Budgeting is one of those scary words people throw at you when you’re just starting uni, but it’s one of those things you need to think about (sorry for sounding like your mum). Thankfully, we’re here to help with some handy tips for saving money as a student…
Travelling to and from university can be an expensive habit. Turning up to the train station and buying a ticket on the day you’re travelling is no longer a luxury you can afford so ALWAYS book in advance, and check the ticket prices across a few different websites to see which can offer you the best deal. Oh, and don’t forget to invest in a 16-25 Railcard - It might be £28 but you’ll save WAY more than that in a year.
Make sure you check out alternatives to trains, too – yes, trains might be the quickest and easiest way to travel to uni, but you might be able to get a bus at a fraction of the cost. Megabus is always a good place to look – it might take all day to get you there but when they’ve got prices capped at £5 when you book on a Wednesday can you afford to turn your nose up at it? Before you board, check out our guide to surviving the Megabus (from bagging the best seat to dealing with gross people).
You might find that you’re not able to splash out on new clothes as much as you’d like as a student, but the good news is that a lot of shops offer student discount – and even if it’s not advertised it’s worth asking, just in case. One student discount that IS widely advertised is the 20% discount that ASOS and O2 are offering for Priority Moments customers. Every Tuesday you can get extra student discount on all your purchases from ASOS (and that even includes some lines from Primark, New Look, and River Island).
Say goodbye to eating out and enjoying premium brands for a while; when you’re a student your budget probably won’t stretch that far. Get used to choosing supermarket own brands instead, they’re honestly not that bad. And if you’ve opted to get a NUS Extra student discount card (just £12) you can now get student discount at the Co-op. Enjoy.
We know how important having a decent phone is (how else are you going to keep up with GTB on the go without one?!) but we also know how expensive phone contracts can be. It’s always worth giving your network a call to see if they can put you on a better deal – you never know! And O2 have some great deals for their student customers, including up to 30% off your bill – have a look here for all the info.
Create a budget
All of these tips for saving money are great, but they’re not much use if you haven’t worked out how much money you have to spend. So, to avoid ending up in huge debt with maxed out credit cards and overdrafts so big you have to whisper the amount, make a budget.
Fortunately there’s loads of help online – we especially love this tool from Brightside where you can work out your income and your expenditure and whether the two match. Oh, and most banks now offer an app where you can check your balance on your phone or tablet. Yes, it’s horrifying, but a lot better than ignoring it for months then crying at cash machines.
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