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I hope this can help students and people that are just moving out and starting a new home.
I have learnt how to save more after my student days, since moving out as that's when money becomes tighter.
Student life is fun, and all students have to scrape by and you will learn how to live off little to no money - it can be done.
Budget your money, it is so easy to get into debt and you will be paying it off for years after, if you are wise with your money you should be able to avoid getting yourself into huge amounts of debt. Work out how much money you have to spend and what needs to be paid - make a list so you know how much money is left for food and socialising once all the bills are paid.
When you are a student you can have long lay ins - this is a good way to save money, you can't waste money while you sleep. Sleeping is free!
~Here are a few pointers to try and help you along the way: Saving money tips~
Walk - Try to walk as much as you can, this will save you a lot of money and you will be getting exercise at the same time. If you need to travel a lot and have far to go then look into travel cards and see what is the best deal.
Look after yourself - yes this will save you money! Keeping yourself in good health will avoid getting illnesses that you will need to spend money on to get better - medicine, comfort food and drinks. It is easier to maintain a healthy body.
Unplug unused electrical equipment; it is still using power even when turned off or on standby.
Don't over fill your kettle, only boil the amount of water you need.
Turn the thermostat down on your boiler it only needs to be set to 45 degrees that is plenty hot enough for washing up and baths. This will reduce your bill.
Keep a jar for pennies, keep this next to the phone and every time someone uses the phone they should put in some money - this will help with the bill.
Reuse things; don't throw away things that you can re-use, food containers make good storage containers.
Instead of putting the heating on all day try to limit the amount you use it. Instead layer up! Wear layers of clothes to keep warm, also in bed if you find you get cold put extra blankets over your duvet. Layers of clothing work better than just one big jumper. Also if you wear layers you can take off or put on more when needed. If you are still cold then exercise! This will get you warm in no time. If you are just chilling out though you can always grab your duvet when watching the TV.
Turn off lights when you don't need them on, and shut doors to retain heat - it takes less energy to heat a smaller space. Candles and Tea lights are a good way to provide a little light and heat, if you shop around you can usually find these sold in large quantities for a good price.
When choosing a place to live, always look at smaller accommodation the rent will be cheaper and you will only have space for your important things, so you will be able to sell your things that you don't need as much to make a bit of cash, also this will prevent you from wanting to buy more.
Downsize - Living in a smaller place means you won't have as much space to heat, clean, and you won't have
as much space so you won't be buying as much because you will have less room to put things. It also means you will have to have parties at other people's houses, this is cheaper for you and also you won't have the mess to clean up after!
Spend more time at friends and families, so you don't need to use your heating and lights! Also fill up on tea and coffee while at other people's houses.
Phone - If you need a mobile cell phone then always look at what's the best deal that you can afford and make the most of, or if you have pay as you go just put on the smallest amount of credit and only use in emergencies and text is far cheaper! When possible use emails make the most of the college/Uni library computers as this is free!! Email is best for keeping in touch with people; you can visit your local library and make the most of the free computer access.
Don't impulse buy, always leave it for a few days and come back to it to give yourself time to think if you really need it. Always think before you buy - do you really need it? Can you live without it? If you always question a purchase then you are less likely to not buy as much. Always shop around to find the best deals. The internet is a great way to hunt down them bargains; you can compare prices on goods using sites like this:
Always look at consumer reviews, this will help you to decide if it is what you are looking for, a consumer will always be honest and won't hold back in telling you if it is a waste of money and if they have been disappointed with it, or if it is perfect! Shop online to compare prices, and always read reviews as this will give you a good idea what the product is like.
Learn how to complain! If you are not happy with something you have bought take it back, even food, whenever I do my weekly shop I am feeling peckish when I have finished so usually break into something soon after paying to banish my hunger, on a couple of occasions the food has had something wrong with it so I go to customer services with it, not that I'm the kind of person to complain or make a big deal out of things, but I wouldn't like to think other people could be buying the food that may have something wrong with it and I have paid for it so if it is not edible then it is only right to take it back, not only do I get a refund I also get a replacement and I am offered to chose something else.
eBay and similar on-line sites - make the most of these to sell your unwanted items, things you no longer use and have no use for. Make the most of free/cheap listing days. Also eBay is a great place to shop for things you can sometimes pay a lot less than you would in a shop, but don't forget to consider the postage charge.
eBay - you can buy trendy clothes and all kinds of styles for low prices a lot of things start from 99p and if you bid at the last minute you could bag yourself a bargain.
You can still look good on a budget - Shop around for bargains they can be found, Primark is really cheap they sell almost everything you they are great for underwear and nightwear and tops are as cheap as £2. They also do accessories so you can use these to transform your look for the evening.
Charity shops - with all the cheap clothes stores now there’s a lot of competition, it is still worth hunting around charity shops you never know what you might find!
Buy second hand; there are so many places to get second hand good and bargains to be had.
Beg, borrow, and steal - okay not steal but always borrow things where you can, so you don't have to buy.
Freecycle - Join up to your local free cycle, you can get a lot of things for FREE you will have to make arrangements to pick up the item.
Book swap site - Here is a useful site where you can swap your books when you have finished with them.
