(Techradar) – WELCOME TO THE MOST MERCURIAL TIME OF YOUR LIFE: YOUR UNIVERSITY YEARS.
Let’s be honest; your university years are all about self-discovery, goal-post setting and evolution. And, if you haven’t already found yourself on your gap yaaah, you can bet you’ll come out of university with a new perspective on life… and money.
Even in unsteady, high-stress-late-night-ultra, caffeinated moments (dissertation period, we’re looking at you) it’s important to remember what you can and can’t control.
Something you do have control over are your daily habits – especially by the means of saving money. And no, that doesn’t mean cutting back on your ‘Spoons night out or cancelling your Netflix account (we’d never do that).
SCROLL ON TO READ OUR ADVICE ON HOW YOU CAN MAKE IT TO THE END OF THE SEMESTER, AND SAVE A FEW PENNIES WHILST YOU’RE AT IT.
Let’s clear a few things up… meal prep doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to be hunched over in a kitchen, looking like you’re in a budget remake of Breaking Bad.
In reality, meal prep can really be as simple as choosing to make your own lunch, rather than buying a meal deal from the local corner shop in-between your lectures. When you’re budgeting, counting the pennies is key and £3 a day, over the course of a month will add up quickly.
SHOP AT NIGHT
We’ve all bagged an absolute bargain thanks to the yellow label sticker but, by shopping at night, you can make sure that you’re turning your basket into the discount dream.
Many supermarkets discount their products just before closing, which is fine, if you’re up for watching the locals go toe to toe over a loaf of bread…
If you don’t fancy a scrap, 24hr supermarkets discount their products later in the evening – meaning you’re more likely to find better bargains and you won’t have to fight for them.
BUY YOUR COURSE BOOKS AND READING MATERIALS SECOND HAND
Whilst some universities provide students with the materials needed for class, most don’t, and realistically reading lists can be both extensive and expensive.
Our tip: save money, and shop around on Amazon/Facebook Marketplace for a second-hand copy. The likelihood of university alumni opening any one of those books after graduation is about as barbaric as a Fresher taking a £5 pint over a 2L bottle of Strongbow…
If you’re lucky, you’ll also inherit some annotations full of insightful hints (it’s not stealing if you bought it, right?).
FIND A NEW GYM
If you’re moving out when you head to university, the likelihood is that you’ll be scouting the area for a new gym to train in.
Whilst most universities will tempt you with their on-campus ‘top of the range gym facilities’, the hard-hitting truth is that they’re rarely ever the cheapest option. Instead, look out for the slightly larger gym chains to try and find the most cost-effective memberships.
Need some more help on finding the perfect gym? Check out our top tips for starting a new workout routine at school.
This one is pretty self-explanatory.
Student discount can be used everywhere. Well, not everywhere, but you get the idea… Save the cash and avoid having to splash out on an NUS card by signing up to sites like Student Beans with your university email.
What you’ll get in return?
Discounts on your favourite sites – including Gymshark – you can thank us later…
BOSS YOUR BUDGET
Finally, learn to boss your budget.
When student finance comes through, it’s a genuine cause for celebration. Your bank balance is happy, the fridge is full and you no longer feel guilty about the retail therapy sesh you had last week…
However, the key to making your money last, is keeping to a strict budget.
Now, we’re not here to talk you into being a money-tight, stingy uni student. But, by working out what bills you’ll need to pay at the start of each month, setting spending limits and more importantly sticking to them, you’ll be able to work out what you can afford to spend each month – just make sure you leave room to be able to treat yo’ self from time to time. Adulting, ey.