If you’re new to university, receiving your first student loan may feel like your best payday yet.
But without proper budgeting, you could be faced with a premature call to the bank of Mum and Dad.
To help you budget better and save a penny here and there, we’ve come up with our top tips for saving money at university.
Ensure You Get Your Full Deposit Back
Your deposit is one of the biggest lump sums you’ll pay out at university. Unfortunately, so many students miss out on their deposit for easily preventable reasons. To ensure you get your deposit back, make sure you:
- Take an inventory of all items in the property to refer to when you move out.
- Repair any items you break, it’s cheaper to buy these yourself.
- Keep on top of any cleaning as you go along.
For more information, check out our detailed guide to getting your full housing deposit back.
Quit Smoking and Kick Other Habits too
Not only is smoking the leading cause of preventable death, but it’s also a very expensive habit. With the price of cigarettes rocketing in recent years, just three smokes a day can cost you almost £500 a year!
Fortunately, there is an abundance of support available to help stop smoking including apps, books (a lot of people swear by Alan Carr’s book), e-cigarettes and NHS stop smoking services.
It’s not just smoking that drains your cash at university, other little luxuries such as booze, expensive coffee, magazines and other things you can live without will save you a lot in the long run.
Take Advantage of Apps
In this era of technology, it makes sense to use your smartphone to save some cash and help budget. For more information on handy apps for students including finance apps, check out free apps every student needs to download.
Leave the Car at Home
Taking your car to university not only burdens you with the role of taxi driver for the year, but brings a whole range of additional costs such as petrol, servicing, MOT and tax; you may also incur additional costs through congestion charges, traffic tickets and parking fines.
Instead of driving, take the bus or a train. Alternatively, you can save even more money (and keep fit) by walking or cycling.
Make Use of Exclusive Student Discounts
There are an abundance of discounts, vouchers and deals available exclusively to students, you’ll need a student email address registered to your uni in order to sign up to the best discount sites. For information on the best places to get the best discounts, check out our guide to student discounts.
Save on Shopping and Eating Out
Feeding yourself is a lot more expensive than most students think when they start their first term, with students spending an average £126 per month on food alone. When it comes to food, there are savings to be had, our top tips for saving on your monthly food bill include:
- Shop own-brand and check out the reduced section when you go shopping.
- Set a weekly shopping budget to ensure you don’t overspend.
- Make use of student discounts for supermarkets and eating out.
- Write a shopping list and stick to it.
- Be aware of special offers – sometimes they’re not as good value as they seem.
- Check out your local food market for high quality and affordable fruit and veg.
- Cook meals in bulk and don’t be afraid to re-heat your leftovers.
- Take lunch to lectures instead of paying for a meal or snack on campus.
- Use loyalty cards for supermarkets and eating out.
- Shop at wholesale shops such as Costco to save money buying in bulk.
Switch Bank Account
Banks are hungry to have you as a customer, and will often pay to get you switched over. Some banks are offering up to £150 for customers to make the switch over; check out some of the best switching deals here.
What’s more, the majority of high-street banks are signed up to the new switch guarantee service, meaning switching is free, simple and all your current regular payments and bills such as direct debits are moved over.
Help and Information from Bristol Digs
What are your best money saving tips for university? We’d love to hear. At Digs, we’ve got Bristol student accommodation sorted, with a range of properties available to students. For more information, or to talk to us about what we have available – call 0117 930 8750 or