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Managing Money as a Student - Not so Obvious Tips!

Whether you're currently a student, will be or you're just trying to manage your money, this article is for you!

In the transitional period between the end of school and the beginning of university, life can become difficult and overwhelming, given that it's a phase where you're independent, but not completely.

Here are some tips from a student to (most likely) another: these have worked very well for me and have changed not only mine, but also my friends' mindset and approach on budgeting as well.

Spending and saving money

Living alone for the first time ever is a big change: all of a sudden you need to clean - not only your room - but your bathroom, kitchen, do the laundry, vacuum the floors, manage the bins, and also do everyday tasks such as grocery shopping and cooking; all of this while attending lectures, studying and doing work at home, preparing for assessments, making and hanging out with new friends while also keeping up with the friends and family back home, continuing hobbies, sports and general lifestyle, having fun, and maybe even a part-time job!

Some of these activities might be a new thing for some people, some aren't. Here some suggestions and advice on how to manage money while being so busy.

1. The Choice of Supermarkets and Groceries

Going grocery shopping can be fun for some people, and stressful for others; either way, it's something that has to be done, and if well planned, at least once every two weeks.

First of all, the choice of the supermarket is fundamental, in order to save money. Depending on your area, you could make some research on what is cheaper for you, including the price of the products and the transportation to get there. A good strategy would be to shop at the nearest store in case of a quick purchase, but organise a bigger supermarket run for meals you will have in that week and the next one in a cheaper store.

Secondly, while picking products, remember: cooking from scratch, or partially, is way cheaper than ready meals. For example, instead of pasta bolognese in a microwavable packaging, you could buy raw pasta and bolognese sauce, which - not only might be cheaper per se - but will also last longer for many meals. This might take some time, but the price difference is unbelievable and the quality of the food even more.

While putting products in the basket it's also important to remember some tricks: most stores follow a marketing strategy, which positions cheaper products at the bottom shelf and sometimes, the higher ones too. The shelves in our vision span are the ones with the higher priced products, as we see them first and, usually, don't even look at the other ones.

2. Organising Fun Nights

Being a student is not only about studying, but also having fun, and this should not be avoided to save money. As a student, living with other students, we have all mastered the art of cheap nights out, so here are some recommendations:

1. Buy early bird tickets, or at least, don't get them on the same night.

The earlier you purchase club tickets, the cheaper they will be. This is not the only advantage, as you also get to choose out of a range of entry times and in case you can't go for any reason, resell it for more.

2. Pres is the way to go!

Drinks can be very expensive at clubs; if your plan is to be inebriated, initiate the process at home. This is also a really fun way of starting the night with friends, and maybe games!

3. Know your way home

If walking to your accommodation is not possible, be prepared on how to come back: check busses and trams, avoid taxis if you can. Remember, be safe!

4. Prepare a meal before the party starts

After a night out it's very normal to be hungry or wanting to fill up the stomach before going to bed. If you don't have already made food at home, you'll want to stop somewhere to buy it, which will make your night unnecessarily more expensive.

5. Second-hand clothes are a good sustainable solution

Night outfits getting dirty is a normal occurrence, whether it's a spilt drink, a fall, sweat or just a dirty environment. Additionally, they get used for not many hours on not so many days. The point is: buy second-hand clothes. They're cheap, it's not a big deal if they get ruined, and they are still good quality and fashionable. Not to mention you'll be unique and sustainable as well! Some platform recommendations to get these: Vinted, E-Bay, Depop.

3. Doing Laundry

Laundry can be very expensive as a student: the next two tips are really useful.

1. Get liquid detergent instead of pods

It might take you a while to understand the dosage of the liquid detergent, but once you do you'll save good money and it will also last longer.

2. Get a drying rack

This will help you save a big amount of money on the dryer, which can also help you avoid ironing your clothes, since they dry a lot neater if folded properly. Room size might be an issue for some people, however there is many drying rack solutions which fit in small spaces as well.

Enjoy your time

Saving money is important; however, it's also fundamental that you have fun! Never forget that the university experience only happens once, and you want to make the most out of it. Therefore, don't stress too much about it, and try following these tips to make it easy.

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