My third year and final year at university is drawing to a close. Not only have I realised that I have taken a degree that I have no idea what to do with, but I have also come to terms with the fact that soon I will no longer be receiving student funding and will be starting to pay off my delightful debts. Still, at least I don’t have to worry about a dissertation…oh wait, yeah, that’s due for the beginning of May.
With these in mind, I decided to try and cut down my spending with some very tiny changes and though I might as well share them.
- Buy in bulk. This also lends to the tip of cooking in bulk. As tempting as it is to buy ready meal pasta dishes etc, it does work out cheaper if you buy a big bag of dry pasta (even cheaper if you get one of the huge family sized packs and split the price with housemates) and a variety of different sauces; from carbonara to arrabiata, to mascarpone and tomato.
- Split alcohol costs. This is especially handy if you are like me and don’t particularly drink that much, or at least don’t drink an entire 1L bottle of vodka in one night.
- Turn off any switches whenever you can. If the dryer or washing machine has finished it’s job and you notice it flashing (and your flatmate is a bit slow in removing their cleaned laundry), open the machine door (so that it won’t restart when it is turned back on again with the already washed laundry) and turn it off.
- Take advantage of student ID! If you are like me and still in education, seriously use that student ID whenever you can. If you’re not sure whether the store of restaurant does student discounts, just ask! And don’t feel embarrassed about using your ID to make ridiculously small savings because I used mine in Paperchase to get something 7p cheaper…no kidding. something is better than nothing, right? I don’t have an NUS card, but I do use my personal university ID alongside the Unidays app (free).
- Try to use cash. In this age of plastic and technology, it is so easy just to tap something and scan it, then suddenly you’ve just spent £50 in one shop. If you’re like me and tend to be an impulsive buyer, carrying some cash around helps because I can visibly see my money disappearing and it makes me a tad sad.
- Get a railcard. I regret not doing this because I commute a lot but and it wouldn’t be worth it if I did decide to buy a rail card now so close to the end of my final year at university. If you commute often, invest in a railcard, and buy a season ticket, using that railcard for a discount. Also, try and book early, before the date of departure and at off peak times, this may reduce the ticket price if you get it in advance.