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5 Hacks to Save your Dosh at University!

If you want to live a healthier life and eat better at university, you need to learn how to make your money last longer

This image illustrates someone placing a coin in what's known as a 'piggy bank' to show to the audience the idea of saving your money.

As soon as your first loan drops it can seem like a large amount, but you may find out it sure doesn't last as long as you may think. Nothing is worse than being away from home and eating pasta or cold beans each term at university. Yuck!

Below I have picked out five of the best money-saving tips for students:

Always check for student discount

Student discounts are one of the best methods to help you spend less on your favourite things. They are everywhere. This can be used in stores, so ensure you always keep your student card on you, as you never know when you may need it to get a percentage off your purchases.

Don't ever be afraid to ask at the till for a student discount. Sometimes retail stores don't advertise that they offer it, so ensure you're always asking and you might find yourself a nice surprise.

UNiDAYS is one of the most popular discount websites created especially for students. It's completely free! All you need to do is create an account with them and sign up with your university email and then you can have access to thousands of brands at a discount. This can be used online and in-store where your UNiDAYS ID will need to be presented which can be generated from the app.

Get yourself a 16-25 railcard for travelling

You will likely be travelling by train when you're at university. Whether it's going back home over the term holidays or visiting your friends at other universities, you may find that the train is the easiest method for you.

By getting a 16-25 railcard for only £30 for a year, you can get 1/3 off your train tickets. Or you can purchase one for £70 which will last for 3 years, which is ideal for those whose courses are 3 years long. This is a great way to save money on your travels.

Be wise when shopping at the supermarket

With the rising cost of living, it is important to think carefully about how and what you buy when you visit the supermarket.

Doing big weekly shops can help you less likely to buy more than what you have budgeted for. It also helps you think about the types of things you are eating and help avoid buying unhealthy and expensive takeouts on the weekdays.

When shopping in supermarkets, you should consider buying non-branded items, as they tend to be much cheaper and not much different from branded items. However, if you're a fussy eater consider getting a club card to save money by claiming points from your purchases.

Try doing your shops later in the day as supermarkets tend to reduce some of their products when they can't sell products that are not considered fresh the following day.

Make yourself a budget

Budgeting can help you identify if you are spending too much, or if you have money to spare. It is a great way to visualise your income and your expenditure.

First work out the money incoming such as:

  • any loans, grants or bursaries that you may receive from the government financing;

  • money that you receive from any part-time job;

  • and money that you receive from your parents.

Then calculate your outgoings such as:

  • your rent for accommodation;

  • any bills such as your phone tariff;

  • food shops;

  • any transport;

  • university books;

  • and clothes.

The remaining money is free to either spend or save. This way you can plan and become more organised to calculate how much disposable income you have to spend on the things you like.

Be smart when using your overdraft

An overdraft is a set sum of money which your bank provider allows you to borrow at no extra cost. Banks can sometimes add big fees for borrowing large sums however, it is completely INTEREST-FREE for all students.

Banks can lend large sums of money e.g. an overdraft of £1,500, and if you treat this as free money it can end up not looking nice when you have graduated from university and are having to pay the sum back to the bank.

If you have a student bank account with access to an overdraft, try and act like it's not there and only use that feature for emergencies and as a backup option.

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