Student life is all about the parties and having as much fun as you can, so enjoy it...but don't let it put you in debt and don't let your grades slip.
You don't need to get drunk every night to have fun, if you cut back on a few nights then you will be saving yourself a lot of money.
Have a cheap weekend - Drink before going out and only take what money you can afford to spend, this way you can't spend what you don't have with you.
Make the most of student nights, this was usually a Thursday night for me, there would be cheaper entrance fees and cheaper drinks. Find out what night these are in your favourite clubs.
Instead of renting movies, borrow and swap with friends.
Instead of ordering a take out, make your own- pizza is easy you can even buy the pizza base and add your own topping, or just get a cheese pizza and add toppings to give it more flavour. Or if you are feeling lazy buy a shop made pizza.
~Budget Buys to Set up Home~
If you live near to IKEA then this is a great place to buy cheap kitchen ware, failing that Wilkinson's are cheap but don't have as much choice.
It's a good idea to make a list of essential items that you need and you can worry about other things later.
Buy fresh food and buy in bulk it's cheaper as you won’t need to make extra trips and you won't be tempted to impulse buy. Buying larger packs of food is usually cheaper, but not always. So check what the best value is for you.
Don't be tempted by special offers: You probably don't need it! In supermarkets the things that are on offer are foods that you don't need to tempt shoppers to buy these and this bumps up the food bill. All the signs for deals make you believe that you are getting the best deal; this is not always the case look at all of the food to make sure you are buying the cheapest option.
Don't buy those expensive branded cleaning goods, go for natural cleaning products these are generally cheaper and a lot of supermarkets have their own range of natural cleaning products not only will these save you money but they are kinder to your skin and the environment, or even better use natural products in your food cupboard such as vinegar and lemon also Tea tree is very good for cleaning. (For more information on this you can check out my household cleaning review.)
If there are offers on food that you eat then stock up if it is going to keep and you can use it!
Bulk buys - chip in and share -
Pictures of Student Thrift Tips
Save those pennies!
This will save you money in the long run.
Buy all of your fruit and veg. from the market if you can - it is so much cheaper.
Shopping for food online can work out cheaper, as you are not tempted to buy extras and you can see how much you are spending, and you can alter you shopping basket at the end. This saves time and if you don't drive it is cheaper than using a taxi!
Cheap brands are usually just as good as expensive brands; you can even buy basic toiletries and medicine just because it is not branded doesn't mean it won't work as well, because it will. Basic none branded and shop's own food ranges are usually just as good but at a lower price, because they don't come in fancy packaging and have not been advertised, so no extra cost to you.
Try to limit the amount of pot noodles you eat, okay they are quite a stereotypical favourite for students but they are quite expensive for what they are and they really don't fill you up, and they don't provide much nutritional value - okay to have once in a while though.
Eating more fruit and veg. may sound boring and you may think it's expensive but it's not really and you will feel much better if you have more in your diet, it will provide you with more energy for partying, and will keep you in better health.
I'm not much of sandwich person, but I loved toasted sandwiches, you can get a sandwich toaster quite cheap, toasted apple sandwich is yummy!
Buying staple foods will help you to ensure you are eating well and it is not going to be expensive.
Food such as...
Bread - Can be eaten with any meal of the day and it will provide you with starchy carbohydrates.
Potatoes - It's cheaper and better value to buy a sack of potatoes, these are a great versatile food that can be baked you can have a different filling on top for variety, they can also be boiled and mashed, roasted, and you can even make healthy chips or wedges with them.
Pasta - Basic pasta is cheap and very filling, you can make different sauces or have pasta with you meal.
Rice - Another good source of carbohydrates that is also good to have as you can add this to different meals.
Frozen veg. is better value for money and it won't perish, it can be used in many meals. Tinned fruits are good to have as they also keep well.
If you want to buy fresh foods, look for fruit and Veg. that are in season, carrots are a cheap veg. that can be cooked or eaten raw.
Baked beans - Baked beans on toast is a popular meal that is healthy and very cheap.
Eggs - versatile food, eggs are so cheap and you can make many different meals from them.
Stay healthy - A healthy body is easier to maintain.
Don't buy jars of cooking sauce and readymade meals, this is expensive - look online for simple recipes to make your own sauce and meals. You can save a lot by making your own.
Processed and readymade meals are unhealthy and cost more than buying ingredients and making it yourself. Learning to make your own meals is fun!
Time it right! Find out when your local supermarket reduces all the fresh goods and shop then, buy reduce food and freeze it!
Keep your freezer well stocked up, a full freezer costs less to run as its not cooling empty spaces. However if you can't fill your freezer then place empty cardboard boxes into the empty spaces in the freezer as this will do the same job.
Plan your weekly shop - write up a meal planner, this way you will only buy the food you need and no extras. Try to do a big shop once a week, to save trips back and forth to the supermarket and local shop where you will be tempted to buy more than you need.
Find recipes on-line to use up all of your veg. Some healthy filling meals such as stew, soups, Veg. curry and stir fry will help use up all your left over Veg.
Some useful Links
Don't forget to party hard, and have as much fun as you can - enjoy your student days!