We all know that your university days are supposed to be ‘the best of your life’, but when it comes to your finances, they can also be some of the most worrying!
With tuition fees on the increase and living expenses rising on a regular basis, it can be difficult to manage your money and have enough left over to enjoy yourself.
If you take a proactive approach, though, it’s possible to live a comfortable lifestyle while you’re working towards your degree.
Let’s find out how, with these top 10 ways, you could have more money as a student.
1. Saving Money on Bills
Possibly the best way to save money over the year. Most students just pay their bills without giving it a second thought (or perhaps any thought!), but there are lots of ways to cut them down.
Don’t stick with one supplier just for the sake of convenience. If you’re prepared to spend less than an hour comparing energy suppliers and internet providers online, you will easily save a good chunk of cash every month by getting the best deal possible.
Keep in mind that most contracts can be 12 months, so it’s best to get your bills sorted ASAP!
2. Being a Savvy Shopper
You can save money every time you go to the supermarket if you have a plan in advance. Always use a loyalty card if you can, and shop at the right time. Later in the day, you’re likely to pick up lots of bargains that will reach their sell-by date that evening. Also, look out for coupons, special offers, and of course, the student discount (full list of retailers here).
3. Part-Time Work
Working part-time isn’t always ideal, but it’s something that many students do to make ends meet. Whether it’s bar work, admin, or something more relevant to your degree course, it’s also a great way to get some extra experience. Of course, always make sure that you balance your time effectively, so your university work doesn’t suffer!
Now that we all have access to the Internet, freelancing is a great money-making option that’s available to pretty much every student. The flexibility of working for yourself or even running your own small business is an idea that many students dream of. And once you’ve built up some regular clients, the earning potential can be excellent and at the same time add to your CV.
5. Selling Unwanted Books
At the end of each semester, you’ll have textbooks that you no longer need. Instead of hoarding them, consider selling them on. Some universities have their own trading-in schemes, and several websites will let you sell them to other students for a nominal fee.
6. Negotiating with Your Landlord
Rent will probably be one of your biggest outgoings, and there are several ways to save money here. Firstly, consider negotiating on the terms of your lease. You might not be able to lower the rates if there are plenty of students looking for accommodation in the area, but there are other ways to get a good deal. 9-month leases, for example, are sometimes offered and will stop you from paying for a place that you don’t need during the holidays.
Organisation is key to saving money! If you know how much you’ve got to spend every week, you’re much less likely to get yourself in a pickle. Work out a realistic budget and keep a record of everything you spend.
8. Cooking Meals with Friends
Buying in bulk when it comes to food is almost always cheaper, but not necessarily possible if you’re just cooking for yourself. To make the most of bulk discounts, get into the habit of sharing the cooking with friends and housemates and eating together. It also doubles up as a cheaper alternative to a night out!
9. Entering Competitions
You’d be amazed at the amount of stuff you can win in competitions! If you’re entering on a regular basis, your odds are naturally higher which means you have a good chance of picking up free food, drink, travel, gadgets, entertainment and much more. If you’re serious about winning, take a structured approach to finding and entering competitions online every week.
10. Completing Surveys Online
Market research companies will actually pay people to complete surveys online, even if it does sound too good to be true! Just by giving your opinions, you can receive a cash payment, free products, or vouchers that you can exchange for goods in stores. Look out for companies that deal with items you’re interested in.
There are of course hundreds, if not thousands of other ways to boost your income during university, many of them online. Hopefully these top 10 have given you an idea to start with, but if you’re eager to find more, check out this great list of money making ideas.
If you really are struggling to break the baked bean habit and make ends meet, remember you’re not alone! It’s worth just pausing, and having a think to see which of the many ways to have more money works best for you.
About Author: Owen Burek