Thursday, 20 February 2014

The Top 8 Money Saving Tips for Students

The National Student Money Survey 2013 has revealed that 80% of all students worry about their finances whilst at university.

If you take the plunge and choose to attend a traditional university it is a time of mixed blessings. You have the benefit of being young and aside from school, have the least amount of responsibility of your entire life. However, you’re probably not employed (or at least not very lucratively), own few home furnishings, and would rather stay up until dawn than address “adult” tasks like food shopping or laundry.

Although your time at university is the chance to attain a top class education and gain some amazing life experiences, if you have money worries it is likely to be some of the most stressful financially. So whether you're a student or concerned parent, you need to implement strategies to cope and remain on an even keel.

The average student spends £672 a month, whilst earning a part time income at best. So it is especially important to balance your finances whilst studying. Learning to manage your money and make every pound stretch as far it can is a key life sill. Whether you're on a very strict budget or simply trying to learn to live away from home for the first time, being able to manage your money will make a big difference to your life.

So what can you do to save money and stick to your budget?

Well, here are 8 things to start with: 
  1. Don't let estimated bills catch you out. Always get readings from the metre. Then you can work out what bills for gas and electricity are likely to cost and put the money aside so you know that you are covered.
  2. In the internet age, price comparison sites are invaluable for buying anything from insurance and phone contracts to books for your course.
  3. Make sure you book transport in advance to get the cheapest fares.
  4. Plan your journeys ahead of time if you're going to out and about, make sure you have transport arranged in advance. Car-share with friends or split a mini-cab fairs, or work out the cheapest route on public transport.
  5. Don't impulse buy, don't waste money by picking up items that catch your eye in store or online. Consider your purchases carefully and always shop around for the cheapest deals.
  6. Pay in cash for cheaper items so you can calculate how quickly you're spending your money - it's too easy to forget a couple of pounds here and there when you put everything on card.
  7. When shopping for food, don't get carried away by supermarket deals, buying items you don't need. Compare food prices by checking the weight and price. Instead of cooking for one, take it in turns to cook larger meals to share with friends or freeze leftover portions to make your food go further.
  8. Keep an eye on the smaller items that soon add up. For example, take a flask to lectures rather than buying hot drinks.

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