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Tips to save money at university

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

This isn’t really relevant to me at the moment since I am on my summer break but come mid November with the need to buy Christmas presents looming I am fretting over finances. As a student, and a student in London, this isn’t too uncommon as everything is crazy expensive. Moving on from my financial status most of the year I thought a useful post for prospective university students was helpful ways to save money. Most of these things probably will seem trivial or obvious, but these are just some of the things you can do to budget and save in first year so you aren’t swimming in your overdraft by the summer.


This one is specifically geared towards those heading for London but they have some travel perks geared specifically towards students. Oyster offer students an 18+ card which you apply for if you study at a university in the city (it’s worth checking your university is a participating university.) The card is £20 and gets you 30% off the price of adult-rate Travelcards as well as Bus & Tram Pass season tickets. Even if you don’t think you’ll travel that much a travel card is always useful if you get a job outside of uni or have people visiting you. Another perk you can have on any oyster card is asking one of the tfl workers at any station to connect your 16-25 railcard to your oyster card. Doing this reduces the cap to a lower amount and you get a third off of all travel on the underground.


In self-catered halls one of the most expensive things you realise quite quickly is actually food and the general things you never had to pay for when you lived at home. It’s so easy to break a budget if you can’t be bothered to cook or you really want to share the two for Tuesdays dominoes offer with your flatmate. A way to combat this is at the weekend or on a day when you have little to no lectures or seminars, make a meal plan. The meal plans for the week will address what you need to buy from the supermarket, it doesn’t matter what you cook just that when you shop you stick to what’s on your list. Another good tip for nights out to save is pre drinks are key, buying a bottle of alcohol usually works out cheaper than buying multiple drinks at a club even if the face value appears to be a lot more.


Vintage is big in fashion trends at the moment so occasionally vintage does cost more but normally 9 times out of 10 vintage shops carry a much lower price tag. Even if you want to buy the amazing embroidered topshop jeans it’s always a good idea to see if you can source something similar from a vintage store or a charity shop. Charity shops have been a godsend for me this year when buying new additions to my wardrobe; from a charity shop just off of Oxford Street I managed to nab a zara trench coat for just £10! Both of these alternatives to regular stores help your carbon footprint as well as sourcing previously owned clothes creates a more ethically fashionable wardrobe.


Sales have become my home in the retail world this year and not just for clothing, I love a good bargain (I think anyone does) so I have always shopped the sales.  This year has enlightened me though to sales for everything, from stationery to laptops and make up. Always compare prices and work out with student discounts what is cheapest, impulse buying is a trait you have to leave behind so you don’t end up swimming in an overdraft.

These are only a few tips on how to save whilst at university, I hope they help. Do any of you have any more tips on how you saved at uni?
Also good luck to all of you getting your results tomorrow; I hope you get into your chosen universities.

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