When you’re at university, be conscious that it can be pretty difficult to save money as a college student. With the way student loans are set up nowadays, it turns out that the more your household income is the less money you get. Even though it may sound fair to some, when students have parents with multiple children and even bigger bills to pay, it can be quite the struggle. And then, on the other hand, there are students who are less fortunate and so are given a bigger loan but it also means they have the most to pay back when they’re older. So, regardless of your set up here are some useful tips to save money as a college student for everyone!
1. Be ‘Shop Savvy’
To save money as a college student, instead of driving the car you brought to university to your nearest supermarket, catching buses and trains, do an online shop. It may sound like an expensive option at first but it’s actually a pretty smart thing to do. By doing a weekly or fortnightly shop online, especially with a friend, you’re guaranteed to hit the minimum basket charge. Then, you can go halves on the delivery fee which is only a couple of pounds.
One of the best things about doing this is you can utilise the supermarket’s low to high function on their product search engine so you can keep your costs down no matter what it is you’re buying. Lots of these supermarkets have loyalty schemes too where you’ll receive a club card that will collect many points over the year which can usually be traded in for vouchers e.g. transport home – but more on that later.
2. Set Budgets For Yourself
Following on from being shop savvy, to save money as a college student you can also set yourself budgets. Whether it’s something you write down or it’s just something you try to become a little more conscious of, you’d be surprised at just how much money goes down the drain on deciding to grab a coffee or a Subway for lunch with your friends. Alternatively, make sure you’re buying things from your food shop that you can take with you on the go. Make your own sandwiches and buy big multipacks of crisps instead of spending a fortune in your campus shops.
3. Do Everything You Can To Keep Bills To A Minimum
This may seem like one of the most obvious tips to save money as a college student but by making the choice to hand wash your dishes over using the dishwasher and using a clothes airer over putting the tumble dryer on for a couple of hours, you will notice an extreme difference in your utility bills. And also just be aware of other stuff like having a TV constantly on for background noise and leaving things plugged in charging unnecessarily. Utilise the timer tool for your central heating too, if you don’t know how just ask your landlord.
4) Monitor Your Transport Habits
One of the most common ways things to do that really doesn’t help to save money as a college student is catching trains. The further away you live the more expensive they become and if you don’t have a railcard this option should really be out of the question. Look up coach prices for National Express and Megabus where you can also use some of those supermarket vouchers you’ve been earning from your online shops. However, if you absolutely need to get trains, sign up to a student bank account that comes with a free railcard to get 1/3 off of transport. Genius.
5) Save By Earning, Duh!
Finally, do whatever part-time work you can. To save money as a college student, what better way to do so than making it? It will look great on your CV to show evidence that you’re hardworking and determined by having a job throughout full-time education. If you can, try and score freelance gigs related to your course that you might be able to use for extra credit too! Of course, working remotely means zero transport costs to work however if you’re needed in an office or restaurant etc. try to find a job within walking distance so you aren’t paying for fuel or train fares.
After reading this what tips will you be taking away to save money as a college student? Comment down below which one of these you’ve found particularly helpful!
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Mia Gardner spends most of her time writing fashion and lifestyle pieces along to the sweet sound of an Arctic Monkeys album or two whilst fighting an extreme book-buying addiction and saving up for the day she can transform her dream of running a cat sanctuary into a reality. She’s also rather handy in the makeup department.