Money is a big deal at university, mostly because you don’t have very much. So, I’m not going to sugar-coat that fact since no-one sugar-coats my bank statements.
Before I came to university I didn’t really worry. I worked, so was earning money and if I needed more. Simple. I just worked another shift. But, having a job next to my uni work and all my other commitments here in Lincoln was a bit too much.
So, if you find yourself running out of money you’ll have to learn how to be thrifty instead. As I managed to avoid my overdraft this year, I felt that I must be doing something right! From one student to another – here’s a few money tips I learnt…
Get a student bank account.
This is a great starting point. Do your research as banks will do different packages of overdrafts, rewards, interest rates, etc. Go for the package that will work best for you as everyone is different – for me it was HSBC for the £60 Amazon gift card. It meant I could get a new hard-drive, essentially for free!
Sign up for student discounts.
There are many free student discount programmes such as UniDays or StudentBeans, and don’t forget your student ID discounts! Always ask about discounts in shops and before checking out on your online shop google discount codes. If you can get free delivery or 20% off it’s always worth it!
I’ll admit, I’m not the best at budgeting, but when I do remember to do it I find it useful. Even just writing on a spare slip of paper how much you’re spending each day, and on what, helps you to keep track of your spending habits. If you’ve set yourself a weekly budget and then find out by the end of the week that you’ve spent less than that, there’s a feeling of achievement.
Is it essential?
Yes, toilet paper is an essential. Please remember to buy it. However, it is not essential to stop at Costa on your way to lectures every morning. Invest in a travel mug and buy packet coffee. My caramel latte tastes even better than the real thing because the box of eight sachets is cheaper than just one of the coffee shop drinks!
If you have seen Parks and Rec you will be familiar with the saying: “Treat yo self.” You can still treat yourself! Being thrifty throughout the year is good because you might end up with a bit extra that you didn’t expect. I love my new pair of jeans even more because I know it was a treat!
And last but definitely not least…
Please don’t go food shopping when you’re hungry.
Trust me. It’s never a good idea. Watch Brandon’s video of tips for food shopping at university.
Scrimping doesn’t mean you can’t have fun and enjoy yourself. Keep your eye out for those student deals, they’re there for a reason!
Money issues are different for everyone and what has worked for me might not work for you.
If you do need financial advice visit the Student Advice Centre.
This article is featured on Learning at Lincoln.