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12 Money Saving Tips for Students

Follow Our Top Tips To Save Money When You're a Student

Student life can be a crude introduction to money management. You need to learn how to create a budget and prioritise your spending, while feeding yourself, getting around and fitting in a social life in between lectures. It's not easy being a student!

Check out our other money saving tips and blogs on budget management to help you budget like a boss!

Life as a student is usually synonymous with being ‘broke’!

Learning Financial Management

In a national student money survey conducted by Save the Student in the UK, 64% of students said they wish they had some kind of education in managing finances or money saving tips before going to university. It’s not a skill you typically learn at school, and maybe not even at home.

Top Tips for Students to Save Money

We know from experience how hard it is for students so we have compiled our Top 12 money saving tips for you to implement with very little effort, and stretch your budget further each month.

These tips are not about surviving on pot noodles. Our goal is to make your university experience a bit less financially chaotic and to give you confidence in managing your budget on a daily / weekly / monthly basis.

So read on and take note of these practical, easy-to-implement strategies and tips to save money and feel financially empowered as a student.

Our Top Tips to Save Money When You're a Student

A female student cooking in the kitchen following a recipe on her ipad

1. Batch cook or meal prep your future lunches and dinners.

When you are making the effort to cook a dish, increase the quantity and divvy up portions into Tupperware to freeze or eat another day.

If you want a filling breakfast that is easy to make in advance, and eat quickly in the morning as a healthy alternative to cereal, then make muesli. All you need is oats, plain Greek yoghurt, a grated apple, and then add extras like seeds, chia, raisins, cranberries or fresh berries and sliced up banana. That will give you energy for the day and the protein and fibre you need for a healthy diet.

Do the same for lunches and dinners. If you're making a pasta dish, make it an extra large portion, and divide what you won't eat straightaway into other portions to eat tomorrow or the next day.

2. Do your laundry during off-peak hours

Washing machine and laundry basket

Electricity rates are generally cheaper at night, so if you are able, and your machine isn’t too noisy, put a load on in the evening, and then hang it out to dry overnight.

In the morning, fold and put away what doesn’t need ironing, and iron what does that evening (during cheap electricity rates again!).

3. Sell clothes you no longer need or wear

Try the Vinted app, for example. You just need to take pics of your clean, preferably ironed, and well-presented clothes, set a price and post.

It’s a good way to recycle your clothes, declutter your closet, and supplement your budget in the process.

4. One-in, One-out

Speaking of clothes, do you REALLY need that new item you’re looking to impulse buy?

I have a rule in my house - the “one-in, one-out” rule. If something has caught your eye, think first which item you would throw out (or sell) in order to replace it by the item you’re currently looking at.

Think twice, (choose NOT to buy!) and save money.

Barista pouring milk into a coffee cup to go

5. Drop the Daily Starbucks Habit

A daily takeaway coffee is a huge drain on your monthly budget. It would be cheaper to buy a Nespresso machine in the Black Friday or January sales, and buy your own capsules.

Or get used to instant coffee and liven it up with different flavours or milk.

6. Pay your bills on time!

If you have not set up direct debits for your regular charges such as electricity bills or Wi-Fi, then put it in place now in your e-banking system. Missing deadlines for invoices can incur charges which will eat into your student budget unnecessarily.

My personal rule is to deal with a bill the same day you get it. Even if you don’t have the funds to pay it immediately, program the payment for the end of the month when your salary / student loan / funds will be paid into your account.

That way, you know it's dealt with and the bill will be paid on time once your funds are in. It's also important for your credit score and avoids a negative rating if you're considered a 'bad' payer.

7. Take advantage of Student Discounts

Many places, from restaurants to clothes shops, cinema or concert tickets, electronics and beauty products, offer money saving discounts to students.

Always ask in a shop before making a purchase! This includes hair salons and barber shops where they will offer cut-price cuts for students.

Read our blog on Student Discounts to learn more about UniDays, Totum or StudentBeans.

Student Beans company logo

UniDays company logo

Totum company logo

8. Opt for Digital Textbooks

As you may have found out if you’ve checked out the course list of required reading, textbooks are expensive! Buy you can save a significant amount by opting for digital versions. Many textbooks are available in digital formats, and some online platforms offer rentals, saving you both money and backpack space.

Alternatively a good money saving tips is to buy used textbooks online or from previous students, or borrow books from the library.

9. Budget Separately for Social Activities

Socialising is arguably one of the better activities you will experience at university, but it can quickly drain your funds! Plan your essentials budget first and social activities after!

If your budget doesn't run to nights out clubbing or pubbing, look out for free events on campus, do potluck dinners and have game nights with your mates, where everyone brings a dish or drink.

10. Become a DIY expert!

Instead of spending money on services like waxing, getting your nails done or haircuts, try doing it yourself (DIY)!

From trimming your ends, to mani’s and pedi’s, to doing a "Phoebe and Monica" girls-night-in waxing session, by doing it yourself you will fulfil one of our money saving tips.

11. Participate in Surveys and Research Studies

Many universities offer the opportunity to conduct research studies that pay participants. This is a great way to make some cash, and get valuable experience.

Don't forget to include this work on your CV, ready for your internships to show you already have some work experience.

12. Smart Shopping Saves Pennies

Finally, one of our favourite money saving tips:

Before going out to do your food shop each week, make a list! We have a curated shopping list for students in our Member Resources Ultimate Bundle or Uni Companion Bundle.

Buy only what you need, look for discounts, join supermarket loyalty to get club points, and buy generic brands instead of the more expensive brands.

If you plan you meals ahead of time, you can avoid impulse buying and stick to your budget.


My Top Tip:

"Don’t go shopping when you’re hungry!"


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