We remember the days at uni when our student loan came in. Those were the days in which we felt as rich as we’d ever be during term.
We’d become the most generous guys on a night out, peruse Ebay & Amazon placing orders galore and maybe even venture into Tesco’s Finest range at the supermarket. Though with 3 weeks of fun, great nights out and lovely food, you’d soon realise that your student loan is dripping away fast and – oh, wait – you still have Christmas to worry about! (Yes, we’ve mentioned Christmas already).
So, with your student loan not hitting your account until January and your overdraft already having been extended several times, you’ll need to be a little more careful with your money. This shouldn’t mean that you’ll have to tactically disappear into the loo when it’s your round, or that you can’t have fun. However, there are a number of little things you should be doing to make your money go further this term.
We’re also giving you the chance to win one of 10 £50 Tesco Vouchers.
All you need to do to enter is like our Facebook post and comment with your suggestion for saving money during term. Winners will be announced on 29/10/2015
Plan Your Supermarket Visit!
I’ve done it a many times, starving after the last set of lectures in the evening, have nothing at home to cook and HAVE to visit the supermarket. My brain (after paying 100% attention in the lecture) is craving ever single piece of junk food available. You name it and I’ve bought it. Crisps, Jaffa Cakes, Christmas Mince Pies (yes they’re out now) ready-made sausage and mash. Trouble is, this costs a fortune and not only that, will not fill your tums up for more than 20 minutes. Therefore the trick is to plan your meals, work out what you need and just buy that. Buying your ingredients in bulk for the meals you want to cook (or can cook) will be less expensive and you can save the left overs for other meals. Some shops will give you big discounts if you shop online and it’ll save you having to pop to the shops. Currently Ocado are giving you £20 off your first shop and Tesco up to 50%.
Sharing Is Caring
Whether it’s milk, condiments or butter, it’s probably not worth everyone in your house having one each unless you live with someone who leaves toast bits in the butter and drinks the milk straight out of the carton. So put some cash into a kitty and buy one for all of you when you need it. Plus, you could all cook for each other in turns, so you only have to buy the ingredients for one big meal instead of a few little ones each week. Why stop there? Instead of buying new clothes all the time, see if you can swap with your housemates. This will expand your wardrobe without you having to spend a penny!
Never Pay Full Price!
With the amount of discounts around and with most companies wanting to target students, you can get money off pretty much everywhere. Most high street retailers will have student discounts or discount codes running at any given time. You can easily find discounts on things like restaurants, cinema tickets and activities online. Student Hut always has all the top student discounts and offers for everything from eating out to booking a holiday. If you are out and about there are apps, like VoucherCodes, which give you top deals on the go at the touch of a button.
Drink in the Right Places
When you’ve had a few, it’s easy to be the most generous guy at the bar. That’s great, but you may not like yourself too much when you un-crumple your card receipts the next day. Make sure you take advantage of student nights and, when it’s not a student night, each club is likely to have deals on certain drinks. Whether it’s 2-4-1 cocktails or £1 Jägerbombs, go for the drink deals and you may even have enough cash left for a late-night kebab! If you’re a regular at a particular student haunt, it’s worth getting to know the bar staff because it might just be lucky enough get yourself the odd free shot!
It’s not just very wealthy owners of American Express credit cards who can get cashback on purchases nowadays. You can too, on pretty much anything you buy online. If you are booking hotels and plane tickets for a holiday, it is definitely worth your while doing it through cashback. Each cashback website has different deals with different companies, so it’s worth having a look around. Plus, there are usually really good introductory offers, like £10 off a DVD or full cashback on a takeaway, which you can take advantage of. Quidco and Top Cashback are good websites to check out first.
This may be one of the insanely boring things to do with your time, but it really can work. Just thinking about what might be coming in and going out of your accounts in the next few weeks will lead you to prioritising what you spend and reducing the amount you waste. You don’t need to be obsessive, especially as you never know when a spontaneous night out will happen, but having a greater awareness of what’s going on will help you keep on top of things. Not checking your bank balance, as a ‘out of sight, out of mind’ style tactic, will only work in the short term!
Take Advantage of Freshers’ Week
In Freshers’ week everyone wants to be your friend, and this is the case for brands as well. Just go to the Freshers’ Fair and you’ll be signed up to 100s of things in return for freebies, discount vouchers and much more. The start of the university year is the best time to get money off things for just being a student. Don’t just go in your 1st year; there is plenty on offer throughout your time at university. Even online, most retailers will increase student discounts and restaurants will be more likely to run student promotions in the first few weeks of term.