10 money-draining things you could live without

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By in Save Money. Updated September 2016.

Any of these things could be draining your precious student loan, without you even knowing it! It’s time to make a few changes…burningcashjokerOur Student Money Survey this year revealed that students are experiencing on average a £250 shortfall every month when trying to survive of their maintenance loan.

Whether it’s simply just your rent and bills adding up, shelling out for uni course books or kitting out your new digs, it’s easy to blow your student loan pretty sharpish, leaving you in a bit of a pickle.

However, it is possible to make your student loan stretch a bit further if you know which expenses to live without. It may be a bit painful at first, but seeing your bank balance in the green will more than make up for it!

Your student years are the perfect time to master the art of charity shopping and becoming a pro user on swap sites to save cash. We show you how!

10 of the easiest things to do without

  1. Eating out

    cateatingoutEating out is always an enjoyable treat, but can be a real drain on the finances, so we’d suggest really limiting dining out for special occasions if money’s tight (check out this huge list of places you can eat out for free at on your birthday!).

    However, if you really enjoy your meals out and don’t want to give them up, make sure you check if there are deals for restaurants in your area or see where your student discount can be used.

    We’ve plenty more tips on saving money at restaurants in this guide if the pleasure of dining out is something you simply can’t live without!

  2. Bottled water

    walking in the rainWhile it’s convenient to buy a bottle of water whenever you want it, it can slowly start adding up when bottles cost around a pound each. If you get three of these a day that can total £15 in a busy uni week. Ouch!

    A better alternative is to get a flask or refillable bottle, which can be bought on Amazon for around £3.

    You could also consider getting a Bobble – a refillable water bottle which has a built in filtering system, so this is perfect if you’re worried about the quality of water in your area. They range from £8.99 to £12.99 depending on size, but are worth the investment.

    As one reader also point out, you can buy bottled water for so much cheaper if you had to a supermarket and buy a 2 litre bottle of table water for about 17p! If you don’t mind lugging a huge bottle around uni all day…

  3. Daily takeaway coffees

    coffeeaddictBuying a coffee from chains like Starbucks or Costa on the way to uni every day may be a good wake-me-up, but it can burn a serious hole in your pocket.

    If you really can’t give up your coffee fix in the morning, it’s worth looking for smaller local cafes on your way to uni, as these will be much cheaper than Starbucks.

    Alternatively, you could even brew your own at home with one of our fav kitchen gadgets (number 3 on this list) and pop it in a thermos to take to uni with you.

    We often find deals for free coffee too so look out for them in our student freebies section!

  4. Pre-drinking in bars

    Pre DrinkingWhile meeting up at the Student Union or a local pub before a night out can be a nice idea, it can add between £10-£20 to your night out, whereas having people over to your house for pre-drinks costs much less in comparison.

    If you’re keen to get on the cocktail train, check out this excellent guide we have to making the best homemade cocktails – you don’t have to be Tom Cruise to master them either!

  5. Impulse buys

    shopaholicThe journey from your student digs to your lectures will most likely take you past shops, and it can be tough to keep walking sometimes – even when you know fine well your bank balance is in the red.

    Even if we’re talking 70% off flash sales, you don’t need that new top more than you need to be able to feed yourself, so please just have a bit of foresight!

  6. Taxis

    taxiWe know it’s easy to have an extra ten minutes in bed, miss the bus then end up having to get a taxi to uni so you don’t miss that same tutorial for the third week in a row. We’ve all been there!

    But even just one or two taxis a week really does add up, so suck it up and be more time aware!

  7. The best of everything

    tinaturnerEveryone knows there’s not really that much difference between Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference and Sainsbury’s Basics (except for the price, of course), but it’s funny how dedicated people become to brands, even when living off a measly maintenance loan.

    For example, many students use Benefit products, but Soap and Glory are a cheaper alternative, which consistently score just as well when compared, and even come in similar packaging, but at £7 for a S&G cleanser and £16.50 for a Benefit one, the price difference is clear.

    We’re also huge advocators of the supermarket downshift, and we suggest you give it a try if times are tight!

  8. The latest of everything

    gadgetmanHaving the most up-to-date products might make you look the ticket, but it’s an unnecessary expense that you just can’t afford during your uni years (as much as you don’t want to believe this).

    For instance, the latest and previous iPhones aren’t even that different in terms of what they can do, but the older models can be scooped up for as little as half the price!

  9. Pointless or inappropriate insurance

    pointlessMost students head off to uni with almost every gadget you can think of… smartphone, iPod, laptop, tablet, Kindle, you name it (well, they are essentials, right?).

    Often though, students pay out for different insurance for each gadget, without really considering how much this adds up to per month.

    Investigating what contents insurance options are available as a student is always worth a bit of time, and should be re-evaluated yearly to see what new deals are going.

  10. Gym membership

    Off Peak GymMaybe you’re on a mission to get hench, or even just lose a few pounds, but remember there are other ways to do this rather than joining the gym.

    Even cheap gym memberships will set you back around £15/month – just imagine what you could do with that money!

    As always, if you do insist on paying for a cheap gym membership, at least follow our advice on getting it cheaper.

Do you have any other suggestions of what to cut out to save cash? Let us know in the comments below…

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