Even though I had just arrived at uni, I thought I had it all figured out. I calculated my budget for semester one and realised I had £104.57 to spend each week, which is MORE than enough. I was so well organised – or so I thought! Imagine my horror when I accidentally gave myself £140 in one week – leaving me with just £36 for the week after… I had to quickly learn how to survive on a low budget, so here are my top 5 tips for saving money as a student.
1. Buy tickets for nights out early
If you buy your tickets for nights out as soon as they go on sale you can often get great deals. I’ve managed to get numerous free tickets to events just by being in the first 15/20 people to buy tickets – although these free tickets are usually reserved for the ladies, sorry boys! However, men can usually get tickets for under £5 if they manage to buy them on early release. This can save you spending £10-15 for tickets on the door to an event that might not even be worth it in the end.
2. Share meals with your flatmates
Sharing the cooking responsibilities with your flatmates is a great way to save money and time during the week. Often supermarkets don’t sell food in single portion servings leading to a lot of food waste as well as money down the drain. Agreeing to cook for one or two of your flatmates one night a week in return for them cooking for you on another night, means you can save money on ingredients. And who doesn’t end up accidentally cooking pasta for a family of four anyway!
3. Get a job you don’t even have to leave the house for
On Fatsoma, a ticket-buying app used for most events at university, you can request to become a rep for events. This allows you to earn commission from each ticket you sell via a personalised link. It’s quick, easy, and you don’t even need to leave your house to do it! I did this for an events wristband during freshers week and earned over £150 before I even knew anyone at university.
4. Delete Deliveroo and Uber Eats
I know, I know, cooking every day gets boring sometimes but if that delivery fee isn’t enough to put you off ordering from one of these apps, just remember: you could probably meal prep for the whole week, for the same price as a 5 guys burger and milkshake. And if you’re still really craving that takeaway, walk to collect it as you avoid the delivery and service fee and some restaurants increase their prices to combat a hosting fee, so your food may even be cheaper.
5. Stop shopping at Sainsbury’s
This one is for all you Fallowfield residents in particular. There is a Lidl’s in Longsight, a short 15-minute journey away. Believe me when I say being able to do a weekly shop, Monday to Sunday (including alcohol!) for under £35 makes the extra travel time worth it. And if you’re still going to go to Sainsbury’s, at least make sure you’re buying Sainsbury’s own brand.