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Spending less money is easy… right? Not always. When the difference between the cost of our monthly essentials and our income is tight, then saving those few extra pounds can require some creativity. It can be even more difficult if you have a taste for the finer things in life, but a budget that barely stretches to include food.
We share some common sense and useful money saving tips for students below. They’ll help get you in the right frame of mind for managing your money, and possibly even help you to discover how to pay off student loans faster when you graduate. You really don’t have to be a skint student…
Depending on your budget, start to place self-imposed limits on how many times per month you eat out or order take away food. Create a set number of days where you’ll walk instead of using transport. Change your mindset to cut out all impulse purchases. You can quickly get into the habit of not making an impulse purchase if you still need the item a couple of days later then it will still be there. You can even create spending limits for when you do go out, to ensure you don’t break into money that should be used for things like rent or food.
Make money where you can
You can easily increase the width of your wallet by selling the items you are finished with, which can be particularly useful when you’re in Uni and you have to move around more often. You can buy and sell all the textbooks you need online. Paying the full price for a new textbook is expensive and unnecessary. The same goes for old things that you’ll never use, such as old CDs. If you use a music streaming service then your CD collection has become redundant. Trading them in at a local store, or selling them online, can add a handy few extra pounds to your budget.
Save money where you can
Always look for cheaper options, whether you’re buying textbooks or food. Supermarket value brands are very good, and there are whole recipe books dedicated to cooking with tinned foods, which can be considerably cheaper and just as healthy as using fresh ingredients. Avoid brand names wherever possible, why spend £80 on a pair of jeans when you can get some for £20. Buy in the sales if you can. When we don’t pay a bill on time, or our bank goes overdrawn, we can incur additional charges that only hinder us further. Managing your money will help to ensure you pay everything on time and avoid these extra costs.
Make it a habit
Being careful with your money will quickly become a habit, and before you know it you’ll be coming up with all sorts of new ways you can save money, from changing your phone plan to cooking with friends to split the cost, and just about everything in-between. You’ll even begin to notice the areas and times you overspend, which will help you to control or avoid these situations.
The time to spend big is after you’ve finished your education and have become successful out in the world. Your priority right now should be completing your education while incurring as little debt as possible.