By Anna Williams
- At Uni, you will find yourself discovering a new sense of financial rock-bottom. It’s likely your bank account has never looked so pitiful. The time I saw a total of 43p staring back at me from the judging ATM, was a dreadful and eye opening day indeed. But hey, it happens! University life is expensive and demanding, and your outcomes must inevitably be paid and you of course have to eat. However, that does not mean there are not steps you can take to saving a little cash here and there for those rainy, hung-over days.
Limit your alcohol acquisitions
Nights out are great. Drinking with your friends is great. But, alcohol is expensive. I’m not saying be that guy who never drinks, as it’s a part of Uni life to get a little buzzed here and there, and you’ll miss out on great chances to bond with fellow students. But, set a spending limit before the night begins, take only a £20 note and do not allow yourself to spend anymore. This way, you are still able to have fun with your mates, drink away, but will not despair the next morning at your bare, dusty wallet. And, really, once your friends get to a drunken enough state, they may well buy the round for you! Drinks all around!
The takeaway temptation
Another curse of the Uni student is their unwillingness and incapability to cook. Many of us are still not used to cooking for ourselves after so long having our parents cook for us, and, well, we’re lazy ok? Cooking is an effort, and the temptation of simply ordering a takeaway meal to your door can be extremely alluring, especially with their aim of targeting hungry, idle students on purpose. But, you must resist. It’s ok to have one now and again, but frequent purchases will really deplete your account of needed cash. So, maybe instead of ringing the Chinese or Indian place every night, set yourself a once a fortnight treat, or share a takeaway meal out with your housemates and split the bill. This way, you are full and fed, and still financially stable.
Student discounts and deals
Student discount - the financial saviour of retail therapy. There is a common stereotype that students live in raggedy old clothes and still walk around in jeans with a rip up the crotch as they can’t afford any new ones. But this does not always have to be the case. There are shops that personally accommodate the student budget, and offer a discount should you show them your student identification card. Hotukdeals have provided a list of which shops offer this great kindness, so have a look, and have fun shopping and saving at the same time!
There are also equally kind websites that dedicate themselves to offering students money saving deals, like 50% a much-needed haircut or 30% stationary for organizing your work. All of them stand with the selfless intention of helping you save your cash, and all you would need to do is sign up. Studentbeans and Studentshoppinguk are just a few examples of the financial rescue you can find online.
4. Part time jobs
At Uni, it’s extremely likely that you will have very few hours actually in class, or at least a deal less than you were used to at school. You will have a lot of free time, which you could use to study of course, but if you are strapped for cash and struggling, it could be a good idea to fit a part-time job into your week. There will be a lot of places in a University orientated town that will allow a flexible work timetable just to accommodate student employees, who will allow your shifts to fit in between your lectures and seminars as you see fit. With a job, you’ve some more cash in the bank, and work experience to boot.
5 – Ridiculous student purchases
No you don’t need a beer bong. And you don’t need to split money with your housemates to get that hot-tub for the house. Or that inflatable palm tree. These are all the fantasies of a still-drunk student, so go home and sober up a bit more – you don’t need any of these things. It’s great to have a laugh with your friends about having it, what it would be like and how great it would be, but it won’t be as amazing as you thought when you can’t make the rent payment afterward. So joke about it to your heart’s content, but keep your money for sensible purchases that you genuinely need, food, house deposits, course books – you can get that hot-tub when you’re rich one day ahead!
There are many ways a student can overcome the financial pressure of attending university and living on your own, but, ultimately, so long as you are sensible and aware of your limit, you should remain stable and safe, and maybe even have an extra few quid stuffed away in your purse.