Can you remember back to when you were a fresher all ready to start university? Moving away from home for the first time, lugging your whole life into a dorm sized room and having your parents buy you as much food possible to try and last until Christmas. Waiting for the student loan to come in and blowing it within the first week on clothes and fancy dress outfits you 100% needed to last you every night of freshers. Then, buying a bottle of vodka every night, followed by the ever so cool apple sourz shots. Oh, and hang on, the next day trip out to get some grubby goodness to cure the hangover because mum isn’t there to help your fragile self out. Familiar? As much as I look back and think what a great time I had, I also think HOW MUCH MONEY DID I ACTUALLY SPEND?
Coming into my third year I told myself I did not want to end my year deep into my overdraft like previous years. Ambitiously, saving to travel was high on my list, but was apparent this would be hard due to my student finances barely covering rent. So, like always I came up with one of my much loved lists of ways students can save even the minute amount of money.
Thou shall get a job
Let’s face it, students pretend not to have a lot of time, but we do. If you manage your time accordingly, you can juggle studies and a part-time/casual job at the same time. The dilemma is, is whether you can be bothered?
Thou shall limit clothes expenditure
Now this used to be a BIG downfall of mine, everyone likes to look good right? I used to be one of those, if you’ve been seen in it once, you’re not to be seen in it again type of girls. Maybe it would be acceptable if I was Victoria Beckham, but sadly I’m not. Instead every time I am tempted, I ask myself ‘Do I really need this?’ ‘Will I still wear this next year?’ ‘Where in the world could I get a flight with the money I am about to spend?’
Thou shall walk
If the sun is shining, if it’s safe, if it’s within a few miles, thou shall walk. Petrol, car maintenance, public transport and taxis all cost friggin loads. Walking costs nothing, plus it may keep those extra pounds off as an added bonus.
Thou shall eat out less
This is possibly the one I have ignored the most. Being a massive lover of food and a massive lover of other people cooking for me, I still eat out regularly. However, other people may have much more willpower than me and could use this as a great way to reduce money expenditure.
Thou shall use birthdays
‘I need a holiday,’ is a popular phrase amongst pretty much everyone. Whether the word need should be switched for want is a different story. When it comes to birthdays, why not ask for money or a present that will help you travel. For instance, this year my present off my parents is a city break in Europe (within reason), which somehow I still have yet to use.
Thou shall reduce alcohol consumption
Ok, so emphasis on reduced. I know I have found this easier than other people would, but even if you go out four times a week, reduce it to three times and you’ll save a hell of a lot of money in one year. C'mon you're a student, you still got to have some fun!