Money is scarce when you’re studying, but your university years are an important time to learn good spending (and saving) habits that’ll stay with you throughout life. Read on to find out the top five ways to save money while you’re getting your degree.
Choose cheap broadband
There are some things which you have to spend money on, and basic utilities and a good broadband connection are unavoidable expenses. Firstly, work out what exactly you need from a broadband provider by deciding what you’ll be using the internet for and how much data you’ll use in a normal month. If you’re living in a shared flat with other students, you’re likely to use more data than other households. Understanding what you need before you start to shop around for a provider will enable you to get the best broadband deal for you.
Find a part time job
To save money, you need to make money. And, often, student loans or parental contributions aren’t enough to cover basic spending. Finding yourself a part time job that fits around your schedule won’t just mean extra spending money, but it’ll also give you a head start when it comes to job searching after you’ve earned your degree.
Host a dinner party
Food will be one of your biggest expenses as a student, especially as the temptation to eat out with new friends creeps in. For a cheaper alternative, invite your course mates for dinner at your student accommodation and ask them for a contribution towards the ingredients. That way, you can enjoy a delicious meal in the comfort of your own home while getting to know new people without overspending. There are loads of cheap recipes available online, so it’s just up to you to decide what you’d like to eat and get cooking!
Shop second hand
One of the best tips you’ll receive is to never buy your course texts brand new. Instead, search for second hand copies in local charity shops and online, as they’re often more than half the usual retail price. Many universities also have student-run book sales, which allow students to sell their books from the previous year or semester on to other students - helping them and you save money!
Create a budget
Whether you have a specific saving goal in mind, or you just want to keep on top of your spending, creating a budget will help. Having an idea of what you spend on a weekly or monthly basis will allow you to identify where you’re spending too much. For example, if you buy a coffee from Starbucks before your weekly 9am lecture, then your budget will show just how much that adds up.
Follow these tips and you’ll never be forced to survive on canned food for weeks on end again. Remember to follow your budget and search out cheaper alternatives where possible so that you can focus on your studies rather than getting stressed about money.