Financially, we know student life can be testing at the best of times, and as the cost of living only increases, being frugal with your money and doing what you can to budget is crucial. Students are always tarred with the same brush of ‘eating too many takeaways’ or having too many ‘expensive artisan coffees’, but there are things you can do to enjoy life’s small luxuries, and still have enough money to live comfortably during your studies. Check out our handy money saving tips for students and start to plan your finances better.
1. Track your spending
Being frugal and sensible with your money requires an overhaul of spending habits, and to start this effectively, you need to be on top of just where and what your money is being spent on. Tracking your spending is arguably one of the top money saving tips for students out there.
There are many online tools you can use to help start budgeting, checking your incomings and outgoings. Ensuring you have every available expense accounted for is the only way to streamline your expenditure and make the necessary adjustments. Make sure everything is accounted for, from your rental payments, any bills, food, leisure, memberships and any ad-hoc spends that can soon mount up if they become too regular.
Once you have an extensive breakdown of your expenses, it will soon become clear where you can start to make those all-important cutbacks on your spending.
2. Save a percentage of your maintenance loan
The excitement (or relief ) of receiving your maintenance loan can often lead to excessive spending quickly, or perhaps you decide to clear some outstanding or upcoming rental payments now you’re flush with cash. However, it won’t be long before your loan starts to dwindle, and those periods between loan payments can feel an awfully long time. So, we suggest taking a percentage of your student loan, and keeping it to one side, or perhaps sending it to a savings account, so that you can call upon those much needed funds at a later date. It can be a modest amount, like 10% or 20%, it doesn’t have to be an extensive chunk, but we’re sure you’ll be glad of it in the long run.
You can also look at setting up a savings account, depending on your tendency for saving and what you feel works for you. High street banks offer a variety of options for students, from automatic savings apps or savings accounts for those looking to save money over a longer period.
3. Hunt for student discounts
All students are usually rather savvy when it comes to student discounts. In particular, shops and stores in the city centre will likely have student discounts heavily advertised. But, you can reap the benefits of student discounts across many other jurisdictions. As shopping online is the go-to method of shopping for students, it’s perhaps wise to check out websites that offer student discounts. Conducting a quick search on Google can inform you of the leading websites and brands that offer good student discount rates. It’s also worth keeping tabs on social media, and following student accounts that promote discounts and other student-based benefits so that you’re always kept in the loop.
4. Opt for entertainment that doesn’t cost money
Student nights out, evenings out for meals, spontaneous quiz nights…whilst all extremely fun, they all tend to incur costs that when done regularly, money is soon squandered. Therefore, perhaps it’s time to get creative and think a little outside the box, and propose plans with friends or your partner that don’t cost much or even better – nothing! If you’re not entirely familiar with the local parks and outdoor spaces local to you, then take a walk or have a quick look online. There are often many events taking place that require no expensive drinking sessions or extravagant meals that can soon eat away at your expendable income. Likewise, why not organise a sporting event with several of your course colleagues or flatmates. You don’t have to be anti-social to save money, sometimes it just requires a little extra creativity.
5. See if you can negotiate bills
Although it may seem a little fanciful to suggest, there are landlords and letting agents out there who sympathise with the current financial climate. If you have shown goodwill in your tenancy so far, then perhaps there is scope to negotiate a slightly better rate for bills in your residency. This isn’t to suggest that this will definitely happen, but sometimes there is no harm in asking the question, if done in the correct appropriate way. Equally, you may find that switching providers will help lessen your bills and ease the burden of your outgoings.
6. Cook cheaply and efficiently
It’s perhaps one of the most obvious stereotypes – that students either can’t cook or choose not to, but don’t let that shoe fit you. Many students are excellent cooks, and knowing how to cook well and within budget is one of the most valuable skills you can learn whilst studying. Aside from the obvious and not shopping in expensive stores, learn to be frugal with your food, and buy in bulk. Cooking meals in batches and having adequate space to store those in your freezer can make a great deal of difference. Everyone likes a takeaway or a meal out, and that doesn’t mean you should completely rule those out, but learn to pick and choose the right moments and let them be a luxury rather than an expectation.
7. Don’t overspend on books and course materials
Though it may seem like the right thing to do, buying all the requisite books and course materials can soon incur hefty costs. Look online for the same materials, perhaps you can find a download or an e-book of the same things but at a much lesser cost? Equally, always look in the university library as a source of information and books you may need. Although you will only be able to have them temporarily, you can still make great use of library resources and garner all the valuable nuggets of information you need without an exorbitant outlay in ordering books.
Student accommodation at St Georges Tower
Accommodation needs to be affordable, and perhaps now so more than ever. So, if you’re in need of an affordable place to live, with all the local amenities and great opportunities right on your doorstep, then look no further than St Georges Tower. We’ve got rooms available at low prices, so why not plan ahead and reserve your room well in advance.
We’re located in the heart of Leicester, so if you’re looking for the best student accommodation ahead of your university journey, then why not check out the room options we have available. Contact us today and we’ll be more than happy to answer all your queries.
If you are a student and are looking to live in Leicester, we still have a few rooms available to rent from early 2023, or if you want to get ahead of the curve – why not consider reserving your room in plenty of time ahead of September 2023. Check out all our options available here.