Student Sundays // How to Save Money at University

Whilst I am no role model for budgeting, or having a healthy obsession with shopping this year I’m really trying hard to keep the pennies in the piggy bank. Whether this means not eating out, having a cheeky chocolate milkshake after the gym – I’ve already worked the pounds off I deserve a treat! – or splurging my money on the latest fashion trends in Primark; I’m trying to keep my card in the purse and resist spending. Over the last couple of years as a student, I’ve picked up some helpful tips that are – hopefully – going to be put into action over my final year at university – possibly the scariest thought I’ve had in a while – and as I was putting out the Student Sunday’s Series I thought it would be great to share these How to Save Money at University tips with you.

This post was also voted by YOU; the readers. If you want to take part in the poll to choose what’s next in the Student Sunday’s series, Check out my Twitter here and give me a follow to keep updated with what I’m posting and to get involved in the next Student Sunday’s poll!

 

Plan your Meals

I am awful for one who ends up ordering takeaway but I cannot stress how much of a difference planning your meals makes. Originally I started the year with a freezer full of staples and a small selection of food in my fridge and cupboard, however throughout the year I started to accumulate more and more food that had to be wasted or just wasn’t eaten. It’s a big waste of money especially when it comes to fresh food that goes mouldy the fastest. So this year I’ve got my meal planner ready – I got this gorgeous one in my #BoxOfLame from That Lame Company – and I’ll be planning my meals weekly whilst looking in my cupboards for ingredients I may already have, this way not only am I using up food I already have but reducing the amount I waste as well. From my time working at Asda I learnt that the best time to shop is in the evenings as food with that day as the best before date will be reduced to the lowest price. Now most of this food goes way past that “best before” date and you can always stick it in the freezer to preserve it; it sometimes means you pick up the silliest bargains – I remember once reducing 23 x  9 pack’s of crumpets to 10p and they sold like hot cakes – just remember to be price savvy.

 

 

Student Discounts

Whilst you’re a student make sure you take advantage of the great discounts being offered to you. There are a few well-known sites that you can join to get all these exciting deals including UniDays, Student Beans, Student Money Saver & Save the Student; this way you can just input a code online and voila you get 20% off your ASOS order. However, my favourite by far is the NUS Extra Card – seen in the picture above – it’s £12 for one year, £22 for two and £32 for three; not only is it a great form of ID but also gets you some amazing discounts in stores and restaurants including 40% off Pizza Express – that’s nearly half of your bill!. Although be careful with who you share your card details with as people can then use this to claim some of your one-off discounts – that’s why my details are blurred, I’m not gonna let anyone take away my gym discount – leaving you losing out.

 

 

Travel

As a university student living away from home or maybe perhaps commuting, you’ll probably find your local train station is now your second home. However, train fares can become costly and you may find getting to university or a trip home leaves you with a hole in your pocket. If you’re between the age of 16-25 you can take advantage of a 16-25 Railcard which saves you 1/3 of your fare. Whilst it’s quite expensive at £30 for one year or £70 for three, I suggest going for the three-year option as it saves you £20. It quickly pay’s for itself and I find sometimes my fare from University to Home instead of being £13 is £4 or a Return Trip to London which would normally cost me £30 will cost me £16. Out of everything that saves me money at university, I would say this is the most important and possibly the biggest saver.

 

 

Sell Unwanted Belongings

If you find yourself in a pickle and out of pocket or perhaps you want some cash for new clothes, think about selling a few clothes or items to push you from being in the red back to the green. Whether it be a wardrobe clear out or decluttering the whole of your room, look for things that are maybe unused or in good condition that could possibly be sold on to new, loving owner. Ebay and Depop are both great to sell your unwanted belongings and earn a bit of cash on the side of university without having to both from your computer screen. I am about to put a few of my own clothes on Depop, my username is farewellmay so keep a look out!

