Preserving your student loan is perhaps the most vital issue that you must confront as a student. Not only will this teach you valuable saving techniques for your not-so-far future, you also want to maintain an acceptable standard of living so not to worry your inquisitive Mum. Here are five quick tips to help you save.
1. Food Shopping – You essentially must become much more tactful on your purchases. By shopping in the late evening, you get a chance to find a hidden gem in the ‘Reduced to Clear’ section. Suddenly a pot of Soured Cream that’s 27p becomes the highlight of your day. Be prepared for your weekly shop, you must avoid popping back into the Tesco’s Express or Sainsbury’s Local - they increase the prices. If you think branded products continuously tastes better (we’re looking at you Heinz Baked Beans) don’t worry, you’ll soon learn.
2. Retail Therapy – Do you really need these new jeans? Am I actually going to wear those shoes? These are the questions you have to ask yourself if you have the burning desire to go out shopping. It’s an excellent way to let of steam during exam period, but don’t be that guy who got overexcited when the student loan comes through, and comes back to halls with a brand spanking Armani Suit.
3. Nights Out – Of course the university experience will include enjoying a night out with your new flatmates, but pretending to be the baller at the bar and ordering Champagne for people that won’t remember you this time next month isn’t the most productive way to spend. Keep the drinks simple, you’ll still have a banging time.
4. Transport – Lectures might not be the most interesting, especially if it’s a 9am start… However you aren’t paying £9000 a year for nothing. If you’re a keen cyclist, cycling to Uni is the cheapest way to get from A to B (next to walking of course). Public transport will become more appealing when your petrol is on reserve, and you can even get the bus to the clubs!
5. Socialising – You’re going to make friends for life at Uni, but not everything is free other than those weird conversations you have with flatmates until three in the morning. Want to eat out for a birthday? Check online, Pizza Express might be doing 2 for 1. Did someone say Pub? The SU Bar is doing half-priced cocktails.
By Jonathan Donaghy
A current student at the University of Nottingham - Studying American Studies and History.