Cost Of Living: 10 Money Saving Tips For Students
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Students already struggle to afford to fund their lives, but with the cost of living crisis taking its toll on those with a low income and with the aftermath of Christmas, it can be even harder to be able to manage your money whilst at university.
Don’t worry, the team at PSL are here for you which is why we’ve put together this guide full of different money saving tips to get you through this difficult time.
There are many different ways the cost of living crisis could be affecting you whilst at university, whether it’s struggling to afford rent, finding it hard to pay for food shopping, having to avoid putting your house heating on due to energy bills, having to ditch socialising, and so on.
No matter how your financial situation at university is being impacted due to the current climate, there are things which can help you out.
Carry on reading to discover our cost of living money saving tips!
Money Saving Tips To Lower Your Cost Of Living
Research suggests that nine in 10 students are struggling with money difficulties amidst the current economic crisis.
It’s no surprise that this can impact upon your wellbeing and academic performance whilst at university.
Staying out of your overdraft may seem like an impossible task at the moment, but there are tips you can take on board to lower your cost of living as a student.
Check out our 10 money saving tips below.
1. Set A Budget
It’s likely you’ve already done this if you’re googling ways to save money, but if you haven’t, make sure to set a budget to stick to each month.
This way, you can gain a proper understanding of what’s coming in and out of your bank account each month.
If your only income is your student loan rather than a part time job, you need to be extra cautious that you’re budgeting this properly to last you until the next instalment.
Keeping track of your spending means you can see where you can make cuts to your spending.
You’ll probably find some subscriptions that you could do with cancelling to save some money.
Whether it’s jumping on to your parents Netflix family account and unsubscribing from yours, or cancelling that gym membership that you’ve made use of a handful of times since the beginning of the academic year.
It’s worth taking a look at your expenses and seeing if there are any changes that can be made to your budget.
You may have to be ruthless with it, as if you’re wanting to save money, there may be things you will have to go without.
2. Use Your Overdraft Wisely
Student overdrafts are there for you to fall back on if you need them and you should make use of them if you need to, especially within emergency situations where you need a little extra cash.
However, it’s important to be wary of using them as you have to pay it back eventually and it’s not free money.
We’d say if you are needing to rely on your overdraft to afford essential costs (it’s quite inevitable if you don’t have a job) to make sure you’re using it for the right things.
Whilst student overdrafts tend to be interest-free, you can be charged if you go over your arranged overdraft limit so make sure not to do this.
We know times are tough but it can easily go overboard with how much you’re using your overdraft at uni.
If you’re confident you’ll be able to pay the money back and you need help with funds for the time being, then by all means make use of your student overdraft.
3. Save Money On Food
The annual food inflation in 2022 hit record level highs so it’s no wonder that students are wanting to cut the price of their food shopping.
There are a few ways you can save money on your grocery bill such as opting to shop at the cheapest supermarkets like Aldi for the best deals, and even splitting your food shopping with your flatmates.
Some other ways you can reduce the money you spend on your grocery shop is to go shopping at the end of the day when items are reduced – get a cheap bargain to cook for dinner!
We know it’s an obvious one but we’d suggest cooking your own meals rather than going out for meals or treating yourself to a takeaway.
It may be tempting to make the most of deals on Deliveroo, but it you’ll be able to save more money cooking at home!
If you haven’t used it, be sure to check out Too Good To Go which is an app which allows you to buy unsold food from shops and restaurants at a cheaper price, to stop it from going to waste.
Lastly, make sure to make the most of your student status as it’s not just fashion and beauty retailers who offer discounts for those at uni.
You may be able to get some money off your next meal, it’s worth asking!
4. Make Use Of Public Transport
Another tip for helping to cut costs whilst at university is to make use of public transport.
It’s all too easy to opt to use Uber rather than waiting in the cold for the bus, especially if you’re telling yourself it’s “only a few quid more” but these couple of pounds will add up over time.
