With the cost of living skyrocketing while the loan rate goes nowhere, it’s getting even harder to make that student loan stretch. Here are some money saving tips to help you make the most of your pennies.
Firstly, avoid takeaways. Even the cheapest takeaway is going to cost more than the ingredients needed for a decent but simple home cooked meal. What’s more, that takeaway is cheap for a reason and its cost will be represented in its nutritional value. A great student staple is a simple bolognaise. You can buy minced beef for as little as £1.75, then all you need to do is add a little onion and garlic, some dried herbs, maybe some mushrooms, courgette and peppers and a cheap tin of tomatoes. Or buy your ingredients in bulk, cooking up a vat of bolognaise which you can divide up and freeze for future meals. Much cheaper than any takeaway and healthier too.
High street fashion is the fashionista student’s best friend. Of course, it’s never a good idea to splurge every penny of your loan on a new wardrobe, but how else how are you going to afford to make sure you keep up with the latest trends? Luckily, it’s quite easy to look good for less, so long as you have a good eye for bargains and an imagination.
New Look is a great place to start. It sells clothing that is at the more affordable end of the price range, which is nonetheless stylish and fully up to date with current fashion trends. You can find all your staples such as skinny jeans and summer dresses here, as well smarter, funky pieces, such as pink blazers for much less than competitors like Top Shop.
If you’re not averse to rootling around for bargains, try trawling through second hand shops, charity shops and flea markets. The retro and vintage looks are very much still in and if you look hard enough you’re bound to find some gems.
Travel has a tendency to eat into your budget, especially in the big cities. If you need to make a bus or tube journey into university every day, then a pass will work out much better price-wise than paying the individual fares. You’ll also get a student discount, which will knock even more off.
For the health conscious, why not invest in a bike? It’ll cost a little up front to buy, but it’s a great long term investment as travel is free. To give you an idea on what you could be saving, a good Raleigh bike will set you back £500, while a student travel card in London will cost around £1,500.
Never go out before checking for vouchers. Vouchers can give you great discounts on food, days out, club nights and everyday shopping. There are plenty of voucher sites on the web, but the best for students is the dedicated student moneysaving site Student Beans