When you are a student, it can often feel like your student loan just isn’t stretching far enough, no matter hard you try to be money conscious. There could be any number of reasons why this is, but we are here to give you four simple ways to help your student loan go further.
1. Swap Expensive Non-Essentials for Cheaper Alternatives
We’ve all been there at some point, caught up in month after month of payments for something that we don’t really want and almost definitely don’t need. Start by making small spending cuts, such as a daily £6 coffee from Starbucks, or that Tesco meal deal you have every day. There are cheaper alternatives, such as making coffee at home and using a travel mug or preparing your week’s lunches in advance.
Then move on to the bigger costs. For example, do you really need to pay nearly £20 for a gym membership when there is likely a student gym that you can access much cheaper, perhaps even for free? Do you have a costly cable and home package that you really don’t need? Most students will never use a landline or watch live TV, so ditch the cable package, use your mobile and sign up for Prime student video, or Netflix!
2. Go Off Brand
Branded doesn’t always mean better… nor does it mean cheaper or more value for money. While there are certain items, such as certain fizzy drinks, teas and coffees that a lot of people are more inclined to buy from a brand name, overall it has been proven that a large portion of UK consumers will gladly buy supermarket own-brand items over brand names.
There is a good reason for this too. Shoppers pay through the nose for items like salt, vinegar, peanut butter – even painkillers, when there is no logical reason to. Most of these things contain the same basic ingredients, whether they are own brand or brand name; the only difference is the price. Even for painkillers, the UK health regulatory boards must pass all medications (branded or not) by the same criteria. This means one thing: a 40p pack of own brand painkillers are the exact same as that £3 branded pack.
3. Be Tech-Savvy – Keep on Top of Your Money
Today’s students are some of the most part technologically advanced generation, so it just makes sense that you are using your technology to keep on top of your money. If you find it hard t hold onto your money for more than a few days, why not set up an account where you can combine your current account and savings accounts in one place for better money management?
By switching to a bank that lets you do this, you can then manage your spending and savings at the same time, set up automatic tagging or your purchases, create in-app budgets and savings pots. That way, you have much more control over your money and spending.
4. Use Those Student Discounts
Most places nowadays have a student of some sort, whether that’s a fashion brand, beauty, food or entertainment – almost everywhere has one. So, it makes sense to make use of it. A lot of these discounts you can get by flashing your student ID in stores, but others you’ll need discount codes for.
Services like UniDays and TOTUM offer exclusive discounts for signing up, and you get a special ID that entitles you to discounts as a registered student. It is important to note though that UniDays is free to join and you received your ID on the app to use in-store, and special codes to use online, while TOTUM gives you a physical card, but does have a £14.99 sign up fee.
Whether you’re determined to buy off-brand or managing a strict budget is more your style, these tips will help you to get on track with your spending and make your student loan go further.