5 money saving tricks for students

Become a savvy student and stretch that student finance with these five money saving tricks for students.

Let’s face it, most of the time when you hear the word ‘student’ you automatically think ‘broke’. Those two words pair up together just as well as ‘mac’ and ‘cheese’ or ‘absinth’ and ‘public humiliation’.

We all know that moment of thrill when that direct deposit from Student Finance hits our bank account and we convince ourselves that we can afford that Nando’s planned for Friday evening before we pre-drink on Tesco Value vodka. But in case anything flops and we move into our overdrafts, here are five ways to save money as a student:

Reap those discounts

Students can save £££ by simply signing up to student organisations like NUS and UniDays, you can find discounts there from clothes shopping, homeware, activities like cinema and bowling, haircuts and plenty more. If your phone provider is O2, make sure you’re utilising O2 priorities as they’ve always got good deals you can take advantage off.

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This Pizza Express meal only cost £5 using Tastecard discounts!

Birthday and celebratory meals doesn’t always have to cost a fortune. Plenty of chain restaurants offer deals and discounts on sites like Voucher Cloud and the phone application named Tastecard. One of my favourite one is £10.95 for a 2 course meal at Ask Italian (t&c’s apply) – Never pay full price for a meal again!

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Opting for vegetarian meals save those pennies and it benefits your health.

Skim your way through – The ‘Skimming’ trick hack

Whack 10%-20% of any inbound like Student Loan, allowances, birthday and Christmas money, wages or anything else into a savings account thats hard to reach. It can be a savings account that you’ve opened where you can only deposit and not withdraw. (Don’t play yourself and keep transferring money from your savings account to your current account as that’s where no progress can be made.) You can read more about fixed bonds accounts here

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The option of setting up a standing order is available on most mobile banking apps – making it easier to manage our finances.

Even if you set up a standing order of £30 a month to your savings account – at the end of the year you’ll have £360 tucked away for emergencies. i.e. more Nando’s and Tesco Value vodka.

Don’t buy new books

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Buy second hand books, then re-sell them again to the year below. Another man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

This is a simple one, instead of buying your textbooks brand new from the university bookstore, look online using the usual websites like eBay or Amazon – or Abebooks and Sell Student Stuff for better prices on second hand books. Even ask the 2nd years on your course if they want to get rid of any old textbooks. Guaranteed to slash prices by half.

Speaking about second hand…

If you’re to look around in your room right now, there’s a good possibility that you’ll find something that you’d be happy to let go of. Maybe a jumper that doesn’t sit well on you anymore? A Mac foundation that is a shade too dark for you? Whatever it is, SELL IT.

If you haven’t heard of DEPOP, it’s an app that looks like Instagram where you can sell literally anything. Simply post a picture of what you want to sell with a description and price – then watch the likes and offers go up along with the balance of your bank account.

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My Depop: Generate £100+ in a month by having a wardrobe spring clean. It’s as easy as taking as selfie and uploading – but this time you’ll get paid for it.

Own any electronics that you no longer need? You can earn easy cash by selling it to Cexchange store and get instant cash on the day. 

Selling unwanted items is a great way to generate more savings for a rainy day.

Fail to prepare… Prepare to be spending silly amounts on food

Ever heard of meal prep? If you have it’s probably something you’ve heard body builders or gym rats talk about. But essentially it is just a convenient way of preparing your meals for the week.

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Preparing meals in advance can save a lot of time, money and energy. Also, as students, we need to make sure we’re getting the right nutrients from our meals to recover from those hangovers.

Meal prep is cooking meals in bulk, storing them in well-portioned containers and freezing them. For example; cook a simple tomato pasta recipe that can feed 7 people (should cost under £10 for ingredients), disperse them equally into microwavable containers, leave 2 out in the fridge, store the rest in the freezer and re-heat whenever you want for a quick, easy and cheap meal. Then won’t have to worry about cooking dinner for the rest of the week. 

Spreadsheets can actually be useful even as a student you know? If you want in-depth budgeting you can download a student budget worksheet here (courtesy of savethestudent.org).

Or you can take a leaf out of these student’s book and take it a step too far…

Steve Harvey reveals student’s extensive measures to save money.

Poll – What’s in your savings?

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