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Being a student is expensive, and money can be hard to come by when you’re spending your time on coursework and study. However, there are ways that you can enjoy your student life comfortably by changing a few of your spending habits. Here are 8 easy ways you can save money as a student!
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How to save money as a Student: Overview
- Student discounts
- Cashback apps
- Create a budget
- Ditch the coffee
- Buy textbooks secondhand
- Plan your meals
One of the easiest ways to save money on the things you spend, it by using a student discount. Many shops offer student discount providing you show them a valid student ID card. There are also discount apps such as Studenbeans and Unidays, which will give you discounts, freebies and even giveaway entries!
Student discounts are a great way to save up to 75% of your typical purchases. Most discounts give you around 10% off of your purchases, but this is 10% more in your pocket then you would have had! Unidays and Studentbeans offer discounts on a wide range of items including electronics, days out, fashion and more! You will find a discount for most brands on these sites.
Cashback apps give you money back on purchases you make online. For example, if you spend £100 on a hotel, a cashback app may give you back 3.5% of your purchase. It may not seem like a lot, but it is money you wouldn’t have had before, and it will build up over time. These apps show you just how much you’re spending online! There are different cash back apps, including ones that can be used for shopping, clothing, hotels and more! Some cashback sites/apps I would recommend are:
- Checkout Smart
Cashback apps are a great way to save you money as a student because they give you money back on most of your purchases. This would be great for use around Christmas time! Apps like Shopmium and Shopitize give you money off of your weekly shop. All you need to do is upload a receipt!
Create a budget and stick to it
Budgeting can be hard but is crucial to saving money as a student. At the start of the month, write out all of your expenses and income streams. Expenses will include bills and other non-negotiable payments. Work out how much money you will have leftover for food shopping and recreation. It is also wise to set some aside for emergencies!
Out of the money you have left, decide how much you are going to put towards food shopping. Meal planning comes in handy with this, as you can work out exactly how much you’ll be spending. Try and avoid unnecessary purchases throughout the month such as snacks while community, new clothes and other impulse purchases. Budgeting is a great way of saving money, as you can see where you’re spending money unnecessarily, so you can cut that out.
Ditch the coffee
An expensive habit of all students is coffee. Coffee shops can charge upwards of £4 for a cup of coffee, which each week totals around £20. It may not seem a lot, but this totals to £1040 a year! That might be a whole month worth of wages, just spent on coffee!
If you still need your coffee, there are ways to save money on it. Buying instant coffee is an affordable way to fuel your coffee addiction. A whole jar (£6), can make around 125 cups of coffee! If you were to buy 125 cups of coffee shop drinks, it would cost you around £500. That is a massive saving! Another way you can save on coffee is by cutting down how many you purchase in a week. You might decide to cut down to only one or two, which will save you money too.
Buy textbooks second hand
Textbooks are really expensive. You can save a lot of money by buying them second hand on sites like eBay, Amazon or AbeBooks. Compare prices, online, to make sure you have the cheapest option. Amazon also offers students a discount on textbooks purchased on their website. If you have friends in higher years than you, you could ask them to pass down their textbooks to you for free or at a discounted rate.
Getting second-hand books is a great way to save money as a student because textbooks are very expensive to be only used for a few years. Another way to save money is to see if your Uni offers free textbooks or online versions. Online textbooks are another way to save money on textbooks, as they are a fraction of the price of a physical copy.
If you want to save money further, buying a lot of things second hand is really good for your wallet – and the environment! eBay has thousands of sellers, all selling things that you may need! You’d be surprised what a bargain you’ll be able to find. A lot of clothes are also brand new with tags, (BNWT), and many of the product sold has never been used. It is worth looking for gifts sets for presents, clothing for parties or minimal use, little household decor and even electronics! There are lots of unused laptops, keyboards and mice that are being sold. Perfect for students! I have a whole post going through how to make money on eBay, if you’re looking to make some extra cash, rather than saving it!
Plan your meals
Meal prep is a trendy and affordable way to eat while being a student. Plan your meals in advance and stick to a shopping list when you purchase ingredients. This will prevent you from ordering a takeaway or eating out. Meal prep is an affordable lunch option, rather than having meal deals. You can cook up a week’s worth of lunches, or even dinners! There are lots of meal prep ideas on Pinterest and ways to store them, so you don’t get sick while eating them. Some of the best meal prep lunches include chicken, pasta, vegetables or rice. They are also really healthy!
