With restrictions being lifted and more places reopening to the public, I know after a long hard year of being stuck inside, I couldn’t wait to get back out with my friends – and I’m sure most of you couldn’t either! However, if you’re anything like me you might have got a bit ahead of yourself and spent a little too much (especially around Christmas time). Well luckily I’ve put together some of my most effective money saving methods to help you balance your books a little better and ensure Semester 2 can be just as enjoyable as Semester 1.
1) Create a budget
I would definitely advise creating a budget because if you’re anything like me, you started the first semester with your summer holiday mindset thinking you’d have more money for fun activities and nights out which we all know is not the case. I personally spent way too much on meals with my friends and nights out, which I quickly realised was a mistake and therefore had to readjust my budget to accommodate for every aspect of my university life.
2) Use student discounts
I know you’ve probably been told a million times by your friends, family – and even the next-door neighbour’s dog – to download UNIDAYS and students beans. A lot of times, small businesses don’t advertise their student discounts on these websites but that doesn’t mean they don’t offer them! It was just before Christmas that I was buying presents for my family, I was at Superdrug and asked them if they offered this and guess what? They did!
3) Student Bank Accounts
One of the best ways to save and manage money is to have a student bank account. They offer various perks and benefits such as rail cards or one-off payments. But more importantly, many student bank accounts offer 0% interest overdrafts. These can be used as a buffer to temporarily pay for things such as bills during financially heavy times. I recommend comparing what different banks have to offer through moneysavingexpert.com.
4) Cheap and fun activities!
As we start to enter spring and the weather for going out hopefully improves again, I think it’s important to look at some cheap fun activities to do with friends.
One recommendation I have is going for a round of mini golf. Two places I have tried and would recommend are Treetop Adventure golf (where student prices start from £4.25) and Junkyard golf (where student prices start from £8.25). After enjoying a fun filled day of playing mini golf, you can make your way to VUE at Printworks for a movie starting at £4.99 including the latest blockbusters. You could then enjoy something cheap to eat just round the corner at Corn Exchange. For more ideas, visit the University’s recommendations of the top 100 things to do in Manchester.
5) Check for support from the university
Another great way to ensure you have enough money to live comfortably at university while maintaining a fun-filled social life is checking for bursaries from the university. Generous donors contribute money towards the university for a variety of reasons, one of them being to ensure students from underprivileged background have the resources they need to live, excel academically and spend less time worrying on how to afford a work-life balance. Click here to find out more.
6) Getting a part-time job
One way of gaining an extra income is getting a part-time job. I for one, have done this to help fund a more active social life, particularly over the summer holidays. I’d recommend researching any jobs you wish to apply for beforehand to ensure they don’t interfere with your studies and lectures. For example, I wouldn’t work an overnight shift as it would interfere with my day at university.
For more money saving tips, check out Lexi’s blog.