You could buy some food essentials for the price you spend on an Uber to campus, so make the swap and opt to get the bus or train instead.
It will make all the difference to your bank account.
Don’t forget, you can also save money on rail fares with a 16-25 year old Railcard.
If possible, you could also try opting to walk to places rather than using public transport (if the weather permits).
This way, you’ll get fit for free and you don’t have to worry about paying for a gym membership!
5. Search For Part Time Jobs
Another obvious but nonetheless important tip if you’re facing money worries amidst the cost of living crisis is to search for part time jobs.
It’s not always ideal or even possible depending on your contact hours at uni to get a part time job alongside your studies, but it could help you out and provide you with more income.
Research online to find the best jobs suited to you and your studies, you could even look into work from home positions if you’re wanting to work flexibly.
Not only is a part time job a great way to help you out during the cost of living crisis, it’s also a great way to gain experience and maybe even meet some new friends!
6. Buy Second Hand
Buying second hand has become more and more popular over the last couple of years, with many students opting to buy from the likes of Vinted, Depop and vintage kilo sales to save money.
However, what many students fail to realise is that you can not only buy second hand clothing but also pre-owned university essentials like textbooks, which are still good quality for less than full price.
It’s worth taking a look online to see if you can buy any pre-used essentials for uni, rather than splashing the cash on a book you’re only going to need for a specific period of time.
7. Cutting Energy Bills
Rising energy prices are hitting those within student housing hard, if you’re in the same boat there are a few tips you can take on board.
We’d suggest putting your heating on a timer so that it switches on and off automatically at particular times of day to save money on your utility bills, as well as wearing extra layers when you’re in the house.
Furthermore, to save money on your energy bill you should also compare energy suppliers to check you’re getting the best value for money, if you don’t live in student accommodation with all-inclusive bills that is!
More tips for saving on your energy due to rising costs include opting to use a clothes maiden rather than the tumble dryer, as well as switching off lights when you’re not in the room.
8. Change The Way You Socialise
It’s hard to maintain a social life due to the rising living costs as it can be impossible to afford a night out.
After all, the average price of a pint has increased by 9% compared to last year!
At the end of the day you still want to have the best possible student experience, and so you should.
Instead of having to miss out on spending time with your friends and making memories at uni, you can instead change the way you socialise.
It’s not just us who reckon that pre-drinks are always better than the night out itself, right?
You get drinks at a fraction of the price, you get to choose your own music and you don’t have to queue for ages to use the toilet – it’s a winner!
Rather than spending the night in the pub, opt for more nights in with your student flat to save money.
You could plan games nights, make cocktails together or even have a karaoke night, there’s so many things you can do to socialise without having to break the bank.
9. Make The Most Of Cashback Sites
Using your student discount isn’t the only way you can have more money in your bank, another way you can take charge of your spending is to make the most of cashback websites.
The way it works is the online site will pay you back a percentage of what you spend or offer you a reward, which is a great way to get some money back from your purchases.
There are many online resources where you can do this, it’s worth doing your research to find the best site.
Whilst you may only get a small percentage of your money back, every penny adds up over time, which is ideal if you do a lot of shopping online.
10. See What Support Is Available
Our final tip for saving money during the rising cost of living is to check what financial support is available.
If you’re struggling financially, it’s important to reach out for help and to make the most of the resources which are available.
Whether it’s speaking to your family, checking if you’re entitled to any government support or even applying for hardship funds from your university.
Your university website may have a dedicated web-page for cost of living support, so it’s worth checking out.
During the current climate, it’s hard to have enough money to help fund your life and pay for essentials, but you don’t have to struggle in silence.
That’s the end of our post on money saving tips for the cost of living crisis, we hope these have proven helpful to you.
Remember, if your money worries are impacting upon your wellbeing, you should speak about your mental health to a professional.
Being a student during the cost of living crisis is not easy, but there is help out there.