When you’re a student, you need to learn how to stretch your money. Doing the most you can on a tight budget is one of the life skills university teaches you, even if this isn’t in the prospectus!
You need to be able to afford rent, bills and food, as well as textbooks, clothes and other necessities, as well being able to afford a budget for leisure, whether that’s drinks after lectures, trips to the theatre or a gym membership.
Today we’re looking at some of the main ways students can save some extra money, and squeeze a few extra pounds out of their budget.
Using your Room
When you’re out of halls and living in private rented accommodation, you’ll likely be on a 12 month contract, paying rent all year round even if you’re away with your family during the holidays.
During holidays universities often host events: conferences, symposiums and professional and academic networking events that bring lots of people to town just as you’re leaving. If you have friends in other universities who might need somewhere to stay just as you’re about to leave, you might be able to reach a mutually satisfactory arrangement. Simply put your personal items into some London student storage facilities so your room is clear, and come back with a little extra spending money at the beginning of term.
If you’re studying in London, one of your unavoidable expenses is transport: the tube, overground and bus network is comprehensive and will get you everywhere you need to go, but it’s far from cheap.
If you’re over 18 and still in education, it’s well worth investing in a student Oyster card. For the cost of only a passport photo, proof from your university or college and £20 you can get 30% off all adult fares for the duration of your course.
One in every three journeys being free is a significant saving, and it’s well worth doing the admin!
Being Book Smart
If you’ve a course with a heavy reading list, you might be looking at a bill stretching into the hundreds of pounds to buy all the books. That’s a lot of money, but it does mean you can save hundreds of pounds if you’re clever.
Talk to older students on the same course to help identify which books are vital, and which you’ll use occasionally. If you’re not referring to a textbook every week you could probably get by using the library.
You could also look at buying second hand copies from students who aren’t using those books any more – just make sure your tutor hasn’t changed to a newer edition or you’ll have wasted your money!