If you’re a student, chances are you’re always looking for ways of saving money. Here are some tips to help you out!
As a student, it’s essential to learn how to save money. There are many ways to cut back on expenses and make your money go further.
This post will outline tips on how to save money as a student including easy, actionable tips to help you settle in a foreign land without spending too much.
So read on and start putting these tips into practice!
Moving to a new country can seem a little scary, and getting to know the place can be even more daunting.
When I moved to the UK three years back as a brand new student at my Uni, I made many mistakes that felt heavy on my pocket (and I didn’t realise at the time!).
(This post is my way of giving back to the student community by imparting the knowledge I gathered over the years.)
It’s rightly quoted: wise men learn from their mistakes, but a wiser man learns from the mistakes of others.
Money-saving is a small word with a more profound meaning and the most challenging implementation. A student’s life revolves around how to get more by spending less.
Let’s quickly look at what exactly saving money as a college/school student means.
What Does Saving Money as a Student Mean?
Saving money does not mean cutting down on essential expenses, not going out or not spending money at all. Instead, saving money as a student (or anyone, really) means spending judiciously and cracking out the best deals and discounts to get more value for your money.
The road to saving money can be rough, but it can become smooth and fun with the right tips and tricks.
Living away from home and managing money can be daunting for the first time, and no one wants to land up with hefty debts.
So, how to save money as a student?
To help you get started, below are my top 17 easy ways to save money in the UK as a student from my personal experience after spending three years here.
Remember, even if you save a penny, you saved something by the end of the day. A penny saved is a penny made.
Why is it Important to Save Money as a Student?
Before we get to some of the best ways to save money for students, There are a few reasons why it’s vital for students to save money.
- Saving money in student life is a good way to prepare you for the future.
- Students often have a limited income, so it’s important to make the most of every penny.
- Living expenses can be quite high, especially in big cities like London.
- Students can save money for future expenses, like tuition fees or a down payment on a house.
If I were to pick ONE reason from this list of reasons why it’s important to start saving money when you’re a student?
It would have to be this:
Starting to save money as a student is an excellent way to prepare you for the future. You’ll be glad that you were able to put some money aside when you’re an adult with a family and a mortgage.
Let’s now get back to the money-saving tips for students.
Top 17 Ways to Save Money as a Student in the UK
There are many ways for students to save money, and following the below tips will help you get started. So start saving today, and you’ll be glad you did!
1. Start a Part-Time Job: A Saviour
I’ll start with my favourite on this list.
The rest of the tips are on saving money as a student; this one empowers you also to make money on the side as a student.
And, a part-time job can be a serious side hustle for students. It can speed up your savings journey, and you can spend on things you want without overthinking.
The thought of managing university student life along with a part-time job can look scary at first but is an essential aspect of student life.
A part-time job will help you live an organised life and help you make money for your weekend outings.
Pause for a second and think about it!
You don’t need to depend on your parents for every single expense. Taking care of some (or all) of your student expenses is genuinely gratifying.
A part-time job will also help you have a good CV for your first interview after graduation.
Look out for jobs in the university and around the city.
You can also make money from home/flat/hostel (or where you decide to stay). There are a lot of work-from-home opportunities to sit at home and make money.
For instance, you can work on student brand ambassador schemes, data entry jobs remotely outside your college hours.
You can join Facebook groups. It works out great for searching for jobs.
2. Create a Budget
Create a weekly or monthly budget and, most importantly, stick to it. Consider all the required expenses over a week or month and spend that much only.
Note down your expenses in an excel spreadsheet or make notes on your phone. Downloading budget planner apps like SlideBy, Fudget, Money Manager can also help organise the budget.
3. Stop Impulse Buying: Research Before Spending
Don’t rush on spending money. Instead, think judiciously before spending on stuff, so you don’t regret it later.
Look out for places where you can find similar goods for a lesser price, research around and spend. You can save a lot of money by comparing prices from various sites.
For example, look out for stores where you can get groceries at lesser prices. Some things are expensive in Co-op and are available at a lesser price in Morrisons. Aldi and Tesco have good deals on kitchen goods and groceries.
Moreover, check online before buying in-store. The product you’re after could be cheaper online than buying in-store, or you might crack a crazy deal while shopping online.
The bottom line is: Research first, Buy second.
4. Get to Know Your Surroundings
It isn’t easy to save money in student life unless you are familiar with the city or town you live in.
As a student, you should explore the city, find shops, restaurants with special deals for students or with products/services at lower prices.
You can even check your university website for city guides and tips. Finally, talk to people around you to know more about the cheapest place to buy groceries and daily essentials.
5. Stay Updated With the Latest Offers
Look out for student deals and discounts. It always helps to stay updated with the latest offers, plan, and make your purchase.
Why pay the total price when you can buy something at 50% off?
Download apps like Student Beans, VoucherCodes, UNiDAYS, TOTUM, STUNii to get great discounts, vouchers, and freebies.
I saved more than 100 GBP by using various discount coupons from these apps. These apps have attractive discount coupons for shopping.
Many brands and stores in the UK give an extra of 15% to 20% off for students. Here’s how I used a few of them:
- Student Beans: Using Student Beans, I grabbed exciting offers on Amazon prime textbooks for my university, got a free burger at McDonald’s and got 60% off at Ted Baker. Keep an eye on the exciting offers and grab the ones you love.
- Unidays: Unidays got me a 10% student discount on Apple products, 10%-25% off on various beauty brands like YSL, MAC, Body Shop, and the list is endless.
- STUNii: Who doesn’t like getting discounts for free food? STUNii has some great offers for dining out and partying with friends. From getting 30% off at Zizzi to getting free handmade pizza at Mean-eyed Cat Bar, I saved a lot of money while having fun around the city.
