Cut Down Your Expenses In University
Going to university can be one of the best times of your life: a chance to finally experience some freedom and independence away from your family and to discover yourself as you become an adult. Whilst the prospect of university and everything that goes along with it, both academically and socially, can fill a young person with excitement and anticipation, one factor that is less fun to think about but equally as important is finances. University and all of the expenses that go along with it, can add up at an alarming rate, and if you are not from a privileged background, you may not be able to pay for all of these things with ease. To help you on your financial journey, here are twenty of the best tips for cutting down expenses in university.
Second Hand Textbooks
Depending on what subject you are studying, textbooks can be extremely expensive. One way to get around this expense is to avoid buying brand new books and instead explore the second-hand market. You will not have been the first student to study your particular course, and therefore there will be a used version of your compulsory texts in shops and online that will save you a lot of money.
Ride A Bicycle
If you are studying at a campus university that isn’t too far from where you are living, then you can save a lot of money by opting to ride a bicycle back and forth instead of paying for public transport or for petrol for your car.
Look Out For Coupons
You can make big savings on your weekly food shopping by keeping a keen eye on coupons and vouchers that offer deals on particular brands and items of food. Alongside this tip, it’s also important never to go food shopping when you are hungry, as you will end up spending more!
Be Savvy When Choosing Where To Live
When leaving dorms, make sure to really examine the rental market in your area. Some of the locations recommended by university officials are often nowhere near the cheapest neighbourhood that you could live in.
Explore Funding Options
There are plenty of schemes like bursaries, grants and scholarships that students can apply for before they have even started their courses. If you are an exceptional student or you come from an underprivileged background, there could be help and reward for you.
Consider Studying Abroad
You could potentially save thousands of pounds a year whilst studying if you choose to attend a foreign university. Institutions in Austria, Germany and Norway, for example, boast incredibly low living costs, which is a stark contrast to most of the UK.
Give Up Smoking
If you are a smoker, this should be one of the first things you should cut down on to save money. It won’t be until after you are completely smoke free that you really realise how much money you had been spending on your unhealthy habit.
Be Discount Savvy
You would be surprised at just how many perks and discounts you are eligible for if you have a student ID card. Many popular high street stores and online services offer lower prices to customers who can prove they are at university.
Make Money From Your Loan
If you are in the position where you don’t have to spend all of your student loan at once, then put a large sum in to an ISA account and you will receive interest from that loan money after a year.
Alter Your Subscriptions
Get the very best deals for yourself regarding phone, TV and internet by threatening to cancel your subscription or move to another provider. They will do anything to keep your custom, including giving you much better monthly rates.
Do a little research online and become familiar with the cash back system that many stores operate. Once you completely understand it, you can make great savings.
A lot of landlords feel like they can take advantage of students because they are younger and more inexperienced in the housing market, but if you do your research before you sign contracts, you can often get your rent reduced.
Phone insurance definitely costs you, but think about what would happen if you were uninsured and your phone was stolen on a night out or on campus; you would be in an even bigger financial hole having to buy a new one.
Curb App Addiction
There are literally thousands of apps out there that are completely free of charge and super fun. During your student years you should try to avoid unnecessary costs by buying apps for significant fees that you only use once or twice.
Buy A Railcard
Take advantage of the amazing 16-25 railcard in the UK. It saves you a third of all journeys, and you can even renew it on the eve of your 26th birthday so that it remains valid way after you have passed the age! You save so much money in the long run.
Forget TV License
This is an expense that you just don’t need to be paying when at university, especially when there is so much entertainment to watch online that doesn’t cost you £150+.
Forget The Gym
Don’t be fooled in to signing up for a posh gym membership with the thought of going there every other day. Uni work and social life will definitely take over and you will be paying anywhere between £30 to £60 per month for absolutely nothing!
Buy Reduced-Price Foods
You can save so much money by heading to the reduced aisle in a supermarket and picking up products that are close to their sell by date. These foods are usually absolutely fine and a steal at their reduced prices.
Build Up Loyalty Points
No matter which supermarket you do your food shopping in, make sure you stick to it. Sign up for a loyalty card, and wrack up points that can be exchanged for free goods along the way.
Free Furniture Online
Get on websites like Gumtree and Freecycle and make the most of the ‘free stuff’ sections. You can often find perfectly furniture and other household items that would otherwise cost you a small fortune.