Trying to save money with a student budget seems like an impossible task. Trust me when I tell you that I know where you are coming from.
But it doesn’t have to be impossible. You can save £1,000 per year.
I know this doesn’t sound like much, but it’s a lot better than nothing at all. By the end of your student years, you will have £3,000-£5,000 to get you started in the workplace. That’s part of your way to a deposit on a house!
How you spend it is up to you. I just want you to get to the point where you save £1,000 per year. So here are my top tips for doing that with a student budget.
Start with the Roundup Method
If you’re not already doing the roundup method, now is the time to start. There’s no denying that this is a quick and easy way to save money while still spending it.
When you round up your spending – whether to the nearest £1 or nearest £5 – you will barely notice that you are spending a little more. After all, there are high chances that you would have spent that change on something like a coffee on your way to class or an extra beer in the bar!
So, before you do anything else, start with the roundup method. It’s the best to save money with a student budget.
Simple Savings: 274 Money-Saving Tips That Will Help You Save $1,000 or More Every Month
Cut Back on a 1-2 Coffees a Week
Chances are as a student you buy a coffee or two a week – if you’re anything like me you will buy way more than that! It’s time to cut back and I don’t mean by a lot.
Most coffees in the likes of Starbucks and Costa are around £4. If you cut back on just one coffee a week, you’ll save £208 by the end of the year. So, cutting back on two will save you £416 per year! You’re already halfway to your goal of £1,000!
You may find that you like cutting back on the coffee and putting the money into a savings account instead. Cutting back on four a week would get you even closer to your £1,000 goal. If you cut back one a week day for every single week of the year, you’ve done it!
Pack a Lunch for Class
If you live off campus, you’ll need to think about eating during the school day. How many of you buy your lunch from somewhere on campus?
I used to do it all the time. Why not? You have multiple places to eat and they’re not all ridiculously expensive. But you end up spending far more money than you need to.
It’s time to curb the spending and stop eating out. Pack a lunch instead. You can enjoy it in the courtyard or at a local park while you catch up on some reading if none of your friends want to join you.
I have to admit that I got far more work done when I had lunch away from friends. We’d end up chatting way too much when we were meeting together for food – because we met up to be sociable.
Even if you cut back on lunch two times a week, you would save around £10 a day. That’s £20 a week. Say there are 30 weeks of university, you’ve saved £780. Put that money into your savings fund, since you don’t need it if you were going to waste it on a lunch out instead! You’ve already spent the money for your packed lunch in your food shop!
Know How to Take Advantage of Special Offers
You’ll see special offers everywhere. There will be student discounts available, NUS offers, and even supermarket offers. You need to know how to use them to your advantage.
Unfortunately, too many of the offers just want you to spend money. They don’t want to actually save you anything. Take a look at all your options and scrutinise every single offer you find.
Is buying a multipack of four tins of beans going to save you compared to four individual tins? Will you just end up spending more money than you intended to take advantage of the “buy one get one…” offer? Is an item cheaper in a store that doesn’t have the NUS discount than the store that you’re currently in with the discount in place?
I can’t calculate how much this will save you. Some of the instances I’ve found have saved me a couple of quid a week. But all that soon adds up, especially when you look at the different areas of spending.
Borrow the Textbooks from the Library Instead
I can’t tell you the amount of times that I wasted money on textbooks. And I didn’t even buy mine new. There was no way I could justify spending £40 on a textbook!
Your university library will have the textbooks. I can guarantee it. Many universities will tell you that lots of students will book out the textbooks around the exam time, and that is the case. They use this as a reason not to rely on borrowing.
Well, what about the other libraries in your area? I was in Birmingham and know that Birmingham library had some of the textbooks available – and they weren’t as popular there! You could also scan in some of the pages that you need to your own computer. If you’re using them for your personal use – even if you print, it can still be personal – you will get away with scanning some of the pages. Make a note of other information for the book if it comes to sourcing!
If you need 6 new textbooks a year, you’ve instantly saved yourself £240. Chances are you will need more textbooks than that each year and the majority of them are £40.
You’ve saved £1,000 in a year with these tips. It’s not always going to be easy and I know for a fact that there will be times that spending is tempting. However, create your student budget and make an effort to save the money that you don’t spend. You’ll love it when you get to the end of the year and you have £1,000 that hasn’t been touched yet!