College Advice Blog

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Sep 8, 2012

11 Ways to Save Money as a Student



With rising fees, inflation and student accommodation costs, the need to save money has never been more important for people looking to further education. There are now countless guides and ideas around suggesting money saving tips for students, but I thought, having been to University and worked in both the financial and student services industries, I would lend my own hand to the issue. As such, here are eleven tips for saving money as a student.
  1. Walk.
It seems simple, but a great deal of costs can go on Transport. Granted, if you live in a large city this can be a problem, but the vast majority of students live within a mile of the town centre and/or the University campus. Don’t take the bus, certainly don’t take a cab. Unless it’s lashing it down with rain, stretch your legs and travel the old fashioned way. For free.

  1. Cook collectively.
One of the biggest costs to students outside of rent will be food. Try and limit takeaways to weekly (with boys it seems almost pointless to try and suggest anything less) and when you cook meals do it in big batches. Curry’s, stews and pastas can all be easily scaled up to be made in bigger quantities; whether to be eaten with friends or saved for yourself for later in the week. Cooking for a crowd is considerably cheaper than cooking for one, so if you don’t have a crowd, just cook more for yourself and freeze it.
  1. Check your insurance.
This is a boring one but a vital one as students get targeted heavily for theft. Some families will have a content insurance policy that protects its members regardless of what address they’re at. If this is the case, you won’t need any extra protection for your laptop and other electronics.
  1. Use other students.
Whether cutting your hair or borrowing clothes, your student friends and acquaintances can be a superb cash saving tool when it comes to getting stuff done. Most beauty salons and barbers will offer cheaper deals if you get seen by a student. Another good one, if you can get past the fear factor, is student dentists who will more often than not look at your teeth for nothing rather than charging an exorbitant fee.
  1. Don’t pay for a gym.
This is a simple one and a big bug bear of mine. Why pay $70 a month for something you can probably do in the local park? Unless you’re using excessive weights, go jogging in the outdoors. It’s much better for you than a treadmill which, over time, will destroy not only your wallet but your knees as well.
  1. Don’t have a car.
Cars are great, when you have a job. They are monumentally expensive to own without any sort of a regular income what with rising fuel costs and insurance, tax and yearly trips to the garage. Yes, all your mates will love you for having your own set of wheels, but they probably won’t be giving you any money for it now will they?
  1. Set a weekly budget.
This is sound advice regardless of being a student and many people dismiss it because it’s the sort of thing your parents say to you when you leave home. It doesn’t mean you can’t spend money, far from it, it just means you have a way of tracking what you’re spending each week. It will also help make your money go further rather than having to scrounge and borrow a few weeks before your next loan payment comes through each semester.
  1. Don’t buy DVD’s/CD’s.
Students love to own things, but in an increasingly digitalised age, owning large collections of CD’s & DVD’s isn’t quite the status symbol it used to be. Joining an online film club is a much cheaper way of watching movies than buying them.  Downloading music (legally!) can also be less expensive than owning a physical copy of a disc that will probably get scratched anyway.
  1. Buy second hand books.
When I was at university Amazon was an embryonic organisation with a few books and a shoddy website, now it’s arguably the best online store on the internet. One of the best things about it is the marketplace. Many textbooks can be found on here for pennies plus postage; considerably cheaper than going to your local bookstore to buy your required reading material.
  1. Pay monthly on your bills.
This doesn’t necessarily save you money, but it will stop you getting a whopping big bill in the hundreds out of nowhere each quarter. Both gas and electric companies are quite happy to let you manage a monthly payment plan and it will be a lot more manageable than thinking you’re living cheaply for a few months only to be flat broke soon after. Pay for as much of your student accommodation up front as possible to get it out of the way and secure your flat!
  1. Don’t get TV channels you won’t watch!
Cable/satellite television, especially the sports channels, are seen as an almost essential purchase for house mates who think they will save money by staying in during games. What will actually happen, however, is that you’ll still go out for the big games and just find yourself wasting time and money watching matches you wouldn’t otherwise have been bothered about on your sofa. Probably whilst snacking on pizza anyway. Online and OTA digital services have never been better, use them!

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About the Author
This article was written by Ed at Claypenny Properties. A student accommodations provider based in the UK. Visit our blog for more advice for students!
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