Continuing on our previous money-saving article…
Minimize Utility Use
It may be that your utilities (gas, water, electricity etc.) are already included in the rent of your student accommodation – in which case great. However it is just as likely that you will be expected to pay for these separately so don’t forget about them or underestimate how much they can cost you.
Whilst it can be boring and hippy-like, do all the things that you’ve heard about from the environmental charities. Switch off your lights when you’re not in a room. Don’t leave the TV on standby. Consider putting on a jumper rather than turning on the heating. Take a shower rather than a bath. And so on.
Whilst it may not be exciting, these tips can not only help the environment but also save you potentially hundreds of dollars each year in bills.
Move In With Friends
Most students start off in halls of residence, which are ideal. Cheap, safe and a great opportunity to get to know people. However in the second year many students then move into private accommodation and if you are doing such a thing then try to get somewhere with friends. Not only does it make life easier because you are able to share the responsibilities and upkeep of the property with others, but in addition the per-head costs are generally considerably lower.
For example, a 2 bedroom apartment is usually nowhere near twice the cost of a 1 bedroom apartment and the same thing happens as you scale up even more. I have seen houses with 8 students living in them who were paying roughly a quarter of what they would have if renting alone.
So never under estimate the power of friends.
Learn Cheap Student Recipes
Food is, of course, an additional consideration and the costs of premade meals can be incredibly expensive. Don’t rely on microwave dinners and so on, or risk your health by simply living on jelly sandwiches, but instead learn some basic student recipes.
With basic ingredients such as tinned vegetables, meatballs, ham and so on that will all keep for long periods of time (no wasted food when it starts to go off) you can create a range of nutritious, tasty and very reasonably-priced meals.
There are a range of books on the subject of student cooking and we are also hoping to be able to bring you a number of recipes over the forthcoming months.
Buy Your Stationary in The Summer
It seems that many of the bigger stationers have sales in the summer to coax parents into buying all the equipment that their school-age children need during the summer vacations.
Use this to your advantage and stock up on folders, pens and the like while they are cheap in the summer rather than waiting until fall when they will all have gone up in price ready to make as much money as possible off people like you.
Buying in bulk also applies here – consider buying large packs of pens, for example, that are forever getting “borrowed”, lost or wearing out – you’ll be surprised how many you get through!
Think Second Hand
Whenever you need something – whatever it might be – consider whether you might be able to get it second hand. Books, for example, are often only used for a single year and then never used again for the rest of your time at university so some bookstores offer to buy the books back and sell them to others. Doping this can save you considerably money over buying them brand new.
But this doesn’t just apply to books – look in newspapers, local stores and campus notice boards for second hand furniture, trainers, sports equipment, kitchen items and so on. Often the little extra time it takes to find these items second hand is well worth the money you save in doing so.
Refill Ink Cartridges
If you print out your own work from your printer rather than using the university facilities, consider having your ink cartridges refilled rather than buying new ones which can save you considerable time and money.
I know, you don’t smoke. I’m not your parent so let’s be honest – an awful lot of students make – it comes with the territory. But you’ll also be amazed at how much money you can save by giving up.
And it’s good for your health as well as your wallet of course – so consider quitting the weed before uni and you’ll save thousands over the course of your degree.