5 of the best ways to save on student life

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Students don't have the best reputation when it comes to money management. University is often your first time living away from your parents, with newfound independence and a fairly decent amount of money dropped into your bank account at the start of the term. It's no wonder people struggle with the temptation to start spending.

While it's not the case for everyone, it's no secret that, when you're a student, money can be tight. With some loans barely covering the cost of rent, it is no surprise that the thought of having to live off a student budget is putting more and more young people off going to university altogether.

The good news is that, even though getting by on a student budget can be tough, it is entirely possible - you just need to learn some new skills. To help you get through your next academic year, we have put together some of the best ways to save on student life.

Budget as soon as your loan comes in

As hard as it is to ignore that voice inside of you telling you to treat yourself, you must resist the idea of spending all your money as soon as your loan drops into your bank. Budgeting as soon as your loan hits is a crucial way of saving money at university. Before doing anything else, set aside money for your rent, utility bills and food shop. This way, you know all your expenses are paid for and you will know just how much you have left to spend and how you want to spend it.  

Take advantage of student discounts

Many shops and food outlets will offer student discounts and, even if it isn't advertised, it's well worth asking. The best way to make the most out of student discounts is to buy an NUS Extra. These cost £12 for one year, £22 for two years or £33 for three years, giving you over 200 discounts on beauty, places to eat, fashion, travel and so much more.

Buy second-hand course books or borrow them

Course books can be expensive, but there is no need to buy every item on your reading list. You can usually borrow a set of books from the library when you need them or quite often you can buy them second-hand online or through your university. This is a great way to save some pennies - and when you are finished with them, sell them and get some of your money back.

Consider telematics car insurance

Do you have a car at university? If so, have you ever heard of telematics car insurance? Telematics is a type of car insurance where they fit a small black box into your car that measure how you drive. Your insurer will then use the data collected to calculate the cost of your insurance, meaning you could save money if you drive well. As well as encouraging safe and considerate driving, this is a great way to save money on your insurance, which is ideal for those of you at university who need access to a car.

Get a part-time job

Getting a part-time job is always handy. Many students find that a part-time job helps them cope with their costs. It is also a great way to learn new skills and, by balancing it amongst your university timetable, it will help you to become a much more organised person. This extra bit of cash means you can treat yourself to dinner out once in a while or a new outfit for that night out you've been so excited for.

Interpret these tips into your university life and you will be able to get by on your money fine. All it takes is some common sense, and a little bit of time and effort when it comes to money management. But remember, university will be the best few years of your life, so enjoy it and don't stress too much.

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