10 Top Tips for Saving Money
There are lots of fantastic ways for students to budget, so if you’re stuck on how to save a few extra pennies, have a quick read of our ten top tips.
Shop smart at supermarkets
After 6 pm, UK supermarkets reduce prices on items they need to sell by the end of the day. If you go in the evenings after university, you may find a good deal. You should also be aware that not all UK supermarkets are priced the same. Before you set out on your weekly shop or even if you’re just dropping in to pick up some lunch, use mySupermarket to find out which retailer sells the item you want for less. They claim you can save up to 30% on groceries. There’s also a great app called Too Good To Go that links you with restaurants and helps you save food that otherwise would have been wasted – all for a very low price.
Find good deals on flights
Studying in the UK is the perfect opportunity to explore the rest of Europe. Make sure you get the cheapest flights possible by setting up price alerts for specific places on momondo or using Skyscanner’s ‘Everywhere’ tool to find the best value for destinations around the world.
Save a little at a time
When you get some money into your account, for example, your student loan, a gift, your allowance or your wages, take 10% and put it into a savings account. You can set up a standing order so this happens automatically if the money is regular. Just £20 a month will leave you with £240 by the end of the year.
Get phone insurance
Although this may seem like spending money instead of saving it, two-thirds of uni students are likely to damage or break their phones. When this happens, you won’t have to pay for an expensive new screen or an entirely new phone – your insurance will cover you. Use a comparison site like MoneySupermarket to find the best deal.
Use a bus pass and student railcard
Buying a bus pass for the whole year usually works out less expensive than paying for a ticket each time – especially if you use buses regularly. Newcastle offers a unirider ticket either per term or per year, depending on what you need. You can read more about them and buy one here. Similarly, you can get a 16-25 Railcard here to receive up to a third off train fares.
Pay with cash sometimes
Although it may be easy, paying by card can make us lose sight of how much money we’re actually spending. Try leaving your card at home one or two days a week and using cash instead. According to experts, using credit cards takes away the pain of paying. You swipe the card and it doesn’t feel like you’re giving anything up to make the purchase, unlike paying cash where you have to hand over bills.
Discover student discounts
Student discounts are everywhere – you just have to know where to look. Several high-street fashion retailers like Topshop and Urban Outfitters offer discounts if you have a valid student card, as do many restaurants like ASK, Zizzi and Bill’s. There is also a website called StudentBeans where you can find all the student discounts you could ever need.
Buy a keep cup and a sustainable water bottle
If you’re a coffee addict or like to keep hydrated on the go, buying a keep cup and water bottle is a really good idea. Not only are they good for the environment, but some cafes also offer discounts to people who bring their own cup, and there are free refill stations for water bottles meaning you save money.
Consider limiting how much meat you eat
Another tip that is good for the environment and your bank balance is cutting down on how much meat you eat. Vegetables are much less expensive and farming meat is very bad for the planet. A flexitarian diet means you don’t have to give up anything forever, just for a few days at a time.
Keep track of your spending
Finally, the best way to save money is to know exactly how much you are spending. Luckily, digital banks like Monzo have apps that not only show you exactly what you’re buying but also the type of spending you’re doing and how much you have left for the rest of the month. If you are spending too much on eating out, you can cut back next month. Easy!
These little tips are a great starting point and will teach you some basic saving skills. Remember, every little bit makes a difference as you never know when you might need some extra cash.