Wednesday, February 24, 2016

It is often thought that all students are extremely poor, barely eating with just a £1 to their name. While that is maybe true with some I know a lot of people that are struggling with money as a student me included as it is very expensive but we always get by somehow. 

I think I'm pretty sensible with money, I've always known to be good with it, probably since my first job at 14. I like to save I don't know why but its just a habit that I've got into but that doesn't mean I don't buy stuff randomly at times, I do and it does need to happen less.  I decided that I would share my tips and advice with you on how to save money this could also be helpful in general not just if you are at uni. 

Bank accounts 
Probably quite a scary thing for a lot of people is managing their money in their bank accounts but its really not that difficult. I actually have three one for savings, one for my weekly budget and then my student account for where my loan comes in and I leave most of my money in there. This term I decided to have my student account along with another current account so that when my loan came in it was all in my student account then after my accommodation came out I could leave just enough money in there up until the end of term. So every Saturday I transfer £50 into my current account which I will use for the week, that way I know how much I'm spending and how I'm doing with my budget. I highly recommend doing this so that you can keep track easily. I then just have my savings account which is for general life savings like last year I used it to save for my macbook so I knew I could put the money somewhere. 

Along with a student account you are often entitled to a free overdraft these are a saviour to a lot of students I know my flat mates love them but I really don't like the idea so don't have one. The reason being is because once your loan comes back in you are then back into your overdraft so it is a never ending cycle of constantly being in it unless you are getting enough money obviously to keep you out of it. I am not saying that you shouldn't get one because they are great to have for emergencies but you just have to be careful with it and not go to far in.

Student cards 
Being a student means you are entitled to lots of student discounts from websites and cards. I've had my NUS card since I started sixth form, its great to have because you can use it online in-store stores, restaurants, cinemas and many more places. The only downside is that you do have to pay for it but you do make it back in the discounts you save. If you don't fancy paying for the card then websites such as unidays and studentbeans are just as great as they practically do the same discount its just from a website, you can also use it in store if you show your app. So when you're desperate for that new dress in Topshop don't forget to use your discount. 

Voucher codes
As well as student discount it's probably a good idea to google any promo codes that there might be flying around. I always have a look half the time they don't work but its always a good idea to try. Websites such as vouchercodes and vouchercloud are good ones to use. 

Loyalty cards 
I have so many cards for lots of different shops, I think I just like to collect them really. My most used is boots and this is my favourite because you can use it every time you shop collecting points and then you can use those points when you really need that new lipstick but can't quite justify paying the cash for it. Some other good ones are subway, Superdrug, costa and Debenhams

Food shopping 
One of the dreaded tasks for many students is food shopping, I know theres days when I hate it usually when I have to do quite a big one. I have found that going to Lidl is a lot cheaper than most supermarkets and usually the food is just as good. As well as shopping in cheaper food shops you can also still go to other supermarkets like me and look for offers which somewhere like Asda is great for. It is also a good idea to swap branded for own brand on things like biscuits as they are usually just as good. 

Little purchases 
Something I do a lot which definitely needs cutting down is buying things here and there. For instance there is a co op round the corner from my halls which gets a lot of money from me so now when I go instead of taking my purse with me I will just take a couple of pounds that way I will just buy one chocolate bar and not the whole shelf. 

I thought it would be very easy for students to find jobs especially in a big city like Southampton but my flat mates have had a lot of difficulty with this. I was lucky enough to be able to transfer to a store down here so I know that every month I have money coming in if I need it usually I will only need one months pay to help my budget for the term so I can then save the rest. If it is possible then I would advise getting a job especially in your first year as you have a lot of spare time, this could be bar work, nightclub promotion or in a store. 

Saving goal 
Having a saving goal is a good idea as that way you can put away some money each week or month whenever you can afford to so that it is there when you need it. Or it could even be used for something big that you want to do like go on holiday. I know that during the summer I am going to try and save a lot of money for my second year of University. 

Treat yourself
Every month I have a weekend where it is my treat month so that I can buy something new whether that it is a new pair of jeans or a item of make-up, mine usually takes place around pay day. That way with the money you have saved over the week/month you can use it to buy yourself a treat and reward your hard work. 

Do you have any tips for saving money? 

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