5 Ways to Save Money as a Student
Balancing finances as a student can be difficult. Money is typically tight when you’re a student, yet university life can be expensive. Between essential expenses like rent, electricity and other utility bills, books, and food, it can be hard to keep on top of your budget. However, there are also numerous ways to reduce expenses as a student. Here are just five tips that might come in useful.
Make a Budget
To ensure you are not overspending, it is a good idea to make a budget and keep a record of your reoccurring expenses. This will include all your monthly outgoing bills, such as rent and utility costs. Doing so will enable you to estimate how much money you have available for leisure activities. In addition, keeping sound track of your finances can help you identify where you can save money. Finally, keeping to a sensible budget can prevent you from falling into the trap of using up all your student loan at once!
Open a Student Bank Account
One of the easiest and most effective ways to save money as a student is to open a student bank account when applying to university. Because many people open bank accounts when heading to university, banks offer attractive perks to lure students, such as discounted food or a free student railcard. A common bonus for many student accounts is also interest-free overdrafts, which can be very helpful when things are tight. However, it is important not to get too reliant on overdrafts, as going over your interest-free threshold can be very expensive.
Avoid Buying New Textbooks
A classic error new students can make is spending a lot on brand new textbooks without first exploring other possibilities. It may be the case that your university’s library has the book available, or the university may entitle you to use an online archive for free. You may also be able to purchase the necessary books second-hand from an online store. Alternatively, consider consulting your student union regarding book exchange programs.
Apply for Any Tax Discounts/Exemptions You May be Entitled To
If you only live with other students, you are entitled to a full exemption from paying council tax. This can save you hundreds of pounds each month, so it is important not to overlook this. Consult your council’s website for information on how to claim this exemption and correctly register it with your council. You may also be entitled to a partial exemption if you live with non-students. You may be entitled to other credits and discounts based on your financial position. Check the government website to see what you may be able to claim.
Consider Getting a Part-Time Job
One of the most reliable ways of increasing how much you save is by getting a part-time job to supplement your income. While this can be appealing, especially during the summer holidays, it is also important that any work does not interfere with your studies. Try to watch out for this before committing to any job.