Student Guide to Managing Finances

Many students find it hard to manage finances whilst at uni due to a sometimes-limiting student loan or expensive rent!…

Many students find it hard to manage finances whilst at uni due to a sometimes-limiting student loan or expensive rent! So I thought I would share some ways I managed mine throughout my time at uni!

Bulk buying

By making use of bulk buying, I managed to save a lot of money last year! For instance, by buying larger amounts of food from supermarkets this can work out cheaper per portion in the long run!

For instance, by buying one large pack of beef or Quorn mince I was able to make a few portions of lasagne or bolognaise and freeze them and keep them for after on in the week, or share with friends, as we would sometimes take it in turns to cook and this also kept the cost of dinner down!

I used to shop at Lidl and found their food to be good quality and reasonably priced, I also made use of the Lidl rewards app which tracked my spending and provided rewards for every £50, £100, £150, and £200 spent each month.

I usually spent around £50 on food each month, which meant I was rewarded with a free bakery item if I scanned the app at the till.

Part-time work

Finding a part-time job also helped me to manage my finances as it provided me with a supplementary income to help pay for non-essential items that my student loan did not cover.

During my undergrad, I worked part-time over the summer and Christmas holidays in a retail job and worked for the University as a telephone operator who rang recent graduates who were interested in completing a graduate survey for the Careers and Employability service.  I saved this money to spend during term time as and when it was necessary.

Also, during the first year of my master’s course, I began a new job for the uni, working for Student Life as a content creator, I enjoy this role as it is flexible alongside my studies and I get to choose my hours and have met other members of the uni with similar interests as me!  

Cheap activities

Choosing less expensive activities can really help when trying to manage your finances.

In my first year, I lived at Danesgate House accommodation, so we used to frequently visit the Arboretum or walk up Steep Hill and look at the Cathedral or Castle, which was free to do but a nice way to have a walk and a catch up with friends!

Charity shopping

Making use of charity shops or second-hand marketplaces such as Depop or Vinted can cut the costs of buying new clothes or household items when needed.

I enjoy buying second-hand items as it is more sustainable for the environment and save money! I especially enjoy using second-hand places when buying outfits for themed night outs. For instance last year I bought an outfit for a golf-themed pub crawl from Vinted, wore it for the event, and then re-uploaded the outfit and broke even with the sale!

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