These are some of my favourite tips – I hope they save you some money! If you’re looking to make some money online, to help out your finances, I have a whole post talking about the best ways to do so! Saving money doesn’t have to be hard. There are so many other ways to do it as well. It is all about making sacrifices. Good luck on your saving journey!
About The Author
Em is a Cambridge based blogger who loves to talk about business, lifestyle and sustainability on her blog, “Love, Em“. You will often find her helping out small businesses or testing out eco-friendly products. You can find her blog and other social media below!
- Blog – https://www.loveemblog.com/
- Twitter – https://twitter.com/LoveEm_blog
- Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/loveem.blog/
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Buying textbooks secondhand has been my saving grace in uni! I used to spend over £200 on brand new books and realise I don’t even need them so I buy them all secondhand now and it totals to about £20!
I’m not a student, but these tips are really useful. I especially agree about meal prep and planning meals, it’s such a huge help as when you eat out the price slowly creeps up and by the end of the week you’ve spent a lot of food that could’ve been saved xx
Hannah | https://luxuryblush.co.uk/
Angel Ro says
Are you a student as I saw many blogs related to students. But these are very good points that can be considered especially second hand texts
Ellen | Zyrakuma says
Thanks so much for this! I’m currently a university student and have a bad habit of spending to much. Student discounts help me out so much!
Thank you for sharing these. I will definitely use it, I’ve been meaning to get my financial life in order but never knew where to start, so thank you for giving me some ideas😁 I would love share this to my siblings too✨
I’m not a student but these tips help a lot, I’m a sucker for buying a coffee on my way to work instead of just making a cup when I get there. I am definitely going to avoid buying it when I’m back at the office! xx
Izzy Matias says
I’m no longer a student, but these tips can also be applied to those who have graduated 🙂 I also have a budget tracker and use a Cashback app 🙂
I really think this is one of the most useful post I’ve read. A lot very useful tips. I particularly love how well and thought out it is!
One thing that we think can really help students with their expenses also helps the planet: reducing food waste! It’s really easy to get out ahead of your skis with meal planning, buying in bulk, etc. and end up wasting a lot of food. That’s no good for the environment or your finances!
One way to cut that (aside from being mindful about what you buy and how long before it expires) is to rethink what a meal is defined as. There’s no reason you can’t eat french toast for dinner and tacos for breakfast – it’s just what we’ve been taught!
Thanks for the informative post, cheers!
These are great tips! Meal planning and skipping the coffee run have actually massively helped me to save xx
Tony "T-Bird" Burgess says
When I was in college a long time ago people used coffee pots which were a big money saver. Instant coffee would be more convenient and less waste.
Alexandra S says
Such a useful post. Ditching the coffee has been a real game-changer to my budget, lol. Sorry, Starbucks. You’re way too expensive for me! I love the tip about buying books second hand. Really great. I would also suggest buying clothes second-hand because you can really find some bomb-a$$ deals in such stores. I’ve bought a pair of jeans for $3 a week ago. If that’s not awesome, I don’t know what is! I love your content, love. Keep going.
Aw thank you lovely!! Do you have a blog or website I can check out? x
I WISH I had budgeted as a student… I ended up spending waaay too much money on things I really didn’t need, when I easily could have been saving to travel!! One of my top tips when it comes to coffee/tea, is to buy your own in a supermarket, and always keep a small tub of it in your bag! I used to always keep a small stash of teabags in my handbag, and when I went to the library I only had to pay 20p for a cup of hot water instead of £3 for a hot tea!!!
Liz Hartley says
I used to spend sooo much money on text books and then I’d hardly ever use them it was so annoying! Defo important to plan meals and only eat out for special occasions, we used to end up getting loads of take aways and spending loads of money that way which was such a waste!
Thanks for these tips. During my first year of uni I definitely was guilty of buying way too many coffees – but now I go to a coffee shop just once a week and stay in there studying or blogging for a few hours. This means that I can get my coffee fix whilst also being productive – so it makes it feel worthwhile spending the money x
List of tips are truly measurable. Nicely drawn by interlinking the real time scenarios.