How to save money as a student

Sarah Parker's picture
Authored by Sarah Parker
Posted: Tuesday, October 27, 2020 - 21:31

Starting your student life at college or university is an exciting milestone in life and definitely one that you won’t forget.

Just like any part of growing up and becoming an independent adult, it’s not without its challenges.

You’re now responsible for taking care of yourself, making sure you get to your lectures on time and doing the work - unlike school, nobody is going to be standing over you to make sure you do it, so it’s up to you.

Another aspect of adult life you’re now going to be dealing with is finances and possibly managing your own for the first time in your life, and although this is a great life skill to learn and have, keeping yourself in check when it comes to spending isn’t the easiest thing to do when your friends are out partying and you have to choose between a pint or a plate of pasta.

So, to help you navigate this new phase of life responsibly and also still be able to enjoy the experience of meeting new people and being a student, we’ve put together some tips to help you save money as a student so that you don’t have to choose between eating and partying.

Create A Monthly Budget:

Budgeting may sound like something your parents do and makes you roll your eyes because it sounds supremely boring, but trust us, that when you’re left with a few extra pounds to spend as you please at the end of the month whilst your friends are deciding how to split the last packet of noodles in the cupboard, you’ll be glad you took the 20-30 minutes out of your day to do this.

Creating a budget is actually really simple and it’s a life skill that will take you far after you’ve left university and are truly on your own in the world.

Depending on your preference, you can use something like a spreadsheet on your computer, or you can use a piece of paper and pen. All you really need to do is sit down and look at the money coming and going out each month and then divide it up so that each thing is paid for, such as priorities like rent, food, books, etc, and then whatever is left is yours to spend how you please.

Look For A Flatshare:

Most universities will offer some kind of on-site accommodation, and depending on where you’ve chosen to study, these costs and the quality of the dorms can really vary.

Although it may seem like the easy choice to be right there on campus, especially on those days when you’ve maybe partied the night before and just want to roll out of bed at the last minute, you can save a lot more money in the long term by looking into student houses and flat shares with other people at your university.

If you’re not sure where to start your search, Student Cribs is a popular platform for students looking for shared accommodation in their area. For instance you can view the options here which are based in Exeter and see if there is a property that meets exactly what you’re looking for. Of course if you’re planning on studying elsewhere you can change the location, but with a vast array of houses and apartments you’re sure to find something that suits.

Meal Plan:

Students the world over aren’t exactly known for their healthy diets and often seem to prefer things like noodles and toast because they’re cheap. However, if you enjoy cooking and even want to share your skills with your flatmates, then you could arrange to start meal planning and each taking turns to cook something new.

Not only will this help improve your cooking skills and allow you to eat a varied and more balanced diet, but meal planning is a great way to save money since you only buy what you need and typically not much goes to waste.

Take Advantage Of Student Discounts:

As a student, when you’re accepted to university you’ll be given a student card that gets you loads of great deals and money off things like public transport, access to gyms, cinemas, restaurants and lots of other places covering various interests and hobbies.

Of course, you also get access to cheap drinks at your university’s student union bar, but this seems to be something that most students already know before they even start university.

Use your student card as much as possible because the discounts for some places are incredible, and it won’t be long until you’re having to pay full price for things again in a few years, so it’s a good idea to make the most of it while you can.

We hope that you found this post helpful and that these tips will help you save money as a student and maybe even beyond. Starting life as a student can be tough, but it really doesn’t need to be made tougher by having no money, so even if you don’t use all of these tips, we know that if you implement a few, life will be much easier.