 

 

Get a Part Time Job

Worse comes to worse and you either blew all your student loan or you were never given a decent one to being with – happens to a lot of us – you could always get a part time job working a few hours during your days off from university or at the weekend. Most universities suggest no more than 8 hours working a week but this number is totally up to you; if you feel you need more money or can handle the workload go do it. However, I would say don’t get pushed into doing more and more hours as sometimes people can forget that at university a lot of your work comes from self-study rather than lessons. Sometimes employers presume that if you don’t have a lesson you’re free to work but you just have to stand up and say NO, don’t feel guilty about this as you have a life too and in the majority of part-time jobs you’re not planning to stay the long term and need to pass your degree to get a job more suited to you. I would say the maximum a student can work and keep it managed is about 16 hours so don’t go and do 30 hours in a week – I already tried and you end up hating everything in life – . Preferably try and find an employer who will give you a permanent seasonal contract or perhaps somewhere you can work at your university location during term time and then transfer back to your hometown for the holidays – p.s. Wilko is great for transfers & I know both Boots & Asda do permanent seasonal contracts – .

 

I hope you enjoyed these How to Save money at University Tips, make sure you check out my previous Student Sunday post all on What to do after you’ve got your Results!

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41 Comments

  1. August 14, 2016 / 7:53 pm

    Great post babes! As a graduate who has been through it all I totally agree! I still need to work on planning meals tho…forever running out of food!

    • FarewellMay
      August 14, 2016 / 8:30 pm

      Im still struggling with that aspect! It’s when you go into a shop and think “oo I might need these” haha x

    • FarewellMay
      August 14, 2016 / 8:46 pm

      Agreed! Gonna have to get myself another job now going into the 3rd and final year *yikes!* x

    • FarewellMay
      August 14, 2016 / 8:30 pm

      Thankyou lovely 🙂 x

    • FarewellMay
      August 14, 2016 / 8:31 pm

      Thankyou hun! 🙂 x

  2. August 14, 2016 / 8:24 pm

    I’m going to forward this post to my friends who are going to uni in September! Great post lovely. X

    • FarewellMay
      August 14, 2016 / 8:36 pm

      Thank you so much! Make sure you let them know Student Sunday’s is a series of tips for Uni students *new & old* which im doing from now till winter and if they go on my twitter they can vote for which one they’d like to see! 🙂 x

  3. August 14, 2016 / 8:25 pm

    Everything you just said! Especially about planning meals lool.. I used to live on a busy high street full of crappy fast food shops.. 2 nandos, 2 subways, a Chinese place and about 15 chicken and chips shops 🙁 the convenience got me every time lol.

    My most recent blog post is on my university experience studying and living in London, check it out if you like 🙂 x

    • FarewellMay
      August 14, 2016 / 8:37 pm

      Trust me I still have my takeaways I just try to plan them into my weekly meal plans! 😂 x

  4. August 14, 2016 / 8:26 pm

    These are great tips! I’m no longer a student, but by planning meals and taking advantage of student discounts, you can save so much money. For travel, the Megabus was my life saver, I’d get return trips for as little as a tenner, although the journey took forever it can really help save money 🙂

    • FarewellMay
      August 14, 2016 / 8:38 pm

      When I take the bus I manage to get away with a youth ticket which is £1 cheaper than the normal fare – thankgod I dont look my age! x

  5. August 14, 2016 / 8:42 pm

    I swear I only shop places that allow me to use my NUS card, this is some good advice which students need to read!

    chasingmydesire.com -xo

    • FarewellMay
      August 14, 2016 / 8:43 pm

      Thankyou so much hun! 🙂 x

    • FarewellMay
      August 14, 2016 / 8:47 pm

      Thankyou & Thankyou 🙂 Hopefully, these tips help you out a little! I’m glad you love my layout, thanks girl! 🙂 x

  6. August 14, 2016 / 8:57 pm

    I will hopefully be going to uni this year! This post was really helpful!

