Having your entire term’s student loan put into your account at once can be a little overwhelming, especially if you’re not used to having that kind of money at your disposal.
However, as tempting as it is to throw caution to the wind during Freshers’ Week and not restrict yourself to a budget, we all know that money won’t last long if you’re not at least a little bit careful with it.
As well as planning your budget, and sticking to it, there are plenty of ways to save money as a student and not find yourself having to go to the Bank of Mum and Dad before the end of term.
Here are 10 easy ways you can save money at university:
We can’t recommend this enough because it really is the easiest way to save money as a student and get discount with hundreds of retailers whilst you study.
All you have to do is buy an NUS Extra card (believe us it really is worth the £32 for a card lasting three years) and you’ll get discount on everything from pizza to car insurance, public transport, clothes, and your supermarket shop.
Some student bank accounts even offer the card as a bonus when you sign up, so this could be an appealing extra if you’re looking for a new bank account.
It’s all very well grabbing a coffee and sandwich from the campus café, but little things like this add up pretty quickly.
If you know you’ll be at university all day then bring food from home to stop yourself eating on the go. Keep snacks such as energy bars in your university bag for days when you unexpectedly find yourself on campus without your lunch.
Travel can be expensive, so shop around for the best deals and look out for discount schemes such as the 16-25 Railcard to ensure you’re getting the best possible price.
If you’re going to be flying home, use a website such as Sky Scanner to get a good price and book as far in advance as possible so you’re not hit by last minute price hikes.
Last year’s textbooks gathering dust or half a wardrobe of fashion faux pas’? Time to get on Ebay, Amazon Marketplace or similar to get some pennies for the things you don’t need anymore.
Watching cat videos on Youtube might be a good rest for your brain after a long day in lectures, but they aren’t going to save you money.
We like a brand name as much as the next person but you’ll see a huge reduction in your weekly shopping bill if you ditch the brands for the supermarket own version.
You don’t need to worry about lesser quality items either. Most independent taste tests report that the majority of people can’t tell the difference between the expensive brands and the budget brands.
Your debit card will thank you for the quiet night in when you’re out on the town. Decide how much cash you’ll need for your night out and only take that with you.
Remember to keep a bit of money back for the transport home – don’t spend it all at the bar!
Unless you’re an exotic reptile you don’t need to live in tropical temperatures, so treat yourself to a hoodie, blanket, and thick pair of socks before the cold weather sets in.
We’re not saying you need to freeze, but keeping the heating low will stop you having a huge bill come the spring.
We’ve all given in to the smell of a greasy kebab after a night out but if this is a weekly habit then you’ll soon find the pennies wracking up.
Keep a stash of chips and cheese at home, as well as the standard fry up ingredients for your hangover the day after so you can indulge without the added expense on the way back from the nightclub.
We said it at the beginning and we’ll say it at the end to really drive the message home.
Plan your budget and then make sure you stick to it. Many students find it helpful to transfer all the money they’ll need to pay bills for the term into another account and then use the money left over for extras and non-essential spending.
Others break things down into a weekly budget so they know where every penny is going. However you do it, just make sure you do it!