Student life is budget life. You might get student loans and grants to help you navigate your way through higher education, but the fact is that it’s never quite enough to live off. Money is tight and ensuring that ends meet and you don’t end up calling your parents to send over some ‘emergency money’ is not always easy to achieve.
I remember many times when I was an undergraduate having to be ‘bailed out’ by my parents when I overspent. My first semester was a learning curve; I realised that if I was going to survive three years of student life, I needed to ensure that I understood how to live on a smaller budget. I learned to adapt and managed to cope well for the three years that I was an undergraduate for.
Now that I am back at university again – this time as a postgraduate student – I am back to learning how to cut costs. Despite having a full-time business to run, I still need to find ways to keep costs low.
Below are some tips and ideas for the best ways that you can cut costs and make university life more affordable. For everything that you need to know, have a read of these tips and pieces of advice.
Open two bank accounts
A tip I learned in my first year of university was to open two bank accounts so that you could split your funds. By opening two bank accounts you can have one account for your day-to-day living expenses, and one account for your rent and bills. That way there’s no risk that you will accidentally spend your rent and bills money – this was an error I made in my first semester of university and it was a total nightmare.
Be mindful about your spending
It’s far too easy to overspend, particuarly when you have a whole semester’s funds available all at once. However, it’s essential that you think carefully about every penny that you spend – never impulse buy, only buy if you actually need the item that you’re planning on purchasing. It’s crucial to understand the difference between want and need – you might want a certain item but do you need it.
For instance, when it comes to food shopping – a weekly expense – it’s helpful to meal plan beforehand, to ensure that you are only buying what you need. If you need help with this, there are plenty of apps available to help make planning your meals easier.
Take advantage of deals and discounts
A handy hack that I learned while studying at university the first time around was to ensure that I was taking advantage of all of the deals and discounts available to me. There are some amazing websites around, such as Freebies UK, for instance, that have a whole range of deals available on them. I use these sites to see what products I can save money on, such as shampoo and conditioner or laundry detergent.
If you actually take the time to look for deals online, you can find some amazing ones available. You would be amazed at the amount of money you can save yourself if you take the time to have a browse online.
So there you have it, a few handy tips for ways in which you can cut costs and make student life manageable even on a teeny, tiny budget.