Being a student usually means being tight for money, but there is so much you can to do be wise with your money choices. We spoke to one of our TP’s Connie who’s given us her top tips on saving money when living as a student:
- BATCH COOKING
Spend a few hours batch cooking your meals for the week ahead, keep things in the freezer so when you’re feeling too tired to cook, you don’t feel the need to order a takeaway and can heat something delicious up instead.
- SHOP AROUND
When it comes to buying cleaning products or bits for your student house, always shop around to find the best deals online and in store. Often you can get the same good quality product in Poundland, B and M , Home Bargains for much cheaper than in big named superstores.
- CHEAP PARKING
Save money on parking your car by wondering around residential areas near your destination. Often you can park for free for the whole day or for selected hours during the day. Often you can park for free in the centre of towns and cities after 6 pm or 8pm. Never pay unless you have to!
- ONLINE DEALS
If you need to buy something always search for a coupon or online promotion, always ask for student discount in shops and restaurants (make sure you have your student ID with you at all times). If you’re with a phone company often you get deals for restaurants such as 2 meals for the price of one, which makes going out with friends way more accessible.
- DISCOUNTED FOOD
Go to supermarkets in the evening as this is when they put their reduced food out, you can get things for cheap that you can use for your batch cooking!
- SELL OLD ITEMS
When having a clear out, decide what is sellable and use Facebook selling page or Gumtree to sell your old things. But always clean them and charge the highest you can so that you’re prepared to be knocked down. Something is better than nothing!
- GET CREATIVE
Use old items like wood, old frames, old curtains and fabrics to make notice boards, cushions, scented pouches etc. to use in your house or to sell online or in local craft fairs and car boot sales.
- BE PREPARED
Always pack lunch, snacks and water! This saves the odd £2 here and there on days out, as it all adds up.
- YOU CAN STILL SOCIALISE
No need to not socialise when you’re on a tight budget: pack picnics, go for long walks, bike rides, and organise cosy nights in with your friends.
- BUDGET YOUR MONEY
If you have a part-time job, when you receive your pay cheque always move your money into separate accounts. Work out how much: food, bills, petrol, costs for the week / month etc and put it aside. Split the rest of the money into socialising and savings. This way you know how much you have and what it’s for.
- PLAN YOUR DAY TRIPS
London is so close to Brighton, when travelling for a day out think about what time you’re going. Choose either off-peak tickets and use student discounted railcards, or drive with a friend to an outer underground station. For example Morden is close to London, where you can park for free or for £6 a day and get the tube in to the centre which will only cost you a maximum of £7 a day.
By Connie Edgington, 2nd year BA(Hons) Training Professional at ICTheatre