If, as the semester really kicks in, so does the panic about making your money last until the end of it, here are a few tips that will help see you through.
Sounds simple, and it’s one of those things that people say a lot, but what if you don’t know where to start or if you’ve tried, but just can’t get it right?
- Why not start with Content Ambassador Lydia’s introduction to budgeting for some good advice?
- Try a money diary. Lydia found it a great way to keep track of where her money went and see if there were any savings that could be made. Take a look and see if you’re inspired to do your own.
- Try a budgeting app. They’re a great way to keep track of what you’re spending – as long as you get in the habit of recording everything. There’s loads out there – you just need to find the one that works for you.
- Shop well
- Choose your supermarket well! If you’re new to the UK or just new to doing your own supermarket shopping, make sure you know the difference between the pocket-friendly supermarkets and the more expensive ones.
- Know your discount schemes. Check out our best student discounts you might not know about, and keep your eyes open whenever you’re out and about as lots of city centre restaurants and shops offer a discount even if they’re not part of big chains or schemes. And if in doubt, there’s nothing wrong with asking!
- Eat smart
- Buy in bulk and freeze! We know buying in bulk makes your money go further, but not if you end up throwing most of the stuff away – but there’s a surprising amount of food you can actually freeze.
- Bring lunch with you to Uni, and coffee. Make eating out and a take away coffee a treat rather than the norm. The costs of buying both every day really add up (you’ll soon realise if you start budgeting!)
- Learn to cook! You don’t have to be Jamie Oliver to learn to rustle up a few staple recipes. Cooking from scratch often works out a lot cheaper (and healthier) than convenience food – especially if you can buy and make in bulk (see above about freezing – same applies to cooked meals). You could even get more adventurous and learn to cook your favourite takeaway? Here’s just a few student friendly takeaways.
- Earn money
- Often easier said than done, but there are resources out there to help you find part time work alongside your studies. Both the Careers Service and the Students Union advertise part-time vacancies.
- Or if you don’t feel like your study schedule will allow you to commit to regular work why not look at some other ways to earn money on a more casual basis? In another of her blogs, Lydia talked about ways to earn money without a part time job, looking at things like signing up to become a Student Ambassador, to selling unwanted things.
And remember, if, despite your best efforts you are struggling, there is help and support available. See Student Support and Advice if you need further help, including information about the Living Cost Support Fund. The Fund is open for applications all year round and can award a payment of up to £2000 if you’re struggling to meet your day to day living costs, or have additional costs to cover to allow you to study (such as caring responsibilities).