How to live on a student budget this winter
Living on a tight budget is one of the most important skills you can develop as a student.
Once you have mastered the art of living on limited funds, you will be able to use it throughout your adult life.
Winter can be particularly difficult, especially during a pandemic.
This doesn’t mean giving up on some of the more enjoyable things in life!
We have four ingenious ways for you to save the pennies this winter.
Whether you want to try your hand at all of our suggestions or pick just one, we guarantee your bank account will thank you.
Here are the tips to love on a student budget this winter
1. Make use of student discounts
One overlooked aspect of being a student is the volume of discounts available.
These vary by country, but one thing you can guarantee is that you aren’t making enough use of them.
In stores with more than one branch, there is a high probability they have student discounts. To make use of such deals, you will be asked to produce your student card at the checkout.
In some cases discounts for students can be 20% off! Be sure to research your favourite stores and see what they offer.
For online stores, sign up to websites like UNIDAYS in the UK or Ireland, and Student Beans where you can find student discounts across various websites. These discounts include fashion, accommodation providers, food, technology and more.
2. Replace takeaways with ‘fakeaways’
As we spend more time at home, takeaways have become an increasingly popular option for students.
I’m as big a fan of takeaways as you are, but my bank account is not. I’m not saying you have to replace them altogether, but replacing the odd one will make your wallet sing.
You can try, however, “the fakeaway”. This is replicating your favourite takeaway dishes at home.
While this is a bit more work than putting in an order online, the options are endless.
Have you ever wanted more curry cheese chips but ordering two portions is way too much? By replicating this dish at home, you can give yourself the right amount.
3. Organise a “kitty”
A kitty is a fund of money that a group of people contribute to.
The majority of students share bathrooms and kitchens. One of the best ways to save money as a student is to create a ‘kitty’. Not only will it save money, but it will also save awkward conversations with your housemates.
A kitty can be used for sharing expenses of items that everyone uses. For example, toilet paper, bin bags, washing up liquid and cleaning materials.
If everyone adds money monthly, you can save in the long run.
4. Begin saving
Putting money aside every month or week can be a great way to tackle bigger expenses.
Unfortunately, life happens and your phone may break, or you may have to fork out for new equipment. Putting money aside ensures that when these things do happen, you are prepared.
Saving is a great way if you are planning on heading home this summer, or organising a holiday.
If you want to go home in 22 weeks, set aside 22 envelopes and then based on the amount of money you want to have saved by then allocate an amount to each envelope. For example, if you want to save 250 if you label the envelopes between 1 and 22 you will have saved 253 after the 22 weeks.
You can read more about budgeting and student finance here.
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Aoife is a freelance writer and journalist based in Ireland. She is passionate about travel, education and culture.