Fresher's Survival Guide – 7 top money saving tips!
Still nursing that fresher-week hangover? Don’t worry, it will pass… eventually. We’re living proof. But while we can’t really do anything to sooth the pulsating headache, incapacitating lethargy and supersonic levels of hearing, we might be able to help with something you may not have paid much attention to yet. You know, that thing that took an even bigger pounding than your liver last week. That’s right. Your budget.
So fetch yourself a pint of water (it’ll help), stop protesting you’ll ‘never drink again’ (you will), and have a little read of our following student survival guide. With a little bit of luck, these 7 top money saying tips will mean you won’t have to resort to toast sandwiches, you won’t have to sell a kidney on eBay, and best of all, you won’t have to uberPOOL it back home on your next night out. There are some right weirdos out there…
1. Master the washing machine
Sounds like an odd one. It’s not. There’s nothing worse than shrinking your new wide leg trousers, into well, just a slightly roomier pair of trousers. Or mixing your washing, so that all your whites now have a weird pinkish hue to them. Just remember these three golden rules; 1) Always read the washing instructions. 2) Wash pales separately. 3) Don’t even attempt to put a wash on when drunk. It’s that simple.
2. Split your bank accounts
Calculate the total cost of your bills for a term – including rent, electricity, water, TV licence etc. etc. - and as soon as your student loan hits, move that specified amount of money into a separate bank account. Now, whatever else happens, at least you know your bills are covered.
And note to self; do NOT request a card for this second account.
3. Make the most of student discounts
Most places offer student discount. It’s a truly magical time of your life, like one constant sale. Sometimes you might have to hunt a little harder for the discount, granted, but for the sake of a few minutes, it’s defo worth it. In fact, you can get 15% off our entire range of tops, bombers and dresses right this very moment, by clicking here. Say whuuuuuut???
4. Take cash on nights out
Big night coming up? Firstly, make sure you check out our range of going out dresses. Secondly, leave the bank card at home (in a block of ice if needs be), and instead, take a pre-budgeted amount of cash. FYI, we’re talking a few notes… not a wad.
That way, after the metre-length row of Jägerbombs, fish bowl of punch and impromptu beer pong tournament, you hopefully won’t feel inclined to treat the bar to a round when you celebrate your history-book-worthy triumph.
5. Shop little and often
Students are often advised to make one big ol’ weekly shop. Not only will you probably end up buying more than you need, but four days later when you finally go for a slice of bread, chances are it will look like something out The Walking Dead. Plus if every member of your household decides to pop out for that weekly shop on the same day? You’ve got a fridge-space-revolution on your hands. Never pretty.
Instead, try popping down to the supermarket every other day with a clear list of what you need. Create a new note on your phone and jot household items down as and when you run out of them. That way, you know exactly what you need to get and won’t find yourself aimlessly meandering down the biccy aisle. Oohh, hobnobs!
6. Plan meals ahead
Come eight o’ clock Tuesday night, when the cupboards are all but bare and you can’t bring yourself to pop to the shops, that Just East app starts to look mighty tempting. And just like that, you’ve suddenly spent £15 on dinner. Fine now and then, but it can easily become an expensive habit.
Alternatively, plan your week’s meals ahead. Fancy bolognese? Make enough on Sunday for Monday as well, and then schedule something similar - like a chili or ratatouille - for the Tuesday, in case you have any of the ingredients left over.
7. Invest in multi-tasking wardrobe options
That jewel-dripping, tassel-swinging, jewel encrusted bodycon dress is all well and good, but are you really going to wear it that many times? Probably not. But take a black ring bodysuit… for instance, and you can wear it with jeans and a pair of converse midweek, culottes and some chunky heeled boots over the weekend, and tuck it into a little black skirt with heels come Saturday night. Plus it’s only £16. Now that’s bang for your buck!
Long story, short; it’s unrealistic to think you won’t buy clothes. During what is no doubt going to be one of the most social few years of your life, it’s completely understandable that you’ll want to update your wardrobe from time to time. But wait until you’re earning to buy those showy hero pieces. For now, invest in around-the-clock staples that can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion.
Student yourself? Whether you’re a wet-behind-the-ears fresher or a seasoned third year, let us know your top money saving tips in the comment section below, and if you haven't started lectures just yet, make sure you check out our 7 tips for slaying that first day!
Non-brand images sourced from Pinterest and Tumblr