If you’re starting Uni in September, or even if you’re a year or so in and are worried about going back to looming overdraft limits, then you’ll be thinking about money. After the excitement of your first few weeks of signing up for societies (partying) sitting through countless ice breaker sessions (scoping out your local pubs) and bonding with your new flatmates (playing drinking games) it will suddenly dawn on you that you will have to actually survive on your own. We’ve got the top 10 money saving tips for students to make sure you stand a good chance of actually succeeding!
Get a student discount card – not all shops will accept your Uni student card, especially if you’re buying online, but the savings you’ll get from an NUS card usually outweigh the £12 it costs to get one. Plus, you don’t want to be one of those annoying people on social media pestering for your friend’s codes…
Get free haircuts – check if there’s a hair or beauty college near you. A lot of them offer haircuts or beauty treatments for free or a few pounds compared to the £30+ in a salon. They take a lot longer to do – but only because all of their actions are approved by a qualified stylist first, don’t worry!
Be aware of your heating bill– it’s easy to be casual about putting the heating on, until you get the first bill. Wear layers and put the timer on only for the hours that most people are going to be in the flat (this will also save you a few arguments) or go full-on student and study in the library – free heating AND electricity!
Declare your car as SORN – if you go to University in a city the chances that you’ll need your car at all are pretty slim, public transport is your friend. Leave it at home, declare it as off the road and you don’t have to pay insurance – you just have to park it on private land.
Attend focus groups –follow your Uni on all their social media channels, or keep an eye out for announcements on campus. Focus groups usually only take an hour at most and your Uni usually provides some form of compensation, whether it be food, vouchers or money, for your time and opinion.
Be smart when food shopping – DO NOT shop when you’re hungry or hungover because you WILL buy pop, chocolate, a ready meal and not much else. Start from the cheaper shops and work your way up to the more expensive ones if they don’t have what you want. Buying your favourite things in bulk or shopping with your flatmates could also save you a lot of money in the long run!
Find the cheapest utilities provider – it’s boring, but shop around for the providers that are going to give you the best deal. If you’re worried about flat arguments when splitting the bills every month, then look at companies such as Glide that track and pay your bills for you. They take the same equal (pre-agreed) amount out of each of your accounts every month and if you overpay your bills when the year is up you get a handy refund!
Get clued up on your TV license – if you only use on demand services then you don’t need a license – as long as you don’t watch their live streams. If you want your own TV then make sure you get a refund for the summer holidays, you’re entitled to it if you’re not going to be there!
Research your options for exercise – obviously running is free, but if you find it hard to motivate yourself local clubs in your area usually have their own social media channels and only charge small fees. Some Universities offer gym deals if you live in their accommodation and a lot of parks have installed gym equipment that’s free for the public.
Use Qmee – you guessed it! Whether you’re writing essays or putting off writing essays, chances are you’re using a search engine. Downloading Qmee ensures that all that hard work pays off in more ways than one :)
If you have any other money saving tips for students, please share them!