Are you looking to save money as a student? You may initially laugh at the idea, but it’s certainly not impossible. Even if it’s just a few ££s per week, it’s a little that will eventually go a long way. Focus on the small goals and work your way up to saving more each month.
You’ll be surprised at some of the ways you can save money. Yes, I say this as someone who has managed to save money while living month to month on the money I made through work.
Whether you need a new wardrobe, want to go away for Christmas, or just live day to day, here are seven proven ways to help students to save money.
#1. Set Up Your Student Budget and Create Your Plan
A plan is necessary. You wouldn’t go on a road trip without your map planned out, would you? When you go away, you have an itinerary of things that you want to do, right? Well, you need a road map for your spending.
Set up a student budget. This is your best way for students to save money. You get to layout the amount of money you have, make sure all your essentials are covered, and then see just how much you have left. Allocate some for the savings and plan how the rest of it is spent.
Don’t go over your budget, unless a genuine emergency. No that pretty dress in the sales is not an emergency. We’re talking about a broken down car or a last minute trip home because of a sick relative.
Not sure where to start with a student budget? I have you covered with examples of my own!
#2. Swap Instead of Buy
Want a new jacket? Look for something that a friend wants of yours and swap with her. Need a new wardrobe after losing weight? Arrange a swap party with a group of friends of a mixture of sizes. You’ll all find something that works for your needs.
It doesn’t even need to be clothes. You can swap recipe books, handbags, textbooks, and so much more. Before you go out and buy anything, check whether friends or local people are setting up a swap party. Not only do you get something new but you get to have a clear out of your own things.
#3. Opt for the Pound Store
You’ll be surprised at the things you can buy for £1. There are kitchen utensils, cleaning products, tech items, and stationary. Take a trip to the pound store the next time you need to get something for the home. Make sure it’s not there before you even think about going anywhere else.
Sure, the items may only last you a couple of years, but you’ll be able to put the money you’ve saved away. You’ll have the funds to replace with more durable items the next time you buy.
I recommend always checking the pound store for stationary, though. Notebooks, Post-It notes, pens, and whiteboards will last as normal.
#4. Use Your Student Discount
Flash your student ID everywhere! Just because you don’t see a store offering a student discount doesn’t mean they don’t have it. They just don’t want to make a big deal about promoting it because they don’t want to lose out on too much money.
Some stores will require the NUS Extra card. When you buy online, you may be required to have a university email to sign up. The latter is definitely the case for Amazon Prime for Students. It’s worth the purchase, so make sure you ask your university for an email if you don’t have one already. Most do, unless you’re part-time or distance learning, but they will set you up with one if you ask nicely.
You will also be able to find coupons and vouchers. Follow my top tips for using them to make sure you really do save money as a student.
#5. Add on the Layers
Struggling with a cold house? Don’t put the heating on right away. Not only will this help you save money on the bills but you can also save the environment.
Rather than reaching for the thermostat, reach for another layer. Use thermal tops and leggings in the winter first. Opt for a jumper over your top. Grab an extra blanket for sleeping or even a pair of socks! The layers will help to keep you warm and you can remove them easily if you get too hot.
In the summer, opt for storing a large jug of water in the fridge. You can pour a cold glass of water to help keep the heat down throughout the day.
#6. Set Up Your Savings Dream Board
Picturing the reason your saving is often better to help you stick to a budget. Don’t just picture the goals in your mind’s eye. Set up a notice board with your dreams. It may be a new laptop for university or you may want a holiday in the Bahamas. There’s no right or wrong answer here.
The next time you think about spending money, think about your savings dream board. Is the item really worth it or would you be better putting the money you would have spent into your piggy bank? Second guessing the frivolous spending will help you save far more and will get rid of the spending guilt.
#7. Use the Round-Up Method
Whenever you do make a purchase, round it up to the nearest pound. No, you don’t need to give a tip to everyone. The trick is to put that extra money into a piggy bank or into a savings account.
For example, ordered a coffee that is £3.69? Then round it up to £4 and put the extra 31p into a savings account. Throughout the day you’ll have a lot of small expenses and most of the time you won’t think about them. You won’t realize just how much you can save by rounding up.
Need help with the round-up method? I’ve looked at it in the past as a way for students to save money.
Are you ready to improve your student savings? Share your top strategies to help others!