Monday, 2 September 2013

Money Saving Tips for New University Students


So you have just got your A Level results and things aren't quite as bleak as you were first anticipating. First of all, congratulations if you managed to get into your university of choice – now you just need to prepare yourself for student life. There are many stereotypes about university students that may colour your expectations of what is in store for you in the next few months. One of the most persistent is that of the cash strapped student living off low quality junk food, but if you follow a few simple tips there is no reason why you should need to live like a pauper while studying for your degree.

We've teamed up with the money saving community Suppose.com, which features discounts and vouchers for major UK retailers, to give you some smart money saving tips.

Don't Blow Your Student Loan in Freshers Week
When you first arrive at university you will have a lot of free time and probably spend a great deal of that out drinking as you try to make new friends and acquaintances. You will also find that the Student Loan Company has paid a large sum of money into your bank account. It will be quite tempting to be careless with this money as you are out partying every night but you should avoid spending too much of it early in the semester, as you may find yourself struggling to eat later in the term. In the same vein, you should avoid using this money to go on a shopping spree as you won't be able to eat those clothes or DVDs when you inevitably run out of money.

Buy Text Books Second Hand
Your university course will most likely require you to obtain a number of recommended text books which can be essential for the work set for you. However, most of these books will cost in excess of £40 and will never be used again once you have finished the module. As a result, many hard up students will try to recuperate their investment by selling these books on eBay or in a second hand book shop. You can save yourself a great deal of money by purchasing the text books second hand in the first place. For the majority of courses, the content in the text books will not change a great deal each year, but try to buy the most up to date edition you can get your hands on for a cheap price.

Sign up for an NUS Extra Card
Your university should provide you with a student card which you can use to get discounts with the majority of major retailers, including online shops. However, signing up for an NUS Extra card for just £12 will entitle you to even more great discounts and savings that most students will miss out on. It does require an upfront fee, but you will more than make up for this with the money you save from having the card.

Maximise Your Food Shopping by Budgeting
There is no reason why you should have to live off pot noodles or cold bake beans so long as you factor your food shopping into your budget. Make a list of essential foods that you need to eat, and try to avoid making impulse purchases at the supermarket. Cook large portioned meals and freezes some for later, as this will provide you with multiple meals for much less money. Being at university will often provide you with the luxury of heading home at lunch time or when you are peckish, so avoid buying snacks or lunches at a shop while you are out as these can be grossly overpriced for what you are actually buying. The £2 you spend on a readymade sandwich could provide you with far more food to be eaten or prepared at home, and all these little two pounds' here and there start adding up quite quickly.

Make the Most of Sales and Promotions
Shops have sales and promotions far more often than you would think, and if you do need to make a substantial purchase it can often pay off just to wait a week or two. For many retailers, one sale will start shortly after another has finished. Supermarkets in particular will often have useful promotions for things like toiletries and household essentials, and it can be a good idea to stock up on these items in bulk. Even while shopping online you can try to save as much money as possible by making use of money saving websites, voucher discounts, and cash back websites. Just don't get in the habit of spending all your free time buying things online.

16 comments:

  1. I've read your worthy "Money Saving Tips for New University Students" Article. Thanks for sharing those tips!

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  2. Many students give into the temptation to buy now and pay later. Unfortunately, these spending habits can come back to bite you. If you find that you can't charge responsibly, hide the credit cards until you learn a little restraint.

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