So, you’ve finished school and are now starting a new life at university. The first year can be pretty daunting, but here are some tips on ensuring that your finances are on track for your new uni life.
Always carry your student card with you.
Always carry your student card with you, or ensure you have the NUS app downloaded on your phone.
You’ll be surprised which places offer student discounts, so whenever you purchase anything, be sure to ask if they offer student discounts.
Don’t waste money eating out every day.
Don’t buy takeaway food every day! Cook simple meals for yourself at home and take them with you in containers to save money on lunch costs.
Also, plan your dinners; look online for simple yet tasty dinners you can cook yourself on a budget during the week.
Stick to the essentials.
If you’re living on a budget, picking your essentials wisely is the first step to saving. You don’t need most of the things advertised as ‘essentials’; chances are you won’t use them much anyway.
Stick to the basics: keep it simple and stick to what works for you – there’s no point in spending money on clothes that won’t fit or home items you won’t use, so be realistic and ask yourself before making a purchase, is this item a necessity?
Don’t buy books; go to the library instead.
This one is obvious, but it’s still worth mentioning.
Go to the library instead of buying books. Not only is this a great way to save money in your first year of uni, but you’ll also be able to find what you need quickly and easily, and you may make some new friends.
Get a part-time job.
Getting a part-time job is a great way to make some extra money. Many options include working at a local coffee shop or retail store, babysitting, and tutoring.
The best options will be those that allow you flexibility in scheduling. You’ll want to look for jobs that won’t get in the way of your studies (so avoid working weekends) or that allow for remote work, so you don’t have to travel far from uni or home.
If possible, try to find work that lets you do it from home so you can save on transportation costs.
The best way to save money is to be smart about it. With the right mindset, you can set yourself up for success long before your first day at uni (and long after). It’s also important to remember that being organised and prepared will help you make good decisions throughout your time as a student, which can save you money in the long run!