Following my Top Tips For Uni post, I thought I’d share with you some of the ways you can save money whilst studying at university. There’s nothing worse than being stuck in debt and not being able to enjoy your life at uni. By utilising these tips, hopefully this won’t happen to you.
1. Get a railcard
As a student, you’ll be using trains at least six times a year, so it’s worth investing in a 16-25 railcard. It only costs £30 per year (or £70 for all three years), and you’ll be saving 1/3 on train tickets. You can find out more by clicking on this link.
2. Hold pre-drinks at home
If you’re going on a big night out, get your friends together and pop to the local Aldi for any prinks (a.k.a. “pre-drinks”). This will cost as little as £3 per person, whereas drinking in bars can add around £15 on top of the £3 entry fee to the club. And £18+ is a lot to spend on a night out when you’re a student, especially if it’s going to become a regular occurrence.
3. Alternate nights out
What I mean by this is, go out every second week, rather than every week. It’s really not necessary to go out every single week and you’ll be saving money this way. The other nights you can stay in and watch a film with your flatmates.
4. Limit the takeaways
It may be tempting to stop off at McDonald’s (or Efe’s, if you’re in York) on the way home after a night out, but think about all those calories! And all those fivers you spend on a burger and fries / pizza could add up and you’d be able to afford a ticket to visit your friend in the next town (I’m sure they’ll be so happy to see you!)!
5. Subscribe to Netflix
You may be glued to your TV when you’re at home and having your own TV at uni can be sociable (ironically). However, subscribing to Netflix can save a lot of money. Netflix may also have films / TV shows that aren’t available on an ordinary TV (e.g. Pretty Little Liars).
It’s shocking how much you can save each year by simply walking instead of taking the bus / a taxi. You could literally afford a weekend’s holiday if you saved all the money you’d be spending on buses. I’m going to try to limit my bus journeys to once a week (so one return ticket), if that. Also, as my mum tells me almost every week, “walking is good exercise”. The uni gym is so expensive so walking is a cheaper alternative. I use a pedometer whenever I go out, so that gives me more incentive to walk rather than hop on public transport.
7. Use the library
Any books you’ll need for your course are bound to be somewhere in the uni library. Check before spending £50 on a book that might be difficult to sell after you’ve finished using it.
8. Sign up to experiments / help out at open days
It is so hard to get a part time job so look out for any psychology experiments at your uni. Some Departments / Colleges may need students to help out at open days, and they can pay quite a bit, so make sure you volunteer if you have time and you haven’t managed to get a job.
9. Keep a money jar
Keep any spare change in a jar / large purse and it’ll eventually add up! At the beginning of first year, choose a type of coin, for example 20p, and try to save every coin of that type. I personally try to save every coin dated 2012 or later. I started at the end of first year, and I’m now starting third year, but I’ve saved quite a bit!
10. Get loyalty cards
It’s probably wise to get a loyalty card for shops / restaurants you’ll be purchasing things from regularly. I’d recommend getting ones for Starbucks, Costa, Superdrug, Boots and Nando’s. Also see if your local cinema gives out loyalty cards.
I hope these tips come in handy! Thanks for reading!