Money saving tips for students
Your student loan not stretching as far as you had hoped? Fear not, Condor Properties wades in with some money saving tips.
For many students, the first balance check of the term happens around about now. For weeks you’ve wrestled with the niggling feeling that you were spending too much, but in the opening weeks of the university campaign you were hardly going to spoil it all by saying something stupid like “I better check my balance.”
But now, sober and mindful that the next instalment of student loan won’t be coming until 2013, many students start to take stock of the situation and survey the damage. It’s never good. There are only varying degrees of badness. But don’t despair, at least not until you have checked out these money saving tips for students.
- Rinse the benefits of studenthood
There are many discounts schemes available for students and you need to make sure you are reaping the benefits of them all. NUS cards might cost £12 up front but they soon pay for themselves with discounts at the likes of Co-op, Odeon, Superdrug, Virgin Media and many more. And keep an eye out for student vouchers at www.vouchercodes.co.uk, which offer deals on anything from shoes to computers.
- Learn to cook
You don’t need to become Nigella overnight, but having a repertoire of four or five dishes will allow you to eschew expensive convenience meals thus saving money at the checkout. There are even more savings to be had by teaming up with your housemates – it’s cheaper eating in groups than it is alone.
- Make like a hipster
Love them or loathe them, hipsters have made a fashion statement out of looking poor. And that’s great for impoverished students, who can buy a whole new wardrobe from the British Heart Foundation and still receive nods of approval from the trendies sitting behind their Macs in coffee shops.
- Travel smart
A bus fare here, a taxi there and a train ride home every now and then will soon put a dent in your finances. Calculate how much you are spending on transport per week and assess whether you could make those journeys on foot or by bike. Perhaps £50 on a second hand set of wheels could save you cash in the long term. It may also save you buying a gym membership.
- Make do with moonshine
Home brewing kits were once the preserve of bearded middle aged men, but thanks to the recession this kind of behaviour has stepped into the mainstream. And that’s handy for students, who will find it easier than ever to make their own booze. You might not taste the fruits of your labour until next term, but this is a money saving tip for the log game.
- Become a model
No, not for glossy magazines, but for trainee stylists at the salon. Most major high street hairdressers offer discounts for people willing to be guinea pigs for their young stylists. Although learning the ropes, they tend to be pretty handy and can turn your barnet into something beautiful for a snip (gerrit).
- Become a scavenger
While we don’t recommend rummaging through the bins for your next meal, we do advise signing up to www.freecycle.org, which is an Aladdin’s cave of free stuff. This not-for-profit organisation has about five million members and is designed to stop perfectly good items going to waste. You can freecycle anything from desktops and DVDs to curtains and clothing.