Money can be one of many worries for new students heading off to university. Becoming an adult and paying for things like – *shudders* – bills and weekly food shops, can be expensive.
Some students may choose to take on a part-time job alongside their studies to be able to afford luxuries (like Heinz beans instead of own brands) and the occasional social event.
Due to all of the costs, there’s no harm in making and saving up a little bit of money beforehand to act as a kind of safety net. Here’s five tried and tested tips to put into practice before starting university:
1. Have a clear out
You know the saying, one poor student’s trash is another (slightly less) poor student’s treasure. Or something like that…
Get on selling sites like eBay and Depop while clearing out your bedroom and packing your bags. You really don’t need 46 pairs of shoes and that jacket with the tags still attached definitely deserves a new home.
It’s pretty unlikely that you’ll make the full RRP back – but just remember, every little helps!
2. ‘Save the Change’
If you bank with Lloyds or TSB, take advantage of their really simple Save the Change feature. Every time you use your debit card, the amount you’ve spent will be rounded up to the nearest pound and the difference is transferred to your savings account. Easy, right?
If you’re not with either of these, fear not! Go old school and put all of your loose change at the end of the week into a jar, tub or piggy bank. It really doesn’t matter what you choose to use – the pennies will soon start to add up.
3. Take up mystery shopping
Do you like catching up with friends over a pub meal? Would you like it even better if it was free? Mystery shopping websites like MarketForce offer small amounts of cash and reimbursements for this kind of thing.
You usually just have to write a simple report on the service of a pub, shop or other public place and follow a list of requirements. The money is then paid into your bank account and you’ve had a free (or very cheap) catch up!
4. Stop buying lunch on the go
A Tesco Meal Deal or a Greggs sausage roll may not break the bank, but if you’re buying them regularly, they could get scarily close to it.
Instead of grabbing a quick (and usually unhealthy) meal on your lunch break, get up a little earlier in the morning and sort a tasty packed lunch out. It will save you loads of money in the long run and it’s good to get into the habit for university, trust me.
5. Make the most of freebies
Everyone loves a freebie – whether it’s a new cereal bar, a perfume sample or something random, like chicken soup for cats.
Seriously though, if you look hard enough, you can get some really cool stuff for absolutely nothing. From razors and shampoo to sweets and popcorn, you can gradually top up your collection of toiletries or food to take to university – for free! Admit it, it’s always super exciting to receive parcels in the post as well…