It’s normal as a student for you to be skint. In fact it’s a right of passage. However, there are plenty of ways you can make the most of the days if all you have in your wallet is three paperclips, a euro and yesterday’s bus ticket.
Here are some top tips for being a thrifty student:
Don’t blow all your cash the day your loan comes through
It is a pretty lovely feeling when you check your account balance and there’s plenty of money right there for you to spend. And it’s oh so tempting to go out right away and splash the cash at the student union forgetting about your financial needs for the rest of the month.
As tempting as it is to do this, you will regret it fairly quickly.
So before you so much as buy a cheap pint with your loan, do the sensible thing and work out how much money you realistically need to survive each week. There’s nothing wrong with the odd treat here and there, but you don’t want to be living off smart price beans by the end of week one if you can help it. Getting into good budgeting habits will serve you well long term.
Make the most of what you’ve already got
Borrowing, swapping and trading are all great ways to make what you already have work for you. Need a new outfit for a night out? Run a swap night with your mates where everybody brings clothes they are happy to swap. Be creative, everyone is in the same boat so the more you can all share whilst mutually benefitting – the better.
Get a job
Not the best option when you’re up to your ears in coursework, but, if you have enough spare time a job can be a great way to gain work experience, make new friends and get a bit of extra cash in your pocket.
Make the most of student deals
The world is quite literally a students’ oyster in the way of deals. Student discounts are everywhere. Don’t be afraid of looking cheap or stingy – you’re a student and most companies want to cash in on your business.
Make the most of any deals
Vouchers could be your best friend when you’re looking to have a great time on a budget. Look for 2 for 1 deals or money off vouchers and make the most of them. If you’re planning to go out for a meal, go somewhere with a deal on so you pay half price or less. That way you have a bit more cash in the bank for other treats and living expenses.
Sell your stuff
If you have stuff you don’t want, sell it! Don’t hold on to items you don’t need or want when there’s someone out there willing to give you cold hard cash for them. If you’ve got a lot of items consider paying to sell at a carboot where you can sit and sell for a morning for as little as £5.00. You might not get top prices for your stuff but, all those 50p’s add up! If the items are worth more than you’ll get for them at a carboot, list them on free sites like Gumtree. If you’re selling really tatty stuff that no one will pay for, take it to a recycling shop where you won’t get much per KG, but you will get something.
Learn how to cook
University is usually when most young adults learn how to make the culinary basics.
Your first round of spaghetti on toast is a victory and something to be proud of!
A good way to save money and make the most of the kitchen in your student accommodation is to learn how to cook a few basics. By making big batches of cheap food like soup and spaghetti Bolognese from scratch you could save yourself tons of money and learn some new skills at the same time! You could even take this one step further and ask everyone else in the house if they want to do alternate meal nights where each day a different person has a set budget (so it’s fair) and buys food to cook every night. That way you’re all getting fed, trying out different cuisine and saving money at the same time.