Life as a student is tough, there’s no denying that. Financial constraints on top of providing for yourself for the first time in your life and trying to keep up with a huge workload and social life leads to very little scope for financial security let alone any form of saving.
Despite all of these monetary restrictions there is plenty of potential in the student world to save money and start thinking about paying back debts and overdrafts while you’re still in education.
There are a number of ways to begin saving as a student. Unlike other forms of saving where you put a little bit of money away each month, students must stay aware of any places that they can save money on a day to day basis. Whether you are taking advantage of deals at the supermarket or using your student discount.
- Supermarket sweep
Supermarkets are a student’s best friend; however they are full of traps to make you spend more than you’d like. Buy one get one half price offers are the biggest pit fall, these deals essentially boil down to buying more food for more money that you didn’t need before seeing the offer. Don’t be fooled. Intelligent shopping pays off, if you get the deals right, you’ll save precious pounds to put away.
- Skip a night
It is well reported in the press that for students, every night is party night. While I don’t subscribe to everything that is said in the press I imagine that this is at least close to the truth. Skipping what I imagine is one of several weekly nights out and putting that money aside would not only be excellent for your savings account, it will probably also be excellent for your health.
- Lights out, tap off, jumper on
Bills are a killer for students. Generally rearing their ugly heads towards the end of terms, bills have a habit of clearing out the last remainder of students’ currents accounts and often forcing them to dip into their savings. Ensuring that all of the lights are turned off when you leave the house, water is not wasted and the heating is only put on as a last resort, will hopefully reduce the impact of bills and protect your savings.
- Repair not renew
So your laptop is broken, or you dropped your phone and the screen cracked. Your savings account is about to take a three figure hit; or is it? Always exhaust all potential repair possibilities before replacing any piece of broken kit, because it is almost always cheaper to fix a problem than replace an item.
- Pack a lunch
Saving a little bit of money every day is the most important aspect of saving money. Buying lunch every day can cost up to five pounds, five pounds that could be saved, or at least significantly reduced by making yourself a sandwich in the morning and taking it with you.
Stop taking the bus, get up a little earlier and walk where you want to go. Regardless of the length of your walk to university, no lie in is worth a bus fare.
This is the most important rule of saving. Having an idea of how much you’re allowed to spend each month will give you a good idea about where you can make savings. It is also an excellent place to start your journey towards saving for your future.
Image courtesy: Flickr/Alan Cleaver