6 Thrifty Hacks For Modern Students to help them save money whilst away at university.
Life at Uni is incredibly expensive.
When you combine the rising cost of tuition with the cost of things like food, huge textbooks, accommodation and even furniture for your new flat, it’s no wonder that students struggle. If you’re currently in the middle of your higher-education journey, or you’re preparing for your life as a broke student, it helps to know that there are a few things you can do to make life easier.
We’ve pulled together some quick and simple hacks for modern students, so you can minimise your outgoing expenses, and spend fewer sleepless nights worrying about your cash.
1. Plan how to use your student loan
Student loans are a source of serious stress and confusion for a lot of students – but they don’t have to be. Remember, these are sources of money to help you get through your education in one piece. However, they’re not limitless. You’ll need to think about how you’re going to spend your loan carefully to get the most out of the money you borrow.
Once you know how much you’re going to get from your loan provider, make sure that you plan each month in advance, with a careful budget you can follow to avoid having to run home to your mum and dad for extra help.
2. Load up on Freebies
Your time at Uni is your chance to be independent. You can show the world that you’re a powerful and knowledgeable adult who doesn’t need their parents to bail them out. However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take advantage of hand-outs and freebies wherever you can get them.
Check out what kind of extra amenities you get as part of your Uni tuition fees. For instance, do you get free access to any student clubs and gyms? Can you get into festivals for cheap, or rent books for free from the library? Sign up for any social media groups running in your Uni to be the first to know about any freebies.
3. Use Coupons and offers
Retailers in the UK are pretty familiar with the fact that students don’t have a lot of money. However, there are still plenty of companies out there that are specifically targeting you and your age-range. With that in mind, it’s worth looking for student discounts and offers that companies use to encourage you to spend your limited cash.
Remember, not all companies advertise their student discounts on the door. With that in mind, you might need to ask at the till whether you can use your NUS extra card or student discount memberships.
4. Celebrate your Birthday
Unfortunately, you only get one birthday per year – but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be making the most of it. You’d be surprised how many restaurants, and other locations offer special discounts and vouchers for birthday girls and boys. If you’ve been eager to get out for a fancy meal with your friends, but your student budget doesn’t allow it, wait until your birthday is rolling around and see how many discounts you can take advantage of from major brands.
You might even be able to go for multiple meals over a week or two, as not all companies will require you to use your voucher on the same day.
5. Don’t bother with driving
If you’re lucky enough to live in student accommodation that’s close to your university, then you might as well give up driving and spend your money on busses and trains instead. UK fuel prices are pretty high these days, and there are other costs that you’ll need to think about as a driver too, such as parking around your Uni, and maintenance costs for your car.
On the other hand, there are plenty of deals available for students that use public transport, including bus and railcards. You might even be able to walk most of the time and use a carpool to get around too.
6. Avoid paying full price
Finally, whatever you do, try to avoid paying full price for anything. Websites like eBay and Amazon marketplace are excellent when you want to stock up on textbooks without paying extra. If you’re looking for furniture for your dorm room or home, then you can also look into charity shops and other locations nearby that offer things for a discount.
Don’t forget to join social media pages where students leaving your Uni might be selling their old equipment too – you could save a fortune this way.
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