Whilst this isn’t all a comprehensive list of money-saving hacks, it’s definitely a start and gives you a foundation to get creative. Whether it’s hearty meals you can cook at home or tips on saving money on travel, continue reading to find out how to live your best frugal, student life.
1. Get your cook on!
Whilst Uber Eats or Deliveroo might be tempting, try to cook at home instead of eating out or ordering a takeaway. Eating out can be expensive, especially if you do it frequently. Cooking at home is a great way to save money and eat healthier. There are many easy and affordable recipes available online and in cookbooks (check out one of the lists we found online here)
2. Take advantage of student discounts.
Many businesses (UniDays, student beans) offer discounts to students. Be sure to ask about student discounts before you make a purchase. You can also get a student ID card from your school, which will give you access to even more discounts.
3. Shop around for deals
Don’t always buy the first thing you see, instead shop around for the best deals. Although time isn’t infinite and you might be in a rush due to deadlines and plans, try to compare prices in different shops in order to ensure you aren’t paying over the odds. You can also find good deals online.
4. Avoid impulse buys.
Whilst it is easy to overspend (trust us, we've all been there), try to restrain yourself and instead, wait 24 hours before buying something to see if you still want it. This limits you from wasting unnecessary money.
5. Buy second-hand textbooks
Textbooks can be expensive, therefore you can save money by buying textbooks from online retailers or even checking student pages to see if anyone is selling a book you require for the year. Similarly, you can rent textbooks from some bookstores as well as your campus library. We’ve found a website here that sells second-hand textbooks, so you don’t have to
6. Be travel conscious
Using public transportation, riding a bike or even walking to school is a great way to save money, especially if you live close to campus. This saves you money on petrol and parking, however, if you do need to drive, consider carpooling with friends or coursemates.
7. Take advantage of free activities
There are many free and low-cost activities available to students that are organised by your University. Check with your school's student union or local community centre for a list of upcoming events. You can also find free activities online and in local neighbourhood forums. This website has lots of options for activities that won’t break the bank.
8. Negotiate your bills
Many companies are willing to negotiate your bills, especially if you're a student. Be sure to call your service providers and ask for a discount. Package providers aren’t always the cheapest, and although it creates more work it will save you plenty of money - it’s worth it!
9. Share expenses
If you live in halls with flatmates you get on well with or coursemates in second year and beyond, consider sharing expenses such as the food shop each week. Not only does this save you money, it’s also a great way to socialise and make friends by cooking together. Equally, organise sorting out flat activities such as film nights where one person is responsible for purchasing one thing (popcorn, snack, drinks, a game for after etc). Apps such as Splitwise or Splid are great and take away the complexities of who owes who.
10. Start saving early
Whilst it’s tempting to blow the rest of your budget on a night out, try to put away some money each month, even if it’s £5 or £10. This money will add up over time, the more time your money has to grow
11. Apply for scholarships and grants.
There are many scholarships and grants available to students. Be sure to do your research and apply for as many scholarships and grants as you qualify for. This can help to reduce the amount of student loan debt you have to take on.