Students are often under a lot of pressure, work late hours and really look forward to the little things in life that make it all worthwhile. Unfortunately, the money to pay for the perks isn’t always there, and going into more debt is not a good option. However, there are easy ways students can save money and still have fun.
Save on food
The top of almost all money-saving lists is food. Not spending for expensive meals out is a no-brainer, but there are ways to have good food for less. Some ways to spend less on food are:
Save on bottled water
Bottled water is an unnecessary luxury. Buying one or two bottles a month for convenience is fine, but spending on bottled water every day is excessive. Get a water bottle and refill it. There are bottles that also have filters if you need pristine water. If you don’t like the taste of your regular drinking water, you can squeeze the juice from half a lemon into it, and it will remove the taste of chlorine. If you leave water open to the air for half an hour, the chlorine will evaporate.
Student card savings
Use and use and use your student card. Always keep it with you because many high-street stores, restaurants, theatres and clubs offer discounts to students. It never hurts to show the card and ask for a student discount.
Limit your nightlife to the designated student nights that most clubs offer. These nights are usually the most fun and are much cheaper.
Look online and in bookstores for the books you need. Buying second-hand books can be over 50 per cent cheaper than buying them new in the university bookshop. When your course is finished, you can sell them again and make back what you spent if you bought them used the first time. You can also sell the books you bought new, but you will sell them for much less than you paid for them.
Make it a point to avoid taking taxis as much as possible. They drain away money for, basically, nothing. Sure you got 10 more minutes sleep or stayed out later than you planned, but if you want to have money left over at the end of the month, walk or take buses most of the time.
Toiletries and cosmetics can be very expensive, especially if you buy the top brands. There are alternatives that are much cheaper, sometimes half the price and are just as good. If you don’t know how to find these, ask for help in the store. The sales person will show you the bargains.
Avoid buying drinks out
Meet friends at home for a drink before you go out rather than in a pub. It’s fun to sit together before starting a club crawling evening or going to a movie, but doing it in a local pub could add 10 to 20 pounds to the cost of your night out. If it is not possible to invite your friends home for a drink, plan to meet at a place that has special offers, or maybe even at a place that doesn’t offer drinks at all.
Look for free entertainment in your area. There are many venues that offer free live music and concerts and most museums and galleries offer free days every month. Often, websites aimed at tourists list the free entertainment available in a city. It makes a good day or night out, and if weather permits, you can take a picnic lunch.
Reducing cell phone costs
You can greatly reduce your communications costs if you download Whatsapp instead of using Blackberry Messenger (BBM) as you choice for instant messaging. You can send images, videos as well as text to almost every other brand of Smartphone if it also has Whatsapp installed. Find the free download from the app store of Blackberry, Apple and Windows phones. There is a small, one-time charge for Android and Nokia phones.