It’s probably fair to say that there are a few bigger clichés when it comes to student living than trying to get by with nothing more than lint and buttons to live off. But cliché as it may be, the simple fact of the matter is that the vast majority of students really do have barely enough cash to make ends meet. You select the most appropriate student accommodation Newcastle has to offer, you pay your bills responsiblyand in no more than a few short weeks, you’re completely broke once again. And as you have then a rather painful period ahead before any cash comes in…well, the phrase ‘every little helps’ comes to mind.
This is precisely why it can be enormously helpful to occasionally revisit a selection of helpful hacks and trusted tricks for ensuring that expenses are at least kept to absolute minimums. It’s not as if money grows on trees, so more often than not the very best you can do is try as hard as possible to spend as little as possible.
So for those with every intention of making this particular term the one in which they finally get by without experiencing a true poverty, here’s a quick rundown of a few highly helpful hacks:
- When the time comes to buy textbooks and other essential materials, don’t fall into the trap of buying any of them brand new. The books you’ll need throughout your time at university have the potential to cost a fortune, though can be picked up for up to 90% less by buying them secondhand. Given the fact that you will only need them temporarily, it just makes so much more sense.
- Grocery shopping probably will not be your favouriteactivity, though will undoubtedly be something that appeals to you more when you are absolutely starving. Perhaps the single most important rule in the world when it comes to grocery shopping is to never, under any circumstances do it while hungry. This is particularly true for those already living on a relatively limited budget.
- And for that matter, you might also want to do your level best to make sure you never go shopping for anything whatsoever while under the influence. The reason being that you are 99.9% likely to take home a bunch of impulse purchases the likes of which you neither need nor can afford – all of which you probably would have passed up if you were sober.
- Never underestimate the true expense of eating out – even if you find fast food joints that appear to be incredibly cheap. The simple fact of the matter is that to shop wisely and prepare your own meals will absolutely always work out cheaper.
- If you smoke, quit. The United Kingdom is one of the most expensive places in the entire world to be a smoker – having to fork out this kind of cash for cigarettes as a student is borderline crazy.
- Something else to remember is that despite the fact that students are clearly not made of money, lenders and financial service providers in general will show no mercy when it comes to punishing late payments. From utility bills to credit card statements and everything else besides, the costs of even slightly breaking the rules with regard to repayment can be extraordinarily painful to say the least.
- Painful as it may be, get into the habit of taking the bus as regularly and often as possible as opposed to using taxis. Most major cities these days operate night buses and long-term travel passes will save you an absolute fortune over the long-term.
- Think about reducing your own Internet service package to an absolute minimum and instead use the generous free Wi-Fi offered by pretty much every café, bar, restaurant and library in the country.
- Instead of waiting for student discounts to come along for the shops and services you like, think instead about working with what’s available to you. It doesn’t particularly matter if it is your favourite restaurant or High Street clothing retailer – if they’re offering a 30% discount for students, it would be crazy not to use it.
- Last but not least, see if you can get one or more of your housemates to agree on combining grocery shopping in order to buy things in bulk. More often than not, it’s possible to buy relatively enormous amounts of the kinds of staples you’ll probably find yourself living off for very little more than the smaller packs available in standard grocery stores.