Very few students have endless access to cash, so living on a limited budget is part of the uni experience. Fortunately for UK uni students, generations of attendees have fine-tuned the art of stretching financial resources during school. Frugal young people now have a blueprint to follow, navigating college without much cash.
From commuting to furnishing your flat, there’s money to be saved on many of the things you need whilst attending uni. If you’re eager to earn a degree without leaving money on the table, consider these top tips for an affordable campus lifestyle.
Shop Later in the Day
Supermarkets continually rotate stock, ensuring goods are sold before becoming obsolete. The cycle can work in your favor if you shop late in the day. Many markets begin reducing prices on must-sell items during the evening hours. Shopping late provides opportunities to scoop-up freshly discounted items, before your store closes for the night.
Try ‘No Spend’ Periods
Drastic measures to restore your financial health are like crash diets – even if you see short-term gains, you may not experience lasting improvements. Still, blocking off certain days and times as ‘no spend’ periods is worth a try. For reliable results, start by testing the waters with a single no spend day. Once you’re accustomed to having no spend periods, expand to one day each week, or stretch the principle across multiple consecutive days during the month.
Skim 10 Percent
Income may seem like a rarity during school, considering how much money flows in the opposite direction. When you do have an influx of cash, from your part-time job, student finance, holiday gifts, or any other source, try slicing 10 per cent off the top, to put by for future spending demands. Even if you don’t have a lot coming in, you may end up saving a few hundred pounds to work with.
Drop Your TV Licence
Sharing costs with flat mates helps reduce living expense whilst you’re in school, including the cost of a TV licence. Although you’ll save money sharing the cost, you can make even better savings by dropping your TV licence altogether. Streaming services like Netflix and Amazon deliver lots of entertainment by way of your broadband connection, so you may not miss TV programmes at all.
Commit to Frugal Fitness
If you’re employed during school, online loans are available to reinforce cash flow between paydays. The money can help keep lifestyle preferences such as personal fitness intact, but less expensive alternatives may be available. An expensive gym membership isn’t the only path to personal fitness. Rather than devote limited resources to an unnecessary health club membership, why not run, walk, or cycle your way to good health, without investing a pound?
Find Free Fun
Entertainment is a big spending category, particularly for young uni students eager to get out and mix it up with mates. Though many establishments cater to students, offering eating and drinking promotions aimed at university budgets, keeping up with your social life can still put a dent in your college cash. If you need a line on free fun, events newsletters can help keep you informed about free happenings. And it always pays to connect with your favourite destinations, for loyalty promotions and other insider deals.
Lose a Costly Habit
Smoking always comes to mind when seeking savings, but cigarettes aren’t the only expensive bad habit. If you are your own worst enemy, squandering limited financial reserves on costly indulgence, you may be able to turn things around by ditching your bad habits. When you’re ready to hold on to more of your college cash, NHS will help you stop smoking with an affordable quitting kit.
Uni students make sacrifices in the name of education, living frugally whilst attending school. Though cash flow is lean during these transitional years, there’s no need to give up all your favourite creature comforts. Rather than letting go of the things you love, use these and other strategies to make uni life more affordable.