Best student money saving tips
What they say about money and trees is true, unfortunately. The number one money saving tip is to only spend what you can afford. That means be careful with loans, overdrafts and borrowed money.
Remember: borrowed money is owed money. And the more you borrow, the more you’ll have to pay back with interest. Curb your spending and you’ll save on the interest you would pay – get paid not to spend! Now, let’s get into some specific money saving advice.
- Get a free account on mySupermarket.co.uk to save up to 20% immediately.
- Share food costs with flatmates – buying in bulk is cheaper.
- Don’t food shop on an empty stomach.
- Try a cooking rota with your flatmates. You’ll each enjoy a variety of foods and spend less time cooking! Plus, you will know exactly what you need, what to cook, and how to cook it.
- Freeze food – frozen food is cheaper and this means you can buy bargains to eat weeks later. Obviously, your food also lasts much longer.
- Grow your own veg – get a grow bag and watch the vegetable magic unfold!
- Resist a greasy kebab after a night out; instead, have something tasty ready back home before you go out. Leftovers from dinner are always good!
- Purchase a Young Persons Railcard for £26 a year. The card saves you a massive 1/3 on all rail journeys in the UK.
- Book train tickets in advance from thetrainline.co.uk. It may also be cheaper to split a journey than buy one ticket, especially if you get your first train during peak times.
- Get a bike. Once you’ve got it, it’s completely free (and often quicker) to get around. This is an absolute bargain, especially considering people pay £30 a month to go on cycle machines at the gym, and they ain’t goin’ nowhere!
- If you use the bus more than twice a day, buy a weekly pass to save on fares.
- Flying abroad? Make sure you get the cheapest flights by using a comparison site like Opodo.
- Oh, and you don’t need a car at uni. Do you?
Top Tip: Check out our cheap student bus passes article.
- You can save a fortune buying course books second-hand or online. Definitely check Amazon’s undergraduate section (they do free delivery too).
- Use the library more. Also, make use of the reservation system so you don’t end up having to buy an in-demand course book. If you do need to buy one, split the cost with course mates and share it.
Top Tip: See our article on how to save money on text books.
- Shop online and compare prices before you buy, using price comparison sites such as Kelkoo.
- Use Quidco and get cash-back when buying online! Big savings can be made, especially on insurance and other finance. You’ll also get 50p just for joining.
- Buy clothes from vintage and second-hand stores (eg. at the Northern Quarter in Manchester) or charity shops.
- Always ask for a student discount.
- Quit the gym and cancel your subscription. Go jogging, swimming or cycling with friends, or join an outdoors society.
- You can make your own beauty treatments using our updated tips.
Top Tip: There are lots of tips on home work outs and how to avoid hangovers/freshers flu in our student health section.
- Beat the touts on sold-out gigs – use Scarlet Mist to buy spare tickets at an “ethical” face value or less.
- Orange 2 for 1 Wednesday cinema tickets. Get an Orange SIM-card and switch it when you go to qualify without a contract! Smuggle in your own food and drinks too.
- If you are going on a night out to a club, then try pre-drinking or mixing your own cocktails beforehand so that you spend less in the club later on.
- Look out for deals such as earlybird tickets and text guestlists. This requires group planning, but it is well worth it.
Top Tip: We have a student entertainment and going out section.
- Put all spare change in a jar. It adds up fast. When it’s full, take it to the bank and exchange it for some crisp paper.
- Don’t use ATMs that charge you. You could be charged £2 just for taking out a tenner. There is always a message shown if they do charge. It’s always worth a walk to save the money.
Even more student money saving
- Don’t get Sky, or even a TV. In the last year, the major TV companies have most programmes available to watch online for free. If you must watch Sky Sports, then check out our best TV deals for students.
- Stop calling home – instead, use Skype or e-mail for free.
- Get OpenOffice for free to save on Microsoft’s expensive Office package. I think it actually works even better.
- Save on electricity by turning off lights, unplugging phone chargers, and turning off the TV.
- Recycle gifts by passing on those presents you don’t want or no longer use.
- Slice the bottom of toothpaste tubes to get that extra use out of it.
Some of the broadsheet newspapers offer a significant discount off of their weekday issues for students. Like with the banks and their discount bait, these offers are also used to hook students by using the powerful tool of loyalty. Regardless, this is still great for the money saving and news weary student!
If you’re not a big reader anyway, or your study workload means you do not have the time to read more than a few articles, remember you can get every news story on the web for free. Google News fetches headlines and stories from news websites across the world.
Please add your own money saving tips for other students! We’re all in the same boat..