While the thought of university may be appealing, the idea of your student loan dropping into your account is even sweeter. But the harsh reality is, it isn’t going to last very long unless you look after your money, especially when it comes to kitting out your uni spot and having to decide between everyday essentials and a night out.
1. Find your flat mates on social media, and coordinate what you bring
When you’re moving into digs, try getting in touch with your prospective housemates to find out who’s bringing what, otherwise you may end up with five toasters and three kettles to one house. Not only will contact avoid doubling up, but it may get rid of the ‘stranger danger’ anxieties – and save you a shopping trip and valuable cash in the process.
2. Utilise voucher codes, and shop around for student discounts
More often than not our inboxes fill up with emails from different shops alerting us to flash sales and various money off deals. Now might be the time to start paying attention to them – especially if you already qualify for your student discount. Though, it’s important to remember that just because something is on sale or discounted it doesn’t mean you necessarily need it – try writing a list of essentials you need and make sure you stick to it.
3. Plan ahead and grab the bargains
It’s never too early to buy your essentials. If you see a sale on bathroom products or discounted kitchen utensils, grab them while they’re cheap. Getting things when you see them at a good price will prevent you having to rush last minute when you don’t have time to shop around and also spread the cost out over time.
4. Don’t be too fussy
Let’s face it, at uni you won’t have the luxury of a dishwasher and your mom won’t be there to do the washing up. Your items won’t be kept in the same condition they are at home, they’ll be left in the sink or used by other housemates. Don’t be tempted to splash out on fancy items with pretty patterns, because at the end of the day, a fork is a fork. Affordability over style will help you save money for the more interesting aspects of uni.
5. Share, share, share
In between cheesy chips and fancy dress nights, get together with your new housemates to agree a fund for the things you’re going to share, so that no one ends up fronting the money all the time. Loo roll, cleaning products and everyday essentials, but also the bigger things that you might need to invest in – a hoover? Fairy lights for your shared kitchen? A speaker?
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan UK.