When at university money can get a little tight, so I quickly learnt the best ways to save money. The first tip I have is to make a budget before you move to university because a few days after you enroll at university you suddenly get student finance through and the temptation to go out and spend it all can be really strong.
However, that money has to last you for the whole term. I found the best way to write a budget is to list how much money will be coming in to your account and when. Then list how much money will be going out of your account and what date that is. This needs to include all essentials such as accommodation costs and food. From this you can work out how much you have left over each term to spend on nights out, shopping or whatever you fancy.
Leave Your Car at Home
A good way to save yourself money is not bringing a car to university. I personally choose not to take my car to university because of the money aspect but it is a personal choice and I know people who made it work with a car. You can walk from Staffordshire University to the train station in less than 5 minutes which has very good connections and there are plenty of bus stops to get around as well.
If you choose not to take your car, a further way to save money is to walk to as many places as possible instead of using public transport. For example going into Hanley during the day to shop may only be £2 each way on the bus but that is money you could have spent on food or drinks or whatever you want and the walk into Hanley is only between 30-40 minutes depending how fast you walk and it is a really a pretty walk. I just put on some music and enjoy having time out of the flat.
Make a shopping list
Having a list when food shopping can save money. Try to have a rough plan of your meals until you next shop and then work out any other bits and pieces needed. Without a list it is much easier to wonder around the shop aimlessly and end up with a lot of items you don’t need and may actually end up not getting round to eating. I effectively lost a lot of money last year when I brought extra food that I didn’t plan for and it ended up going to waste.
Finally, choose wisely where you go out with friends. I am not saying never go out together or to somewhere a bit more expensive but if you and your friends want to spend time together and money is a problem, then try looking for alternatives. For example, instead of going out for dinner make it together in your flat, or if you can’t afford to go out to a party, have some friends over to your flat to play games and have a gossip. Another way to have fun for less is to choose the on campus bars, nightclub or restaurants as they can be substantially cheaper than other similar places.