Money: there is just never enough of it. We students regularly put off checking just how far into our overdrafts we are, and we all have those weeks during which we live solely on Basics pasta. The good news, however, is that there are ways to put the smile back on your bank account’s face. Here are a few simple ideas which could work wonders.
Put pen to paper
Keep a note of every single thing you spend in a week. At the end of the week, highlight any purchases which were unnecessary (such as takeaways and trips to Costa or Starbucks). Aim to cut these bad spending habits out for the foreseeable future, or find a solution to them. For instance, if buying coffee is your nemesis, invest in a flask to take to uni with you instead.
Leave your debit card at home
We are all guilty of taking our card out for ‘emergency’ purposes on nights out. When you use your card, it is easy to feel as though you are not spending real money. Set yourself a limit for the night, draw it out and leave the card at home. I repeat, leave the card at home. It is surprising how much this will save in the long run.
Sell your old books and clothes
Let’s face it, having to buy books for several modules each semester eats away at our bank balances. Once you are finished with your books, don’t leave them to collect dust. If you know someone who may need them, sell them on, even if it is for a slightly cheaper price. There are numerous Facebook pages for Freshers’ which can be great for advertising your used goods. By doing this you are spending less in the long term, as you are making a bit back on what you originally spent.
The same goes for clothes – sort your wardrobe out and get Ebaying!
Part time jobs
This may be stating the obvious, but the best way to manage your student budget is to get a casual or part-time job (timetable permitting, of course). The Careers Service and GOV.uk both advertise some great opportunities. Plus, the transferable skills you will gain from a job can be used to help boost your CV and your employability, as well as your bank balance. It’s a win-win situation.
Check your emails
Keep on top of your student email account and reap the rewards. Just recently, the Careers Service have sent out an email asking second and third year students to pick up a copy of their annual Careers Guide, sign up to a focus group and let them know what they think about it. For those who are chosen to take part, the feedback sessions include free refreshments and a payment of £10. That’s pre-drinks sorted!
The Times’ Final Year Student Survey is another money making opportunity lying in your inbox. If you know twenty five third years who wouldn’t mind participating, then this could earn you up to £90. This wouldn’t take much effort and could easily pay for a few weeks’ food shopping. So why not give it a go?