We all know that student life isn't as easy as it seems. Some statistics that prove this are, in general, true but not very useful. To avoid running out of toilet paper at the end of the month because you've got no money left for anything, take a look at these 30 tips to help you save money and earn yourself a living. Here's to a relaxed end of the month and to the filling of your fridge to the brim without having a huge mental crisis!
Banking and budgeting
1. Find yourself a bank that's the most adapted for your needs.
Some offer you a personalised overdraft, some a deferred debit payment, others an attractive interest rate: take your time to compare all of the different offers.
2. Keep all of your bills
and put the quantities in an Excel chart
to keep track of your monthly spending.
3. Think about writing down the amount and reason on the stub for all of the cheques
you write. This way, you can find the origin for all of the cheques that sometimes mysteriously appear on your bank balance...
4. Find (or release your artistic side and make) a money-box
and drop all of your loose change from your pockets and purse in it. Also add all the pennies that you get every time you pay with cash, and once it's full, stop by the bank and tip it all straight into your bank account.
Eating and drinking
1. Don't bankrupt yourself on a night out. Cocktails can be very expensive
2. If you tend to drink a lot, try to do so as cost-effectively
as possible. Drink alcohol with the best price/quality relationship (note that I didn't say the cheapest...), buy bottles instead of shots in a bar and make the most of happy hours
and open bars
. If you'replanning on drinking a lot, pre-drinking is probably your best way to do so. (Writer's note: alcohol is to be consumed in consideration and all that...
), and most importantly, don't take too much money out with you!
3. Are you addicted to coffee? Instead of having a coffee in your local coffee shop, try out the coffee machine at work
(normally, you can get yourself a drink that isn't much worse than one in a restaurant for around 50 or 60 pence). Or you could always prepare yourself with a morning coffee at home. The choice is yours!
4. Make the most of offers and reduced food
at your local supermarket. Avoid using convenient stores, and maybe for the benefit of your budget, avoid locally produced products in small stores in your area.
5. If you have truly run out of food and you need something for dinner, why not order a take-away and go and collect it yourself
? Websites such as Just Eat
offer you plenty of different types of food as well as special offers and discounts in your area. Avoid big brands to avoid big spending; you can often get just as good or better from a smaller company at a smaller price nearby.
Computers and technology
1.Think about investing in a good padlock
in order to store your computer away at night. It's better to buy a decent padlock than to have to buy a new computer!
2. Install Linux on
your computer; you'll find a range of free programmes of the same quality as those equivalent to the Windows versions for example.
3. Don't renew your warranty
after the first year, you probably won't need it anyway (remember that we are trying to save money here, so take care of your devices yourself so that you don't need it!)
4. Instead of buying a printer and ink cartridges, use your local library's printer
. In general, you won't actually save a lot of money by buying your own as nowadays it's fairly cheap to print elsewhere anyway.
5. If your laptop or computer has stopped working, why not use the pieces from that one to make a new one
? This is only for the skilled technicians of course! Sometimes it's cheaper to go to an IT shop to try and fix it than to buy a new one for those less talented in the technology area.
1. Why not buddy up
and share a compulsory text book with a classmate? It would save you both some money if you split the cost. When it comes to exam preparation, there are normally spare copies in the library that you can take out to study from, but check this beforehand just in case! If not, group study sessions are often a good idea!
2. Look out for second hand books
in charity shops and car-boot fairs. Once people finish with their text books for the year or once they've graduated, they tend to sell their books at a small price on college and uni websites and Facebook pages
at the end of the academic year, so keep your eyes peeled! Also, on websites like amazon.co.uk, for example, you have the option of buying second hand books instead of buying them new.
3. For dissertations or any other project in which you'll be collecting data, statistics, market studies...etc, there are plenty of free online services available to you as a student
. Universities sometimes have their own provider so check that too!
1. Forget about 'needing' a television
; no licence-fee, no registration-fee, no need to buy an actual television. Nowadays, most things are available on your computer.
Websites such as BBC's iplayer
now exist so that you can catch up on the latest Eastenders episode with no extra charge.
2. High-tech radios are purely an extra cost.
Like the above, the radio is also available through the wonderful laptop or mobile phone.
3. Love the cinema but seem to be spending a fortune on the expensive tickets and snacks?
Make the most of morning showings as they tend to be cheaper. Avoid 3D versions and go to those independent cinemas near you which are a lot cheaper than the popular cinema chains.
4. Find yourself a work group
. Not only will you be able to revise and study together, but what's better is that the more time you spend with the group, the less time you'll have to be spending money (and procrascinating!)
5. Give private tuition
a go! Use your expertise to teach others, boost your CV and earn yourself some regular money.
1. Make sure you buy your friends and family's Christmas presents well in advance
. If you're really dedicated to saving money, the winter sales after Christmas is the perfect time to buy your bits and pieces, sometimes saving half the price!
2. Buy in bulk.
You'll always save money by buying six bottles of shower gel instead of getting them all individually. Who knows, you could always sell the other 5 bottles that you don't need right now to your housemates, and even make a profit!
3. Always make a shopping list
of things you need so that you don't spend your money on all the attractive adverts that are intentionally drawing you in.
4. Don't give into the latest trends
. Vintage is really "in" at the moment, so if you're fed up of wearing the same old clothes, just think that "it's retro" and you'll be fine. However, with this latest fashion, everyone's buying Polaroid cameras but it doesn't mean that you have to too! Save your money for something that you will use more than once.
1. Become a private tutor
2. Sign up for medical studies
: the majority of the hospitals are always looking for volunteers. In general, it means you have to go regularly to the hospital for blood tests or tests of such, and you're paid for it! Helping future yet generations as well as your present economic situation: everyone is a winner!
3. The fast-food shop at the end of the road is your new best friend for finding a job with flexible hours.
What's better is that you'll probably bag yourself a few free meals here and there, perfect!
4. Summer jobs.
Try and find a job that you'll like and where you'll be given free accommodation. Holiday firms and camp sites are a good place for this kind of thing. It'll be like being on holiday, yet getting paid for it!
Now you're equipped with all of the key tips to master your budget making ;)