Stay off the baked beans with these money-saving tips!
We all know how hard it can be to budget your money as a student, especially when you already have so much to juggle! However, when the going gets tough, these tips will make your life a whole lot easier.
1. Stay away from the takeaways and ready meals! - It’s so tempting to opt for this when you’re feeling lazy or tired, but they’re a lot more expensive than if you made a meal from scratch. Nevertheless, if the fast-food craving is getting to you, watch out for student coupons, where you can get meals for only £2-3, from some of your favourite takeaways.
2. Refrain from buying drinks at the club - Drink prices can be ridiculously expensive for what you get. Instead, stock up at the local supermarket for pre-drinks! Supermarkets always have a drink offers throughout the year, so keep a lookout!
3. Buy an NUS card - An NUS extra card costs £12 a year and enables you to take full advantage of every student offer nationwide. Discounts include money off at theme parks, restaurants, travel, shops and many more! You can also buy an ISIC add-on for £2.99, which allows you to access discounts worldwide and a Gourmet Society adds on for more discounts for restaurants.
4. Sign up to UNiDAYS - UNiDAYS is a free discount website for students, it mainly gives discounts for clothes shops, which you can use online or instore. However, it also gives you money off at some of the most popular student restaurants, stationery stores, HP and protein shops. I’d recommend downloading the My UNiDAYS app for free so that you can easily use the discounts instore and check discounts on the go.
5. Avoid going clubbing on weekends – Normally for students, a Saturday night entry fee is normally more expensive, than a standard weekday night out. Dance the night away on a student night, which has half-price entry and sometimes even cheaper drinks.
6. Cook meals with your housemates - If everyone puts in £2, you’d all be able to afford a much better meal than one you’d get for yourselves. Plus, it’s a chance to bond with your housemates and wow them with your cooking skills (or lack of).
7. Look out for student job vacancies at your university or online - Many universities give paid opportunities to become an ambassador, where you show around potential students on open days. If you want something more permanent, look for jobs in the university, student union or even a student job portal online, as they can potential pay better than other part-time jobs, give a wide range of opportunities and provide hours to fit around your studies.
8. Attend the Student Locks Ins - Go to student lock-in in the evening at your local shopping centre for a chance to get discounts on various things, listen to live music and grab lots of freebies! These are usually held around the end of September and include DJ’s, goodie bags, special one-off discounts just for students and if you are lucky enough you may get a chance to see the old celebrity.
9. Sell your old textbooks - There’s always going to be somebody that needs the textbook that you have for a cheaper price, so why not? Make yourself some extra money, by putting your old books to some good use.
10. Don’t be fooled by the brands - Sure Heinz baked beans might look more appetising than an own-brand tin but they taste just as good and are just a fraction of the price. Just taste the satisfaction of knowing that you have more money in your pocket!
With these money-saving tips, there is one less thing you have to juggle whilst being a student. So use them and enjoy that extra saved money!
Undergraduate, Birmingham City University
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