Keeping to your budget as a student can be difficult. Here are some of our top money-saving tips to help you take control of your finances.
Many students have trouble managing their finances. With so many expenses and commitments to balance, it can be difficult to stick to your budget. So we’ve put together some of our top money-saving tips that are designed specifically for students. Take advantage of these financial strategies and you’ll find it far easier to manage your money.
1. Take control of your budget (for real this time)
We know that taking control of your budget is difficult. Trust us, we’ve all been there before. But it’s important that you stop procrastinating about managing your money and finally start to take your financial situation seriously. Here are a few things to help you out:
1. Check how much income you make and how often it comes in. Try to divide this into weekly or monthly numbers if possible.
2. Calculate your weekly or monthly expenses. Record everything and don’t be dishonest with yourself!
3. Put your expenses into a spreadsheet. This will make it easier to keep track of things and calculate exactly how much you’re spending.
4. Subtract your expenses from your weekly or monthly income. If you’re in the red, then you need to reduce those expenses!
Keep up with recording your expenses and keep track of your income and money. Do this for a few months and you’ll be a lot smarter about how you spend your money and can easily make decisions on what to cut and what to save on.
2. Look smart for less with a non-iron shirt
Whether you’re heading to a formal party or job interview, looking smart is important for creating a good first impression. This is fairly common for students, but unfortunately, it’s rather expensive to get a fancy outfit every time.
To make this cheaper, consider getting a non-iron shirt from Charles Tyrwhitt. These shirts are fantastic because they’re durable, they look great, and best of all, you don’t have to iron them or dry clean them. This saves you so much money and you’ll still look great every time.
3. Learn to cook and prep your own meals
Of all the skills you could teach yourself, it’s a good idea to consider learning how to cook and prep your own meals.
Cooking saves you a lot of money in the long term because you’ll pay less for food, and you can make it extremely convenient if you learn to prep meals on your days off so you can spend less time and money cooking.
4. Get off the tech hype train and save big with other brands
Looking to get the new iPhone next year? Unless you need it for your studies (you probably don’t) then get off the tech hype train and save big with other brands. For example, if you’re looking to upgrade your phone soon, why not consider a new model from Samsung instead? It’s far cheaper, comes with similar or better features, and you’ll finally stop paying a premium just for the brand.
5. Stop buying new when used and second-hand are perfectly fine
If you want to save big on tech, start looking at refurbished, second-hand and used goods. There are plenty of legitimate places to get electronics and other goods that have been used. Refurbished typically means that the item itself has been repaired or fixed to a better standard, so that’s what you should look for in most cases.
That said, buying second-hand and used aren’t so bad either. Just make sure the seller is legitimate and has good ratings and you’re good to go. Why pay full for something when you can save plenty of cash by getting it used?
6. Save on supplements with bulk deals
We know that a lot of students are really into fitness and health. As such, you probably take quite a lot of supplements. Be it vitamins and minerals or protein for your bodybuilding, it can get really expensive to resupply your supplements every month.
So why not get some bulk deals from Myprotein instead? We should all know that buying in bulk can save a lot of money, but when it comes to things like supplements, you can save so much money by buying several months worth of supply at once. There’s really no better way to save money on these kinds of items.
7. Be smarter about grocery shopping
And while we’re on the topic of shopping, it’s time to get smarter about your groceries. Like before, saving on bulk purchases is really important. However, you should also consider looking at expiry dates, best before dates, and discounts at certain times of the day.
There are periods around early evening (a bit after lunch) and late night (a bit before closing time) where you can get loads of deals for food that the store hasn’t sold. You can also get deals on food and items that are close to their best before dates, but best before doesn’t mean it’s going to go rotten that exact same day! You can still get it and keep it fresh for several days.
8. Ditch the smartwatch and go for a traditional timepiece
Smartwatches are all the rage these days, but are they really that useful? Your smartphone can do most of the things that your current smartwatch does, so why pay more for a glorified watch?
Selling your smartwatch and use those funds to get yourself a watch from ASOS or a similar proper timepiece. They look amazing, they don’t need to be charged, and it can end up saving you a lot of money.
9. Stop being cheap with certain purchases
This sounds counterintuitive, but there are going to be times where you should actually pay more instead of being cheap.
A great example of this is with electronic accessories. Looking to get a new USB cable to charge your phone? Don’t go cheap with the 5-pack for £5. They’re going to break eventually from regular use and you’re going to get annoyed. Spend a little extra and get yourself the £10 cable that will last you longer than your phone.
10. Need to spread out a purchase? Be smart about fees and interest
If you’re going to spread out an expensive purchase, make sure you look for services that don’t charge you extra fees and interest. Whether you’re paying via a credit card or using a buy-now-pay-later scheme that the store offers, always look at the fine print to make sure you don’t get charged fees or interest that make it more expensive than it should be.
Looking to save by spreading purchases over time and save money? Activate for selected stores through Zilch and Student Beans and you’ll get your discount code. With Zilch, there are no hidden fees involved and you can pay over time wherever you are.