With student loans hanging around until we hit our mid 50’s, every penny counts when you’re at uni. At the time, it’s very easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of every day life and forget that all this money has to be paid back at some time.
At SuperGrad, we’ve all experienced of both the student lifestyle and the aftermath that ensues after it, so I’ve put together some key points to live by to keep you in pocket and out of the red.
1. Sharing is Caring
Loan comes in, debit card comes out and no matter WHO you are, three times a year you get a whole lot friendlier with the shop assistants on the High Street. If this is the only time you get to splurge of your wardrobe then, why not, but make some cash while you’re at it;
- Check out your bank cash back rewards. Companies like Natwest reward customers with cash back when spending at places like New Look and Café Nero.
- Ebay your old stuff. My Mum has lived by a “one in, one out” rule and it’s done her well. When you buy something new, put something you haven’t worn for 6 months on Ebay. No sellers? Do your bit and take it to your local charity shop.
- Do your research… If there is something particular you would like to invest in, have a look around online before you buy. Competitive high street prices means bargains are to be had!
2. Bulk Buy
Get your housemates together and split costs by bulk-buying everyday items such as tins of veg, milk, fresh fruit and carbohydrates like bread and pasta. You get more for your money and it will save you having to keep buying fresh. No-one’s going to eat 3kg of pasta on their own, but why not share it and save yourselves some dosh.
3. Look for jobs in unlikely places
Everyone slates ‘boring’ jobs at uni, but ultimately- money is money and the experience you will gain will be invaluable. Part-time university librarians average between £7-8 per hour, whilst tele-sales consultants on a commission structure can earn a lot more. If you don’t mind giving up your weekends or travelling, promo work is quite often high-salary, cash-in-hand and is a sociable role if you enjoy meeting new people.
4. Check with your universities for one-off loans and bursaries
There are plenty of opportunities for students to make the most of funding and helping hands from the government. If you suffer from a ‘disability’, for example, then you can be eligible for DSA- Disabled Students Allowance. Although this isn’t a money-based scheme, it supports you in other ways that may be draining your bank balance, such as software for your laptop and printers and scanners for at-home use.
5. Packed Lunch
It’s amazing how much cash can stack up when you’re spending an average of £4 a day on lunches. That’s £20 per week, on one meal a day. When you think you can get at the Supermarket for that price, it might make you think twice about your daily meal deal. Plan your meals for the week and take an extra 10 minutes before you leave for uni to make your lunch. Tuna is great for gym junkies and a small Kitkat can see away the mid-afternoon sugar slump without denting your wallet.
Hopefully this will help keep you afloat as you head into your final term for your university year! Good Luck!