As a student, it can be really tough to save money. A lot of us barely have enough money to live off, never mind save. Since moving away from home and having to deal with things such as rent, bills, and food shopping, I’ve had to learn that splurging isn’t always the best thing to do, and that sometimes it’s better to save instead of buying that new pair of shoes that I really love but probably don’t need. I’ve started to take comfort in knowing that I have a savings account which I can dip in to if I’m struggling.
Here’s some tips on how you can save money whilst still being able to the do things you enjoy. I hope this is helpful!
Don’t waste money on food if you don’t need to- By this, I don’t mean never go out for a nice meal, because eating out is a lovely way to catch up with friends as well as a way of trying out new cuisine. However there’ve been times where I’ve found myself pointlessly buying sandwiches instead of making a packed lunch at home, and buying a bottle of water instead of filling it up from the tap. By making small changes, you’ll be surprised by how much money you actually save over a month.
Set yourself a ‘saving goal’- Every time you’re tempted by something in a shop that you don’t really need, think about what it is that you’re saving for. For example, I’m saving up for a car and holiday, so whenever I feel the temptation for something kicking in, I imagine myself in a car, or imagine myself on a beach somewhere exotic.
Use your student card- Whilst you’re still a student, make the most of it. Apps like Unidays make it all the more convenient for keeping student ID on you at all times. It makes such a difference when buying clothes, and you can often save up to 20%. Being a student also opens up the door to cheaper cinema tickets and cheaper meals out etc.
Watch out for cheap travel deals– If you’re 16-24, make sure you get yourself a 16-24 railcard. Although it’s a bit cheeky that you can’t use it before ten, after ten you get a 1/3 off rail travel which is especially useful on long distance journeys. Another way to save money on travel is by travelling at off peak times. On the Metrolink tram system in Manchester, there’s a huge price difference between on peak and off peak fair, and the same goes for train journeys. In terms of planes and long train journeys, it’s best to book at least three months in advance as again, it’s so much cheaper than booking last minute.
Try charity shop shopping- You’d be surprised at how many treasures you can find in them. I’ve got loads of nice clothes from them, and I tend to buy all my of books from there too. It saves me money, I still get to top up my wardrobe, and I often get more for my money. I’m not saying buy every single thing from the charity shop, but it’s definitely worth having a browse.
Sell things you don’t want anymore- Instead of letting all of your old things linger in your cupboards, sell them. Try eBay or Depop, or trade in DVD’s and games via stores such as Cex.
Sign up for customer cards from supermarkets– If you shop at Sainsburys, get yourself a Nectar card, if you shop at Tesco, get yourself a Clubcard etc. The points soon start to add up and a couple a pounds here and then makes all the difference in the long run. Me and Rich managed to buy a toaster for free from Sainsburys, simply by collecting up Nectar points and taking advantage of a double your points offer.
Make shopping lists- This way you know that you’re on track to buying everything that you need, and you’re less likely to make impulse buys.
Don’t commit to a gym membership unless you’re definitely going to go- I’m definitely guilty of this. Instead of signing up for a membership, why not try pay as you go until you’re one hundred percent sure you’re going to benefit from that full price membership. I’ve now swapped to doing this, and it’s a good job as I often don’t go when I’ve previously said I would.
Do you have any money saving tips?