1. Try the ‘no-spend’ challenge.
Choose one day a week where you aim to spend nothing – not even on a drink – and see how much it saves you! Consider the cost of the little things you buy. If you buy a coffee before a morning lecture, you’ve already spent at least £2.
2. Think about what you spend and where
Many items are available for cheaper and in bulk in the world food aisle or local global supermarket. Lotion is usually cheaper in the baby aisle!
You can also try some of the cheap food sites out there like Approved Food – who sell food ‘past it’s best’ that’s still perfectly good and safe to eat.
3. Get a travel pass
Travel for West Midlands offer whole network (that’s bus, tram and train) travel passes for students on either a termly (student loan friendly) or monthly basis. There’s other options as well if you only use one kind of transport such as the bus.
4. You might not need a TV Licence!
If you live in student accommodation you’ve definitely had a lot of scary letters about TV Licencing. Yes, you do need a TV Licence even if you don’t own a TV for iPlayer etc. but if you usually live at home, your parents have a TV Licence, and the device you’re using to watch TV is only powered by battery (e.g. your phone, not plugged in) – you’re not breaking the law by watching Eastenders on catch up. Huzzah!
5. Check with IT before you buy software for uni
Take advantage of student discounts on computers and software. The uni provides free Office software to all students, a free licence for Adobe Creative Cloud if you need it, and if you need to use SPSS you can download that too!
6. Use the library for books before buying
The library is there to provide the materials you need for Uni, and they have a reading list function to help you find what you need. You don’t need to buy an expensive textbook if the library has it online, for the small, small cost of your tuition (ha).
7. Get help with your health costs
If you have regular prescriptions, or other health costs like dentistry and opticians, you can apply for help to cover these costs on the NHS. Their low income scheme can assess your income and see if you are entitled to either full or partial help with those costs.
Alternatively, if you’re not entitled to free prescriptions you can work out if a pre-payment certificate would be cheaper.
8. Don’t overspend on your mobile phone
The latest phone can be super expensive, so seriously consider whether you need a new phone every two years, or if the contract your on right now can be made cheaper.
9. Try your best to reduce your bills by saving energy and water where you can
We’ve written a whole article on this because this is a hot topic right now. In short – find ways to reduce your usage as there’s no deals out there right now!
10. Always think before you buy
Martin Lewis has his ‘Money Mantras’ and we’d like to endorse those here: ‘Do I need it? Can I afford it? Is it cheaper elsewhere?’
Check out Money Saving Expert for many more tips to stretch your funding.