Housemates
This is a simple hack that you can use for your entire time at University. The best thing about cooking is enjoying it with friends and bonding over the meals you’ve cooked. This will not only save you money but you’ll also be getting to know your housemates too. By cooking with friends, you can budget your weekly shop by getting a few things to contribute to the meals.
5) Don’t Go Food Shopping When You’re Hungry
Having the freedom to buy your own food is a wonderful thing but it can be very easy to go over the top, especially when you’re hungry.
When you go food shopping, it’s best to go with a plan. Write down the meals you want to cook and the ingredients you’ll need for each meal. This way, you won’t end up overspending on things you don’t need.
By planning your weekly meals, you’ll be less inclined to buy expensive takeaways.
6) Get a Job or Start an Online Business
If your course allows you some extra time, grab a part-time job to earn a bit of extra cash. There will definitely be openings for bar or waiting work and retail staff, so if you do have some extra time it’s worth adding to your bank account.
Getting a part job isn’t the only way you can make your money stretch. If you have an idea for an online or small business with a certain demand, you can start to earn an extra income.
Don’t Break the Bank to Send a Parcel
Many students often think that sending a parcel is an expensive trait. However, with Parcel2Go, they’ll actually be saving money. As the cheapest parcel delivery in the UK, you’ll have the option to send parcels to your family and friends within the UK and internationally.
Get a quote today and see how much you could save!