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5 Ways to Stretch Your Student Budget

The cost of getting a degree continues to rise as it’s not just the course fees students need to contend with; there’s also inflated living costs.
This, coupled with most students lacking financial know-how to help them better manage their money throughout university life, leads many to struggle to make ends meet.
For new students who are unsure when to spend and when to conserve their money, here are five ways students can stretch their budget. To ensure they can afford the necessities and also have some cash leftover for saving and luxuries.
1. Plan Ahead and Set a Budget
There’s no way of knowing what an individual student can afford until they devise a budget and plan for future expenses.
Listing income from student loans, part-time work, money from mom and dad, then subtracting all outgoings, including rent, phone, subscriptions, etc., will tell students whether they are living within or out of their means.
From here, students can make cutbacks to stretch the budget by, for instance:

  • Cooking at home more often, shopping at cheaper supermarkets, and taking packed lunch tables and drinks to university
  • Walking or cycling to university as opposed to taking transport
  • Switching to a cheaper rolling contract sim for their mobile

Changes, such as the suggestions above, will give students more wiggle room in their budget to save and buy a few luxuries.
2. Maintain, Fix, Borrow or Buy Second Hand
We live in a world where if it’s snapped, torn, or dislodged, we chuck it away and hunt for something new to replace it. But why not try changing this mindset and save some money by thinking about, for example –

  • How can you extend the lifeof the things you own?
  • Or, when something stops working, whether you can fix it?

Adopting this way of thinking will make you more resourceful and save you a ton of money too.
In another instance, if it’s irreparable, could you borrow it instead? For example, if your mobile phone breaks, maybe a family member has an old mobile they’re no longer using that you can have!
When fixing or borrowing items isn’t an option, try finding what you need second-hand. After all, you don’t need brand new university books, a PC, and clothes to achieve the best grades and have the best time at university.
Facebook marketplace and eBay are a few platforms where you can search for preloved stuff and start haggling for what you need.
3. Use Your Student Discount
Multiple companies offer student discounts and deals to student ID holders, granting chunks of money off fashion, food, music, health and beauty, and days out.
In some instances, students have access to freebies too. For example, UK students over 18 can get six months free of Amazon Prime. Meaning, free next-day delivery on Amazon orders, access to music, Amazon’s videos, a kindle lending library, and photo storage.
4. Make More Money
Taking on a part-time job is one of the go-to ways students supplement their income at university. And there are plenty of jobs you can do to work around your studies such as –

  • Virtual Assistant
  • Dog Walker
  • Barista
  • Waiter
  • Retail Assistant
  • Tutor
  • Blogger
  • Nanny
  • Receptionist
  • Lifeguard
  • Social media assistant
  • Tour guide
  • Resident assistant

5. Apply for Student Grants
From grants to help those with learning difficulties to students from low-income backgrounds, there are several grants and scholarships available that many students are unaware of.
By searching online and visiting the university’s administration office, you can access more information about what’s available and what financial aid you could be eligible for.
Learning more about managing your finances from a young age throughout the university will ensure you have the skills throughout your life to –

  • Afford to pay your bills
  • Build a savings pot
  • Avoid overspending
  • Eradicate financial stress