For us young people, the phrase ‘I can’t afford that, I’m broke’ is used on a weekly if not daily basis. The expense of student living places a huge financial strain on us and we are constantly faced with the depressing realisation that our wallets are empty. So here are some top tips on how to make your money go further.
Waitrose coffee card will keep you awake and on the ball. If you don’t have one, GET ONE. For those with a more expensive palate, Waitrose is the obvious go-to supermarket. For us university students it is a luxury which we simply cannot afford. However, Waitrose has recently created an amazing deal for us cheapskates; they now sell coffees and teas to takeaway, for free. Spending most days tired, hung-over and in a rush, there is nothing like grabbing a quick takeaway coffee or tea, for free. No catches, no tricks, sign up for free, and purchase your Waitrose coffee card, for free. Enjoy a frothy cappuccino or fast caffeine fix in an espresso, and yes, FOR FREE. To collect your myWaitrose card today, join up and register your card.
Meal deals are the way forward. Look for the most generous offers in cafes and restaurants. If you go to a city university, you will often find the local food destinations are in heavy competition with each other, so you are likely to find Pizzerias selling pizzas for a fiver or pubs selling a burger and chips for £3.50. The best, quickest and cheapest deal is without a doubt the meal deal from your supermarket. The Sainsbury meal deal, a personal favourite, offers you a drink, a sandwich or salad, and fruit or crisps for just for £2. For those university newbie’s, it may be a challenge going from family dining to the Sainsbury’s meal deal. Yes, you are either standing up eating it, walking to a lecture or sitting in a nearby green patch, but it is an extremely cost-effective way to stay sustained.
Cheap booze is a necessity. Getting smashed is like a sixth sense for university students. Alcohol becomes water to a student and partying a standard evening activity on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday…so get prepared. Maybe spend your summer before uni learning your limits. There’s nothing worse than an annoying drunk. No more sneaking your parents grey goose or vintage red wine. Its Sainsbury’s £10 own brand from now on. Don’t worry, you’ll learn to love it, or just become numb to it. And for mixer, no more red bull or lemonade, it’s all about Robinsons squash. It’s cheap, the variety of flavours is colossal and one bottle never seems to run out. A splash of squash, a shot of water and mix it with vodka and you’re good to go. However, a small tip, always juggle between two flavours, trust me when I tell you, there is no way you will be able to drink the same flavour during the day and then with vodka for the night. The association is too much, and likely make you want to hurl. And one more thing to remember, drink enough of your cheap alcohol before you leave the house or halls to avoid buying the watered-down, more expensive drinks they will sell to you at the clubs and bars.
By far the best creation for students is the glorious NUS extra student discount card. 10% of in Topshop, ASOS, Boohoo, Miss Selfridge, Misguided…the list is endless. Cinemas are so expensive nowadays but with an NUS extra, you can watch a top blockbuster for under £5. If you need more persuasion, this 86 by 54mm beautiful piece of card can get you 15% off any item at the Apple store. Thus, it is cost effective, a useful proof of ID and all students have purchased one, so get yours.
Most of us have travelled miles and miles to escape the vigilant eyes of our parents. For those who live at university far away from their hometown in the UK, make sure you invest in a 16-25 Railcard. It will save you 30% of all rail fares. This makes a massive difference for a student simply cannot afford to spend £50 pounds on a ticket home, but for £15…no anxiety is felt and you are making your parents very happy.
Written by contributing editor Kirstie Trup
Kirstie is currently at Bristol University reading History.