It’s a tear-jerking fact of our education-based lives, but University just isn’t cheap. From tuition fees through to the simple basics of living, students are paying out more and more every year with less and less money coming in. As if academic studies aren’t stressful enough, students are having to budget down to the last penny. We’ve decided to help out a little by putting together a list of some of the best ways to save money while you’re at University.
Find Alternate Accommodation
University accommodation isn’t going to be your cheapest option, at least not in most cases. In fact, you’ll often find that living in private accommodation or living at home if you live close enough can actually cost you a lot less.
Use RightMove or other similar sites to filter your options by area and budget and try and work out whether the savings in travel from University accommodation would be worth it, or whether private accommodation will work out better. If you really want to go all out, you could try and live a little ‘rougher’. Students have been known to live on a yacht for minimal costs a day, or camp if they truly run low on costs!
Research what funding options you have
If you’re on a low income, the chances are you’ll be entitled to some level of bursary, scholarship or grant. Make sure you try and play as many angles as you can, whether it’s location, people dependant on you, your gender, and the subject you’re studying – anything that will get you something.
Your university will have schemes, but venture outside of the university too, especially if you’re from a low income family. You never know where you might be able to pick up a little extra help.
Have a ‘no spend’ day every week
Rather than forcing yourself into a corner where a no spend month is a necessity, why not try and have a no spend day every week instead? For one day a week at least, make your own lunches to take to University with food you already have in your cupboards.
Don’t buy that coffee that you usually ‘treat’ yourself to, and if it’s feasible, even consider walking to Uni rather than driving or getting the bus!
If there’s one good thing about being a student, it’s that discounts are everywhere. From an NUS card bringing in discounts here there and everywhere, to plenty of retail stores and restaurants offering 10% or more off of purchases, there is no shortage of offers that you can pick up just because you’re a student.
Make sure you investigate if you need something! While one store may usually be more expensive than the other, they could end up being cheaper or a better value for money if you consider the discounts.
This might seem a little counterproductive when it comes to saving money, but if you know that you are accident prone or have any kind of history of ever dropping your phone, then it could be worth taking out some kind of phone insurance – and maybe laptop cover while you’re at it. Accidents happen, and it’ll be better for you to pay out a small cost each month for peace of mind, than have to pay out hundreds of pounds at one time to get a new phone or laptop.
If you’re locked into a contract for your phone or have an expensive handset, then it’s definitely worth seeing what cover you can get at a low price.