Your student years aren’t going to be the most lucrative of your life but you don’t necessarily have to come out drowning in debt. These years are a great time to learn valuable financial skills, setting you up for a more stable future.
1. Budget, budget, budget. If you’ve never made a budget before, now (as in TODAY) is the time to start. Taking a careful look at where your money is going can be a daunting prospect but it will give you a clear sense of what you have, and how to use it.
2. Eat in. If you’re paying to eat at res, don’t head to a local restaurant instead. Eat what you’ve paid for and make the most of the subsidised meals. If you do want to go out for a special occasion then plan ahead and budget accordingly. We know, it’s super-boring, but it’s gotta be done.
3. Shop wisely. Sales are your friend. If you’re a true fashion junkie and can’t resist getting your fix while you study, budget a certain amount each month towards clothes and then stick to it. Browse the sale racks and head to factory shops and you’ll get way better deals.
4. Cut your phone costs. We all need our emojis and constant Instagram access, so having a decent phone is pretty much non-negotiable but you could easily save money by shopping around for the best possible phone contract to suit your needs.
5. Use your student card wisely. There are plenty of stores out there offering student discounts – make sure you ask before you pay. If you’re ever feeling extra intellectual, you can also get discounted entry into many museums and cultural sites.
6. Eliminate clutter. Hanging on to a ton of stuff you no longer need or use will clutter your already tiny living space and make your life feel more hectic than it needs to. If you don’t need it, sell it. You can use the extra cash to buy something new! Or, if you’re feeling extra responsible, you can save it!
7. Get a Clicks ClubCard. Loyalty cards are the perfect way to save money in the long run on your health and beauty purchases. If you’re constantly running into Clicks to top up your foundation and grab the latest great deals on hair products, why not earn #FeelGoodRewards and get cashback later? Best of all, we no longer have to keep track of paper vouchers – all of your cashback will be loaded directly onto your card.
8. Pre-game at home. As you’ve probably noticed, those raging nights out can definitely rack up a hefty tab. Avoid too many pricy drinks out and invite your girls over for cocktails before you head out to the club.
9. Study second-hand. Textbooks can be insanely expensive. Hunt down second-hand copies or do your reading at the library. There will be plenty of students looking to shift all their old books so ask around for a bargain.