The next academic year is going to be the most expensive of my life. Between saving for uni, my last ever holiday with my family and trips to go on with my friends next summer before we part ways, my bank account won’t be happy with me.
However, I think I’m a pretty frugal person – I’m organised and love to save and then splurge on big things (like holidays) rather than throw my money away on clothes and takeaway food. Don’t get me wrong, I think treating yourself if really important, however, if you’d like to start spending less and start saving more, here are some of my top tips.
This is the obvious one. Being a student has the massive bonus of getting 20% off items here and there. The best way to utilise student discount is to download UNiDAYS and StudentBeans – both have exclusive offers for students that work both online and in store. It’s also a way to permanently have your student ID on you, without carrying your student card in your wallet. Also if you’re just starting college, tell all of your mates to sign up to UNiDAYS using your reference code as you will get about £5 credit on your account. On top of this, some shops only do student discount seasonally, so watch out for the trends. For example, H&M only do student discount at Back to School time and Apple is running a campaign where you can get 20% of a MacBook and a free pair of Beats if you’re going to Uni this year. So even though Apple always offer student discount, waiting until August to buy a new laptop or iPad might be worth it.
I love tea. Like a lot. It’s a struggle to not spend all my money in the Costa in college. To justify my addiction, I swear by loyalty cards. My college canteen gives you every ninth hot drink free and only charge £1.30 per tea, so it’s pretty friendly to my wallet. If you don’t have a cheap canteen in your college, try and source out local cafes that do cheap(ish) hot drinks. If all else fails, the Starbucks app lets you save up points to put towards your next purchase.
Don’t Eat Out
If you can, try to bring your own lunch into school/college. Spending money every day on food can be easily avoided and replaced with a cheaper much healthier option. If you REALLY can’t bring in your own food, then source out the good meal deals. For example, Boots meal deals are a little more on the expensive side at £3.35 however, you can get the most expensive sandwich that normally costs £3.25, the most expensive drink and most expensive snack and it will still only cost you £3.35 AND if you have an advantage card you can start saving up points to eventually get a meal deal for free. Another tip is to download the Greggs app- they often give out free crisps, popcorn, drinks and cake just for having the app on your phone! Why not give it a try?
Vouchers and Referral Codes
Be savvy with those cereal box Alton Towers vouchers – You never know if your friends might want to go on a trip in the half term! Looking out for vouchers can be a great way to save cash and still have fun doing activities you enjoy. For example, TodayTix offers discounted tickets for the West End and none of the seats they sell are restricted. On top of that, if you refer a friend to the app, then both of you receive a £10 discount! I recently saw Dreamgirls in the West End for £13 instead of about £50. If like me, you love theatre, then as well as TodayTix, definitely sign up to the RSC Key 16-25 scheme. You can get discounted Shakespeare tickets and discounted Matilda tickets. Or, an even better alternative to roller coasters and musicals is museums… SOME ARE FREE! I know, free entertainment, how incredible is that? At the end of the day being with your friends is great fun so if you’re just looking for somewhere to hang out, why not roll up to a local free admission museum.
My final tip is to clear out all of your old clothes and possessions and post them all on sites like Depop. Even if you have a part-time job like me, extra cash is always appreciated so selling your old stuff that you don’t want anymore is a great way to tackle the problem. However, if you’d rather donate your clothes to a charity shop, why not get crafty and set up an Etsy business to earn some extra money. Your bank account will be thanking you later!
Are you saving up for next summer already? Do you have a part time job? How do you save money? Be sure to tweet me or leave a comment to let me know.