Tips to save money at university – OurWarwick
OurWarwick

Tips to save money at university

The topic of money and budget is one I personally find difficult to talk about because I find it comes with a lot of unnecessary awkwardness, secrecy and sometimes even judgement. Nonetheless, it is an important topic to address and one I think many incoming (and current) students worry about. Everybody’s bank accounts are different, from their balances to their spending priorities and this is something I think is important to remember and to respect. But, whether or not you receive student loans, are on a very strict budget or are at greater liberty to spend, learning how to spend wisely and responsibly is an essential life skill. Here are a few things I personally do to help me save money and track my spendings whilst at uni.    First things first: grocery shopping. Making your own meals instead of being tempted by the ease of Uber Eats and Dominoes makes a world of difference! And not just for your wallet…So, here is what I recommend doing to make your grocery shopping as cost-effective as possible:   
  • Use big supermarkets – if you are on campus, I would highly recommend doing a big shop once a week at Tesco in Cannon Park. Yes, the Rootes Grocery Store is much closer and convenient but it is also a lot more expensive. Instead, save it for the when you are missing one or two ingredients. For students living off-campus, chances are your bus pass gets you to the front door of a big grocery store. 
  • Buy generic – Tesco’s own rice tastes just as good as Uncle Ben’s. Unless you seriously sacrifice quality by buying generic products, I would recommend doing so. 
  • Buy in bulk – Many supermarkets offer deals on items bought together so take advantage of them. For example, I use canned chickpeas a lot in my cooking, which I buy in bulk at a reduced price. I know storage space is often a problem in student halls and houses but don’t forget about that convenient space under your bed…
  • Loyalty cards – These add up! I know it doesn’t seem like much in individual shops, but collecting points amount to collecting money. So, sign up for Tesco Club Card and don’t forget to swipe it. 
  • Stick to what you actually need – making a list before going shopping really helps with this
Next, tracking how much money you actually spend and on what specifically really helps me evaluate if I’m doing so responsibly. I use an app called Dollarbird because I like that it allows you to compare spendings per week and month. But there are loads of other ones out there. I find that sticking to a budget is easier when you know where your money has gone. It allows me to evaluate whether the remainder of it can go towards something “extra”.    Finally, when it comes to saving money, remember the following:   
  • Student discounts – make use of them whilst you can! Not all student deals are designed equally and some simply open the overspending-on-stupid-stuff trap. Others are actually really useful. 
    • Amazon Prime for students
    • Reduced or free entries to museums etc (some even apply abroad – I could visit the Acropolis in Athens for free this summer!)
    • Railcards
    • Lots of retailers – definitely sign up to UNIDAYS!
  • Eating at Warwick – 10% discounts on student union food and drink adds up! Top up your card with small amounts at a time so you have a better feel of how much you are spending
  • Chickpeas 4 ways – get creative with cheap ingredients! One can of chickpeas costs about 50p and I use them in 4 different ways: 
    • protein source in salads and curry
    • home-made humus
    • roasted chickpea chips 
    • stuff vegetables with them 

 

I hope this is helpful inspiration for you guys! Let me know if you would like me to elaborate on any of it or if you have any questions! 

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