Managing your finances when you are a student can be extremely tricky. There is rent, food, books, travel and, of course, the occasional night out to factor in. This can be hard if you are not working, which is why it is important to look for great ways to save cash wherever possible. Using these tips will ensure that you do not end up starving at the end of term and unable to afford to go out and have any fun.
The first thing to do will be to make a budget for the term and carefully stick to it. You may be tempted to splash the cash when your student loan comes in at the start of term, but this could make the last few weeks of term particularly challenging. Calculate how much money you have coming in and then subtract unavoidable expenses like rent and bills. The remaining money will go into food, travel expenses, course materials, social events etc.
Food can be a huge expense, but it is absolutely vital that you eat well. Instead of buying an expensive sandwich at uni or getting a takeaway on a lazy Sunday, make all of your meals yourself. You will be amazed at how much money you can save when you know how to cook and there are all kinds of great student-friendly recipes to find online.
Cycle/Skateboard to uni
Getting the bus or driving into university each day can cost a huge sum over the course of a term. Instead of coughing up for this, consider cycling or even skateboarding in each day. In addition to being completely free of charge, this is also an excellent form of exercise and could be much more enjoyable than being crammed onto a bus each morning.
Look Out for Student Discounts
You can actually save an enormous amount by looking out for student discounts. Many places offer discounts, including clothes shop, supermarkets, fast food restaurants and more. Always ask when out shopping and research online to see where you should be shopping to save cash.
Avoid Buying New Books
You will need to read a lot of books no matter what your course is. These can be very expensive, which is why it is important to look for other ways to obtain the material. Act quickly to get the text from the university library, but if not you could look in the local library or department noticeboards (students often look to get rid of the book once they are finished with it).
It is easy to walk around the supermarket and pick out all of the recognisable brands, but these cost a significant amount more than non-branded. In some cases, it may be worth paying slightly more, but for a lot of products the quality is indistinguishable.
Instead of going to the nightclubs in town or the cinema, keep your eyes peeled for free events put on by your university. Many host movie nights, parties, markets, exhibitions and other activities for free.
Managing your money can be tricky as a student, but the above tips should help you to live comfortably and still be able to enjoy yourself come the end of term.