Moving to university is a big step, all of a sudden you are having to make sure you pay your bills on time, cook for yourself and keep on top of your studies. It can be easy to let your spending get out of hand, ready meals and eating out are easier than cooking for yourself (and washing up afterwards!), grabbing a coffee on the way to lectures is convenient and organising your bills can seem like a massive hassle. Don’t panic though! We’re on hand with tips and advice to make student life as cheap and easy as possible.
A breath of fresh air
Smoking can quickly add up to be super expensive. By quitting, or even just starting to cut down you’ll save a lot of money back. The average cost of a pack of 20 cigarette is £10.40 if you’re smoking 10 per day that’s a cost of £156 per month. Think of what you could do with that money instead!
Don’t be a mug!
Do you often buy a coffee on the way to lectures? Not only are those coffee cups difficult to recycle the cost of your coffee will be extremely high when you could be making them yourself in your own travel mug. You can even splash out on a premium brand of instant coffee if you prefer a more high-quality product and still save money. The average monthly cost of buying a large coffee from a chain store 3 times is £30! If you were to swap to a speciality coffee brand that you made at home it would only cost you £8.98 per month even if you had one every day!
Unleash your inner chef
Learning to cook is a life skill that you can learn at university and take away with you to use for the rest of your life! Cooking your own meals rather than eating out is not only so much healthier for you but will save you a tonne of money! Remember you don’t need to be amazing at cooking, keep practising and you’ll get better and better. There are so many student-friendly recipes out there to help get you started so give it a go.
Become a personal finance master
Get your bills organised to make sure you do miss any payment, you’ll avoid those late fees and your credit score will thank you for it. Find out when all your bills are due and set up direct debits/standing ordered for them all, this way your bills will pay themselves! Just make sure you check your bank account regularly to make sure you have enough money in there to cover them.
Just like clockwork
Make sure your heating and hot water are on timers. You won’t need your heating on all day and all night so pick some key times throughout the day and night to have the heating come on. This might be just before you get up, just before you go to bed or whenever you’re most in the house. Remember, try and keep your house at a consistent temperature, don’t let it drop right down and then try and heat it back up. It’s far more energy efficient to keep your house at a steady temperature. Try to aim for 18°C and then have a timer on to heat it up just above this is you like a cosy house.
So don't let your spending get out of hand, have a budget and make sure you stick to it, this way you'll be able to make sure you know exactly what you have going out, what you can save and what you are able to treat yourself with.