The loans are in, but it will soon come the inevitable time when you realise that loan wasn’t quite as big as you thought...
It’s easy to get carried away after seeing a large sum of money drop into your account, but not so easy to get back on track from that. That’s why we’ve compiled 9 tips to make your student loan last longer!
1. Savvy Shopping
Eat basic - just for a week. Pop to your local supermarket and try and cut your weekly shop cost by a quarter (or even half!). Do this by swapping that nearby convenience store for a big budget chain like Aldi or Lidl. Or even make some supermarket own brand swaps. If you find they taste literally the same - make it a long-term investment and keep saving. Eating basic for a week doesn’t have to feel basic!
2. SPOTS OF WORK
If you aren’t working a job alongside uni, look out for student rep work at clubs, for brands or even for a company you might want to work for in the future! Two birds with one stone, and all that. The student union always needs ambassadors and after a little day of training you could be getting the standard wage for a day a week. It’s not much but it goes a long way.
3. BECOME A DISCOUNT QUEEN
It’s all about asking. If you’re at uni in a student-populated city, pretty much everywhere should be throwing student discounts at your feet. Whether it’s a meal out, drinks or clothes, those little 20%'s here and there really add up. Don't just look for student-specific offers, though - keep an eye out on the best offers going using Student Hut's offer page.
Ideally, this starts when that lovely loan drops in your bank account. Realistically, it starts when you fall into the overdraft mark. Luckily for us students, UCAS have an interactive budget calculator to help students manage their money. Alternatively of course, you can just make your own spreadsheet.
5. BE EVENT EAGER
Nights out don't have to be expensive. Planning ahead isn’t really a thing for uni students, but by talking to your mates and knowing what nights you fancy going to means you can get the super-cheap early-release tickets. Whether its a matter of £1 or £10, it’s got to be worth it! (Think of the extra double while you’re there.)
6. A FEW SURVEYS!
Think about how many companies are out there in need of your opinion. Well, they’re willing to pay - just like they do with market research. There are plenty of sites online which reward your opinions and time from the comfort of your own bed with Amazon vouchers or even cash to your Paypal. However, I would say definitely look into which ones are best and most reliable as some may not pay out. It’s all about the research.
7. SELL, SELL, SELL
You want it gone and they want it cheap. Shpock and Depop are fab for selling any old clothes, cosmetics, accessories or even handmade goods. It’s technically not saving the loan - it’s adding to the remains of the loan - which is the same thing. Right? Just make a pile of things you’ve not worn in a while and see if someone else wants it. You don’t pay fees if you don’t sell. So there is literally nothing to lose.
8. DON’T BE SO LAZY
Get the bus to uni instead of an Uber. Or even better, walk. Once you get used to the walk home it becomes effortless and feels like no time at all - so again, it’s a money saving habit opposed to a short-term solution. Besides, any excuse to factor in some super easy ‘exercise’ and all of those Uber fares rack up. It’s better to save them for when you REALLY don’t want to walk or when it’s safer not to (e.g on the way home from a night out).
9. Get your gordon ramsay on
You can cook - despite the cliche that students can’t. Actually, we all can. With a bit of practice, we can actually get pretty good. So whether it’s boujee scrambled egg on toast for breakfast or homemade chicken curry for dinner - master it! It’s obviously SO much cheaper than takeaways and is something you’re going to have to master at one point. Why not make that point now and save some pennies.
Follow these tips and you'll make that student loan go much, much further. Happy saving!