Top Money Saving Tips for Students from Student Money Saver

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Student Money Saver, the website ran for students have provided us with their 9 top student saving tips...

Saving money is something of a chore – I’d be lying if I said it was fun. There are no ‘fun money saving tips’, no matter how many annoyingly cheery blogs you read. Still, for anyone wishing to eat in the final term, efforts have to be made. Here are a few quick tips to stop you from starving.

1. Start a budget

Easier said than done, of course, but the most efficient way to run a bank account dry is to pay no attention to what’s going in and out of it. Make sure it’s realistic and account for every item specifically – don’t budget for ‘the weekly food bill’ – break it down to the bus fare getting to the supermarket, the shop itself and think about any times you pop out for anything extra. Then take out what you need in cash only – watching your money physically leave your wallet makes impulse buys much less appealing.

2. Cut your travel costs

The occasional bus fare, a cab home after a night out, the train home once in a while – travel takes your money away in tiny chunks, which are easy to miss but accumulate in the most alarming way. You can save easily: get a 16-25 railcard to save a third on every fare, book up your train journeys twelve weeks in advance, split the fares between multiple tickets to save an extra few pennies, use a coach instead, make use of Megabus (and remember they offer cheap train travel as well as coach fares – people always overlook this!), download apps to find the cheapest petrol station, get a term-time bus pass, or simply consider walking now and then. Apparently it’s even good for you.  

3. Discount sites are your friend.

Student discount websites do the hard bargain-spotting for you. Put one in your bookmark bar and follow them on Facebook and Twitter to have the offers brought to you, no effort required. They’ll provide unbeatable deals but remember – don’t just shop because they’re offering something cheap. They work best when you use them to get a deal on something you already want, otherwise you’re spending money you hadn’t planned to. 

4. Cashback isn’t dodgy – get on board.
Shop using cashback websites such as TopCashback and you’ll save an extra 10% or so on most purchases, without a catch. No- really: cashback explained.  

6. Give up the gym, forget your club memberships.

At uni, there’s rarely a moment to indulge expensive activities. So don’t – you’ll be paying for something you don’t use and it’s a complete waste of money. If you are a dedicated gym hound, you can get excellent facilities at bargain prices, if you know where to look for cheap gym membership.

7. Alcohol is poison to your savings

It’s as simple as: don’t have that extra drink on the night out. Besides being the best thing for your dignity, when you’re partying four or five nights a week, saving an extra £3 a night makes a substantial difference.  And remember – you’re a student, not your mum. Don’t be embarrassed to head to a bargain booze shop (you’re their target audience) or a cheap supermarket for your pre-lash requirements. 

8. The small things really do matter.
This is the kind of advice your parents probably gave you – and yes, it’s dull, but these habits can be picked up extremely quickly and make a difference:

  • Turn off the lights
  • Shut the windows when the heating is on (seriously – why wouldn’t you?!)
  • Leave soap away from water (it dissolves 50% more quickly when wet)
  • Use supermarket own-brands. The difference is all in the packaging, anyway.

9. Give things up.
Look, you don’t actually need a latte every morning: you’re probably indulging because you’ve watched too much Sex and the City. Equally, you don’t look cool smoking. No, not even rollies. Drinking in the afternoon is admittedly hilarious but its damned expensive and you’ll just be a sodden wreck, and nothing at all like Withnail & I.

Do you have any other money saving tips? Then why not share them with other TopCashback users by posting on the forum?!

This blog was written by Student Money Saver.

Posted on 18 Aug 2013  |  Posted in  Tips & Updates, Student Hub
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