- VoucherCodes: VoucherCodes has excellent deals on electronics, fashion, travel discounts, and offers on anything and everything you need. For example, I grabbed a 40% discount on HP products, an additional 50% discount on shopping from Tommy Hilfiger, 40% reduction on my Pizza Hut bill.
Staying up to date with the latest offers is a must to save money as a college student. Remember saving money does not mean sitting at home and not enjoying your student life. You can save money even while visiting, trying new places and shopping.
6. Carry your Student ID for Additional Discounts
Many stores, services and restaurants provide additional student discounts. Always carry your student ID to claim your incentives.
It all adds up.
7. Collect Loyalty Reward Points
Sign up for the rewards membership of all the possible brands and stores to get special discounts and member-only deals.
Most stores in the UK like Tesco, Morrisons, Co-op, Sainsbury, Boots have free membership programs allowing you to collect loyalty points and have great discounts for members. You can even convert your points and spend them like real money. Loyalty programs are a great way to make money passively.
8. Get Free Products
What’s better than getting a student discount on products? Freebies.
You can sign up or register with retailers and food apps to grab some freebies on your birthday!
For example, The Body Shop sends you a voucher (£5 off) on your birthday.
9. Use One-Pound Stores
One-pound stores like Poundland in the UK are like jackpot places for students.
A store with everything at £1 is the ultimate money-saver. You can shop for most of your essential requirements from Poundland.
It has everything from toiletries to stationery items, gift wraps, food, groceries, etc. So take a trip next time and compare it with your regular shop to calculate your savings.
10. Plan for “Zero” Spend Days
As a student, plan at least two “NO SPEND” days every week.
Avoid spending money to get some extra pounds in your savings by the end of the week or month. Instead, exercise self-control and try to spend less than £1 on no-spend days.
11. Avoid Cabs and Take a Walk Instead
Why take a cab when you can walk it? Living in one of the most expensive countries calls for stepping out of the comfort filled luxurious lifestyle.
Walking at times can seem tiresome, but it saves you a lot of money. Avoid taking cabs unless that’s the only option left.
If you can’t walk, lean on a bus. Cabs should be your last option to reach your destination.
When booking a cab, compare which app gets you the cheaper fare. For example, sometimes Amber (in Leeds) helped me save some money and other times Uber might have the best fare.
If you need to, compare the fare and book your cab. It doesn’t take a lot of time and could save you a lot of money as a student that adds up over time.
12. Get Your Student Railcard and Coachcard
If you love travelling and exploring, a Railcard or a Coachcard is a must. It reduces the cost by up to one-third of the original price.
Coaches are usually cheaper than trains. Plan accordingly because coaches typically take more time than trains.
13. Don’t Plan Trips at the Last Hour
Plan at least a week or ten days before to get cheaper tickets and accommodation as a student. The more you delay, the more you pay!
Remember to compare prices of tickets from various sites before bookings. Research always helps.
Don’t forget to grab your student discounts whenever possible.
Check out these tips to get a student discount on flights.
14. Savings Never Hurt Anyone (Not Saving Could!)
Judicious spending is important, but the most important is saving from your decided budget. So keep aside a few pounds for your savings from your weekly or monthly budget.
Savings come in handy during times of emergency.
15. Choose Necessity Over Luxury
Being a student does not always mean spending luxuriously. It is very important to keep in mind to only buy things that are necessary and avoid luxury while spending money as a student.
Instead of buying new books, you can borrow or buy second-hand books for particularly term-time. This is both a pocket and environment-friendly tip.
16. Don’t Depend on Takeaways: Start Cooking
Eating food from outside daily is not only bad for your health but also your bank balance (and wealth in the long term!).
Avoid depending on takeaway and prefer cooking to save money as a student. Instead, buy groceries on a weekly or monthly basis and cook. If you don’t know how to cook, learn it – put the internet to good use!
You can even involve your flatmates. Cooking with your flatmates can be a fun activity too!
Keep easy-to-cook groceries to save not only money but also your time. Moreover, split out the food or grocery costs with your flatmates, further adding your savings.
Cooking together is a good money-saving idea and gives you a chance to bond well with your flatmates.
17. Don’t Carry Your Card During Night Outs
Who does not love to go out on Friday nights? Spending on food and drinks is good until you spend half of your bank balance.
A good tip is never to carry your card during night outs. You don’t want to wake up the next day being broke. Carry a limited amount of cash for safety reasons.
18. Look for Happy Hour Discounts (Bonus Tip)
On days when you plan to eat from a restaurant or café, look for happy hour discounts.
Many cafes and restaurants in the UK have happy hours or discounted hours when food is served at lesser prices.
On top of that, remember to sign up with various food outlets like Greggs, Barburrito, McDonald’s and, Costa Coffee to get points every time you spend and grab some free snacks on your birthdays!
Saving money as a student doesn’t have to be complicated. As you can see above, there are many ways to save money without making too many significant changes to your student lifestyle.
I have listed my money-saving tips from my experience while attending UK University to give you some easy ways to start saving money now.
I hope you’ve learned some interesting money-saving hacks and now have a better idea of how to save money as a student.
These tactics will help you maintain your budget and save more while attending university.
Remember to set aside a few pounds every week or month into savings to have funds for emergencies. Consider starting cooking at home with flatmates by splitting out food costs or even getting involved in part-time work opportunities on campus.
These pocket-friendly tips are great when you plan to move out and stay away from your parents.
These tasks may seem daunting but are necessary steps towards financial independence as a student!
Remember that saving money is an art, and to master it, you have to keep practising to improve.
Which money-saving tip on this list is your favourite? Do you have one not on my list and would like to share? Let me know in the comments below.