University is likely to be your first time living away from home, as it is for most students. You’ll have to learn how to cook your own meals, use the washing machine, and attend social events, whilst studying for a degree and staying at student accommodation in Liverpool.
With all that newfound independence – and a student loan to top up your bank balance at the start of term – you’re bound to feel the urge to splash the cash. But you need to be sensible to ensure you don’t blow your student budget all at once.
Though it certainly won’t be easy, living on a shoestring budget is entirely possible – you just need to be savvy with your purchases to make sure your money stretches as far as possible.
Here Caro Lettings offer a few useful pointers to help you save money whilst living your best life at university…
10 money-saving tips for students
1. Go food shopping in the evening
Never go shopping on an empty stomach. It’s easy to get carried away and overspend when you’re hungry (or hungover), so consider shopping after you’ve eaten.
It’s worth noting, after 6pm, most supermarkets start to reduce the prices on items that need shifting before the end of the day. You’ll still be able to purchase fresh produce – but for a fraction of the price!
It helps if you plan your meals in advance and make a list of all the ingredients you need before heading out to the shops, too.
2. Curb your online spending
Shopping online is wonderful. You can order virtually anything and have it delivered to your student accommodation in next to no time. And the best bit? You don’t have to change out of your stretchy sweatpants or hop on the bus.
But you need to set yourself a realistic budget – taking into account your other outgoings – and stick to it. This will prevent you from overspending and buying any unnecessary items on impulse.
It’s also worth having at least one ‘no spend’ day each week, as the costs of even small things, like a can of pop or shower gel, soon add up.
3. Shop locally
When you shop locally, you not only support independent businesses in the area but you also benefit the environment by reducing your carbon footprint.
Plus, using businesses that are around the corner from your student digs is extremely convenient – especially if you need to stock up on something at short notice.
If you’re already a Caro Student, you can benefit from our student discount card for local shops, too! Get in touch to find out more.
4. Purchase a railcard
Train tickets in the UK are notoriously expensive. Whilst this could put you off going home to see family at the weekend or booking day trips on your days off uni, having a railcard will reduce the cost significantly.
We recommend you buy or renew a three-year 16-25 railcard before you celebrate your 25th birthday. This way, you’ll pay less for your fare until you reach 27! Win-win.
A three-year railcard typically costs £70. Though it may seem pretty pricey, it’s £20 less than you’d pay for three one-year railcards.
5. Opt for a cheap gym membership
Joining a gym whilst at uni is a great idea, and will help you to keep fit and healthy.
Although some gyms are equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, including a pool, sauna, and spa, most provide cardio equipment, including treadmills, bikes, stair climbing machines, cross trainers, and rowing machines.
You can pay anywhere up to £80 a month to join a fancy leisure club. Unless you can honestly afford to pay that sort of money – on top of your monthly rent, weekly food shops, and study materials – it’s best you sign-up to a cheaper gym.
6. Use FreePrints to print photographs
When staying at student accommodation in Liverpool, most students choose to display photos either in frames on their desk, on the wall using Command strips, or clipped onto fairy lights draped behind their bed.
Not only do photographs give your room a more personal touch, but they’re also great for times when you’re missing loved ones and can help curb feelings of homesickness.
FreePrints is the world’s no.1 photo printing app – available to download from the App Store and Google Play. It allows you to print photos quickly, easily, and for free. All you pay for is the postage.
7. Make the most of pre-drinks
Planning a night out in town? Student-friendly bars and pubs can be expensive, and you’ll often pay an admission fee at the door.
With that in mind, it’s worth stocking up on your favourite tipple and having a few drinks with your friends before you head into town. Alternatively, you could play a couple of drinking games at your student accommodation, so you don’t need to spend as much once you’re out.
8. Leave your bank card at home on nights out
Taking your card on a night out is a dangerous game, especially if it’s contactless!
Instead of paying on your card, withdraw cash and put some aside for the taxi home. At least this way, you won’t be able to drunkenly spend money and you won’t have the fear when you check your online banking the next morning.
9. Cook with your housemates
Often, buying in bulk works out cheaper, so why not club together with other students staying at your student accommodation to reduce the cost of your weekly food shop?
You could all gather in the kitchen and write a menu for the week, before assigning each other roles (i.e. one person buys the ingredients, one prepares the food, another cooks it, and someone else does the dishes). Of course, you can swap jobs every week so it’s fair.
Not only will cooking together save you money, but you’ll also get to spend quality time with your housemates, and hone your culinary skills. What more could you ask for?
10. Use your student discount
Being a student sure has its perks. For instance, with UNiDAYS, you can get discounts on almost everything – from food and drink to clothes, tech, books, subscriptions such as Spotify and Amazon Prime, and even cinema tickets.
Though not all places offer student discounts or promo codes, it’s still worth asking for them while you’re out and about. It may just be a case that they don’t advertise them.
You’ll usually need to provide evidence that you’re a student (i.e. a student ID card, preferably with a photo), but you can enjoy up to 20% off full-price items.
Book your student accommodation with Caro Lettings today
Whilst all of these ten things will help you make your student budget go further, the best thing you can do is secure student accommodation with us, here at Caro Lettings.
We provide some of the best student accommodation in Liverpool city centre and guarantee competitive prices.
Every room comes with an en-suite bathroom, LCD TV, gym access, and access to a shared kitchen and living room. Bills are also included in the rent, allowing you to manage your finances better.
To find out about our student lets or for more money-saving tips, call 0151 318 4743.