Employment figures are down and the price of just about everything is up – our student loans have never had to work so hard! The Government’s latest figures state that 1 in 5 young people are now out of work, and the part-time jobs that many University students used to rely on for a wallet top-up are rather thin on the ground. So what can we do to make our money last and get us through to the next student loan instalment?
Here are a few budgeting tips and ideas that might be of use..
Travel can be a big expense, particularly for those who study away from home. The way to beat big train fares is to book as far in advance as you can, and explore the option of coach travel (or the famous Megabus). Yes it will take longer but you can always get some reading done on route.
If daily bus fares are proving to be a drain then look into getting travel passes instead, these can help save quite a bit if you travel regularly. Either that or, if you have access to a bike maybe think about cycling instead, healthy and free – 2 birds as they say.
If you’re in private student accommodation and pay your own utility bills then watch out for wastage. You know what we’re talking about, lights left on when you’re out, heating on full blast even though half the house have their windows open..
Cook some meals in bulk. You’ll find you can make 4 or more meals from a big pot of bolognaise or soup. Simply take what you want for the next day and pop the rest in the freezer as separate portions ready to microwave whenever. You can use all those take out tubs you’ve been hoarding!
Become a bargain hunter. Liverpool is full of charity shops, particularly on Bold Street in the city centre, Aigburth Road, Smithdown Road and Allerton Road, and there are loads of treasures to be found. For those of you into your vintage fashion I’m sure you already frequent them anyway!
Making a few changes and planning things in advance should help you save a few pennies, and then the golden rule has to be to budget. Don’t go on a blow-out weekend of shopping and drinking when your Uni loan comes in and then expect to be able to pay a big electric bill in 2 months time. Try and put aside the money you’re going to need for essentials early on, and then you’ll know, more realistically what’s left to play with.