    simplykarun.blogspot.co.uk

    • FarewellMay
      August 14, 2016 / 9:07 pm

      Glad you found it helpful! Make sure you follow me on twitter to keep up with my Student Sunday’s ( Tips for newbies or oldies to uni ) and to vote for what you would like to see tips on 🙂 x

  7. PixieOX
    August 14, 2016 / 8:17 pm

    Love the idea I’ve been to university I used these to get buy too. Pixie xx http://pixieox.co

    • FarewellMay
      August 14, 2016 / 8:45 pm

      Thankyou hun 🙂 x

  8. Steph
    August 14, 2016 / 8:19 pm

    I’m starting college in September and I’ll definitely be bookmarking this post! Nice pics too!

    Steph x
    mapetitefiche.blogspot.ie

    • FarewellMay
      August 14, 2016 / 8:32 pm

      Thankyou hun! Make sure you follow my twitter for updates on my Student Sunday’s Tips and to vote for the post you would like to see most 🙂 x

  9. Jade
    August 14, 2016 / 8:29 pm

    These tips are great! I definitely agree with meal planning and using your student discount! Great post!

    • FarewellMay
      August 14, 2016 / 8:38 pm

      Thankyou lovely! 🙂 x

  10. Irene
    August 17, 2016 / 6:29 pm

    This is so inspiring! I love the post:)

    irenethayer.com

  11. August 27, 2016 / 8:18 pm

    Some great tips, I haven’t heard of save the student will definitely check this out!

    • FarewellMay
      August 27, 2016 / 9:14 pm

      It’s where I get all my deals including free makeup and 50% off pizza hut! 🙂 x

  12. beautylifemom
    August 27, 2016 / 8:37 pm

    Love posts about saving money! Even though I’m
    Not in college, the planning out your meals tip stil resonates with me! I’m terrible at doing it but getting better!!
    XO
    Jen
    Beautylifemom.com

    • FarewellMay
      August 27, 2016 / 9:17 pm

      I’m still terrible don’t worry! I’m pretty sure when I meal plan properly I can save sometimes more than half my bill for food each week! So it’s definitely worth trying 🙂 x

    • FarewellMay
      August 27, 2016 / 9:29 pm

      Make sure you check out the rest of my Student Sunday’s Series here : https://www.farewellmay.co.uk/?s=student+sundays

      Student Sundays are a series of advice post’s perfect for veterans to university and newbie first years in particular! I do one every Sunday and this Sunday’s post is a ‘What to Take to Uni’ with a free checklist so make sure you check back for that one!

      I also do poll’s on Twitter to decide what the next subject to talk about will be, so YOU can help decide the next Student Sunday! 🙂 x

  13. PixieOX
    August 27, 2016 / 8:38 pm

    Such a great post! Love it when I was at university the nus card was my best friend too. http://www.pixieox.co

    • FarewellMay
      August 27, 2016 / 9:30 pm

      My NUS card is my best friend especially when it comes to 40% off pizza express! x

  14. August 27, 2016 / 10:01 pm

    Ah student discount is actually the best thing, I’ve graduated now but I use my brothers unidays codes for online shopping aha! Planning meals is a really good idea as well, I never really did that!

    The Velvet Black | UK Style & Beauty Blog

    • FarewellMay
      August 28, 2016 / 3:30 pm

      Your so lucky! I’m dreading the day I can no longer use my student discount! x

  15. August 28, 2016 / 12:38 pm

    Amazing post! I’ve learned so much and I can relate to a lot of it. This will help me in collage too! x

    • FarewellMay
      August 28, 2016 / 3:48 pm

      Glad you found it helpful lovely 🙂 x

  16. August 31, 2016 / 11:04 pm

    I need to start meal-planning ASAP. Eating random chips and soda is NOT cutting it.

    • FarewellMay
      September 3, 2016 / 10:52 pm

      Don’t worry I still do it too! Trying to cut out carbonated drinks this week as a tester for cutting it out completely :S x

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