Money saving tips for students

Piggy bank

We realise UWE students want to enjoy their student experience without breaking the bank balance, that's why we've put together a list of helpful tips to make your money go further.

Food tips

  • Make a shopping list and stick to it - don't forget to check online for the latest supermarket offers.
  • Never shop when you’re hungry, research suggests you'll buy more than you need.
  • Shop on a Sunday afternoon, or after 19:00 when there may be bargains on perishables like bread and vegetables.
  • We all like special offers, but think before you buy - it may seem like a bargain, but will you use it?
  • Drop one brand level in the supermarket and see if you can tell the difference.
  • Look at price per 100g to compare different prices and save yourself some pennies.
  • Buy unpacked fruit and vegetables, they're better for your bank balance and the environment.
  • Buy in bulk with others to save costs - essentials like pasta often work out cheaper.
  • If you're a novice in the kitchen, why not invest in a cook book, you'll often find good books in charity shops.
  • Learning to cook will make you popular with your housemates and save you a fortune over the year, you could even hold your very own ’Come Dine with Me'.
  • Make a sandwich instead of buying a ready-made one and you could save a pound or more a day - that's £260 a year.
  • Use old bread bags and other food packaging for sandwiches.
  • Save take-away containers to use for leftovers and freezing extra portions.
  • Find out which vegetables are in season and grow your own – you only need a windowsill or a few garden pots.
  • Buying a take-out coffee everyday for a week could cost as much as £40 a month. In one year you could save £480, now that's what we call making your money go further.

Lifestyle tips

  • Join your local library for CD and DVD rental.
  • Set a reminder on your phone on the day library books are due back and return or renew them to avoid costly fines.
  • Walking and cycling saves money and keeps you fit, why not invest in a second hand bike and save money on buses, taxis and petrol.
  • Challenge yourself to spend-free days.
  • Check newspapers and magazines for vouchers and discounts.
  • Keep a written record of your spending.
  • Once you arrive at university, join your local Freecycle or Freegle group. This is a mailing list where local people offer up items they no longer want, for free as long as you agree to collect them.
  • Buy used textbooks and make use of the library.

Household tips

  • Make sure your washing machine is full every load so you save on energy bills.
  • Invest in energy saving light bulbs.
  • It’s often more cost effective to keep the heating on constant, but at a lower temperature.
  • Take dated photos to accompany an inventory when you move in to new property.

Shopping tips

  • Invest in an NUS card and don't be afraid to ask for discounts. On average, students save £500 with the help of an NUS card.
  • Use reward cards such as a Boots Advantage card or a Nectar card for those 'invisible' savings.
  • Try own brand products such as Boots' paracetamol rather than costly brand names.

Travel tips

  • Look for local deals on buses and trains - you might be able to purchase a termly pass.
  • When buying train tickets, buy as far in advance as possible. Always check the cost of two single tickets compared to a return.

Banking and finances tips

  • Are you claiming all the benefits you are eligible for? Contact our Funds and Finance Advisers to check if you can claim.
  • Choose your bank account wisely. Beware of the gimmicks and freebies banks will use to entice students to take out an account with them.
  • Check your bank statements regularly through online banking. This will help to track your spending and prevent you going over your limit.
  • Try and stick to an agreed amount of cash to take out at the start of the week, and limit how often you use your card.
  • If you have an outstanding balance on a credit card, regularly check the financial market to keep up-to-date with the best deals on balance transfers.
  • If you withdraw £10 every weekday in term time, you will be withdrawing over £1500 a year. Visualise how that money could be better used to celebrate your achievements instead!

Page last updated 18 July 2013

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