How I maximise my money
Something I feel a lot of students worry about, before, during and after their university experience is money – how much they need, where to get it and where to spend it to make it go furthest. I know I personally try to make my money go further.
I have compiled a few of the ways in which I try and save money that have served me well. Largely it is not too hard to do, but everyone has their own priorities when budgeting and so it is important to find your own balance of treating yourself and also being restrained when needed.
Meal planning and prepping:
Planning out what you will eat and when is a great way of maximising your food shop and reducing food waste. I often find that the smaller trips to the supermarket are where I end up overspending, whereas committing to one bigger shop and using it all up on set meals means I spend a lot less as well as making it easier to stick to healthy habits.
Partially linked to the previous suggestion bulk buying can be a great way of saving money, if your parents can take you to a cash and carry or Costco, or if you are able to get to one (perhaps if you know someone at Uni with a car) this can be a great way to maximise your money. This is particularly effective when split with housemates or flat mates.
Make your own coffee:
Although at the time the occasional coffee on the way to Uni or whilst studying in a café may seem like a small expense, these really add up. A friend of mine once added up all the coffees she was drinking and worked out it was costing her literally hundreds of pounds per year. If you are someone that enjoys good coffee I would recommend investing in your own half decent machine and some reusable cups. This is a far more sustainable and financially viable way of getting your coffee fix.
There are a plethora of discounts available, some student specific and others just general that can be taken advantage of. Research these discounts and if in doubt always ask. You would be surprised how many places will give you a student discount even if it is not advertised. There are websites such as vouchercodes or vouchercloud, as well as student specific sites like Unidays or NUS, that all offer great deals. As well as this chrome add-ons like Shoptagr or honey can automatically scan the web for codes and get you the best price online. However please be aware that just because something is discounted well it doesn’t mean you need it, being too trigger happy in the sales is a great way to deplete your overdraft at speed.