10 Money Saving Hacks for Students
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Being short on cash is a standard part of student life, but it’s not much fun. Therefore it’s always worth stretching that student loan as far as possible. Luckily there are plenty of ways for you to do that, from discounts to awesome freebies.
Despite this, it can be difficult to work out the best ways to make worthwhile savings. To help you, Student Hut has compiled a list of the top 10 life hacks to help you stay out of your overdraft.
Never pay full price
Pretty much everything you buy online or in a shop, you can get a discount on. Student discounts are commonplace, so make sure you check online before you buy. Even at supermarkets, there are usually deals to save you money off a shop.
You don’t have to spend ages hunting around for deals, but if you check out offers sites like Student Hut and VoucherCodes, you’re likely to find a relevant offer for what you want to buy.
Get a Railcard to save money
This might be the best student discount around. A Railcard gives you 1/3 off rail travel throughout the UK. This will save you a fortune if you catch the train back home or go to visit friends at other unis. It does cost £30(ish) a year, but you can usually find a deal to get it cheaper or for free.
Even at £30, it’s not difficult to make your money back with just one sizeable return journey.
Cook in bulk
It’s always cheaper and healthier to cook for yourself, rather than getting takeaways and ready meals every night. To save time and money, why not buy all the ingredients for a big chilli or lasagne, cook it well (hopefully) and stick a couple of portions in the freezer ready for an evening when you’re too lazy to cook properly. If you have housemates who can cook to a similar level as you (or slightly better!), why not create a meal rota, to save you having to cook a meal each night.
Always look out for those yellow reduction labels when you’re food shopping. The best time is usually a couple of hours before close (so about 9pm).
Usually you can bag yourself around 50% off, but sometimes the discount is more than 90%. Nothing improves a bad day like picking up dozens of gingerbread men for 78p.
Bring your arts and crafts
Fancy dress is a big part of uni nights out, especially if you go on lots of socials. However, getting various different outfits can be expensive and involves far too many trips to fancy dress shops. Instead, get a few cheap accessories that you can use with a range of outfits and then get your arts and craft out for the rest. Making the outfit yourself isn’t only cheaper, but it means your attire will be completely unique (and hopefully not uniquely bad).
Invite your parents / grandparents / hairdresser down
A relative knocking on your door at 10am on a Saturday may not be that appealing if you’ve had a heavy Friday night but, once you’ve got through the worst of the hangover, you’ll realise how great it is to see them. Plus, they may fancy taking you out for a lunch or treat you to a bit of shopping, so it’s a win-win.
Budget like a boss
Budgeting sounds like it’s going to be really uncool and unfortunately it is exactly that. But monitoring how much money you’re spending can help you make some cut backs and save some cash.
Plus, there are some great apps out there that make it ridiculously simple. Toshl Finance is a good one, but there are lots out there to try.
Sharing is caring
While being the most generous person at the bar isn’t likely to save you much money, sharing can sometimes be a really cost effective way of doing things. For instance, instead of buying new outfits, see if you can swap clothes with flatmates.
Also, try and buy things as a house, from condiments to washing powder, and split the cost. As long as it doesn’t descend into an argument about who finished the milk, this is a great way for the whole house to save some cash.
Get a shower timer
Bills are a huge expense for any student house and, unless you want a particularly cold winter, it’s difficult to save huge amounts of money on them (beyond the obvious things like only having the heating on when people are in, etc). However, one way you can save is by cutting down your water bill by showering for less time. A four minute shower timer can help you save £100+ each term (plus, it’s free)!
Do more house crawls
Bar crawls are your standard social. They’re great but it can get quite expensive very quickly. Instead, why not have more house crawls?
Not only are they more fun, everyone can BYOB or even make a kitty and buy everything in advance. As long as there are a few people who are willing to host it, this is a great way to cut the cost of a social.
We hope these ten tips have helped. Have you got any other money saving tips? If so, let us know.
And don’t forget to check out Student Hut, the number one place for student discounts, offers and freebies.
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