Being a university student can sometimes be a bit overwhelming. There's a lot to manage and juggle, from attending lectures and completing coursework to seeing friends, visiting family, and even working a part-time job to fund those extracurricular activities.
Now, as any current student or graduate will tell you, having a part-time job doesn't exactly mean you'll be flush. More often than not when payday rolls around, after paying for travel expenses, food and various other bills, you’ll probably be left wishing you had a little extra in the tank to enjoy when heading out on the town.
It might seem impossible without compromising on somethings, but there are so many creative ways to make money or save money to give you that cash injection you need for those big events or nights out. Making small changes here and there can go a long way, and end up saving you upwards of £100 each year! The good news - It doesn’t really take too much effort.
We've collated some tips below, for those of you already studying or about to begin your university adventure this year, to help you fund some properly memorable night and day excursions in the not-so-distant future.
Save on food shopping
Starting with your shopping bill. In the early months as you get used to buying and making all your dinners there could be a few tricks you’re missing. Firstly, shopping later in the day means you can take advantage of reduced food in most supermarkets. Look out for those attractive yellow sticker items.
Secondly, an easy habit to form is bulk food prepping. Not only will this make your food shopping cheaper, but prepping meals in this way saves so much time in the week and having meals ready will stop the urge to order take-away or pick up snacks on the way home from a late lecture or night out.
Finally make sure you’re organised, taking shopping bags and creating a list can save a lot of money, especially now that bags are charged at 50p in some supermarkets!
Cut out expensive habits
Take a look at your other spending habits such as buying coffee each week. These expenses are usually higher than many people expect. If you can’t tear yourself away from takeaway coffees don’t worry as this is still an easy cost to budget for. Pret’s £25 coffee subscription offer is worth it if you’re getting at least two coffees a week. At first, it might seem a slightly steep price but now you can get up to 5 drinks a day only spending £25 a month.
Switch phone network
Switching phone networks is always seen as more hassle than the saving is worth. It’s actually pretty simple and can take less than 20 minutes to organise (though the actual switching process may take longer if you want to keep your number when you swap).
There are a number of great sim-only plans to switch to depending on whether you need more data or whether you want to enter into a 12 month contract or use a monthly rolling one.
Always use student discount
Another great way to save is making the most of your student title. There are a number of ways to get discounts by creating a profile on Unidays, and applying for a railcard to save on transport (get one for free when you open a Santander student account).
Many retailers offer some sort of discount to students, especially when you sign up directly with them, but if you don’t wish to do that, remember to ask or check if there’s an offer on a student site or discount app.
Making More Money
If it's unlikely you'll stick to saving or cutting costs, you could consider looking at earning some extra cash that can be specifically set aside just for your nights out. This doesn’t mean having to take on a part-time job. There are so many ways you can get your hands on extra cash. You could, for example, sell things you don’t need or use anymore, such as old tech devices, clothing, and books that are sat around gathering dust.
Most of us are guilty of holding onto lots of clothes we don't have the intention of wearing ever again and there's a long list of websites and apps out there ready and waiting to help you make a quick buck off the back of them. Not quite ready to part with your material possessions? There are still other options.
If you have a particular skill or you're particularly academically gifted, why not consider teaching. You don’t have to be an expert! There are a number of sites you can register on offering tutoring work and there's always a subsection of students who could use the extra help, especially in the run up to exam. The best part about this is you can pick which hours suit you best, so you won't miss out on other activities.
As a general rule of thumb, being savvy when it comes to spending and saving will assist in freeing up that hard-to-come-by cold currency you so greatly desire. And this piece of advice goes beyond the realm of your university experience. Take this with you into post-academic life and you'll be in the green, so to speak, more often than not.
Check out our What's On Guide to discover even more rowdy raves and sweaty gigs taking place over the coming weeks and months. For festivals, lifestyle events and more, head on over to our Things To Do page or be inspired by the event selections on our Inspire Me page.