How to make your money go further at uni

Money at University… it can appear a daunting thought before starting your degree, but it doesn’t have to be that way! Once you start University, you can quickly determine what you need to buy and where your money goes. Keeping an eye on your spending and saving money where you can is vital to ensure that you have enough. This blog will go through ten top tips on how to make your money go further at University!

Students shopping in Guildford.

1- What you need vs. what you want

This is the BIG question! It can be so easy to get caught up in buying things you want, but a balance is so important. Understanding the essentials that you can’t go by without, then treating yourself now and then is a good place to start.

2- Student discounts

There are so many student discounts available for you to take advantage of! Keep an eye out as some shops that don’t normally offer student discount, can offer it for a limited time.

3- Open a student bank account

A student bank account can offer so many benefits! Some banks offer free vouchers and subscriptions when you open the account and an interest free overdraft- it’s definitely worth looking into to see what is currently on offer.

Santander bank at night on Stag Hill Campus.

4- Buy in bulk when on offer

If you know you’ll be using a particular item for a sustained period of time, whether that a certain brand of toiletries or store cupboard food… stock up when it’s on offer.

5- Make sure you have a full wash load at the Laundrette

Laundry can be expensive when taking your clothing to the Laundrettes. Make sure you fill the washing machine/dryer to the recommended volume. If you don’t have enough to fill the load, share it with a friend and split the cost!

6- Use your freezer

Buying frozen foods can offer a number of benefits, including convenience and being cost effective. For example, frozen vegetables can be cooked as you need them, without them going off, already prepared, quicker and cheaper!

Student unpacking in the kitchen.

7- Have a budget

Most students do not have a limited pot of money to spend, so budgeting can help stop you from unexpectedly running out of money. It can be difficult to know how much everything costs before going to University, but having a rough idea can be helpful. See below for ideas on what you’ll spend your money on:

  • Rent (bills are included in most University student halls)
  • Food
  • Toiletries
  • Transport
  • Phone contract
  • Course materials
  • Clothes
  • Subscriptions
  • Gifts
  • Hair cuts etc.
  • Gym/Sport memberships
  • Activities/going out
  • Meals out
  • Hobbies

Determining between what you need and what you want from this list is important as we’ve previously discussed. Think about how much money you’ve got from loans, bursaries, savings, if you will be receiving support from family, or planned part time work.

8- Earn money

A part time job is a great way to earn some extra money and help with the costs associated with being a student! Not only that, it gives you great experience and another opportunity to meet new people. Take a look at this webpage for more information about part time jobs at University.

9- Think about your mobile phone bill

It can be so easy to allow your mobile phone bill to gradually increase as your contracts roll over. Take a look at what you use from your contract, and if you’re not using all your data, minutes or texts, you could consider moving to a cheaper contract. Don’t forget, you have internet across campus and in your University student halls!

10- Don’t buy brand new books

New textbooks can be extremely expensive! Here are a few things to consider:

  • Can you borrow it from the library first?
  • Can you access the book online?
  • Can you buy it second hand online?
  • Do you actually need to buy a copy? Will you just be using one chapter for a module, or the whole book that you’ll need in the future?
Student walking through the library looking at a book.

That was 10 tips to help make your money go further at University… it’s all about having a balance! To read other blogs written by current students at the University of Surrey, click here!