Here at LiverpoolSU we want you to get the most of your time from your studies and the city itself. That’s why we’ve come up with a handy list of 12 tips to help you save the pennies whilst at University!
Beware of the gimmicks and freebies banks use to entice you to open a student account with them. Instead, look out for the money-saving features a bank has to offer, such as interest-free borrowing. Look at websites such as Money Saving Expert and Which? to see what bank account best suits you.
Checking your statements will help you track your spending and prevent you going overdrawn if you have an overdraft on your account. It will also help you to detect errors or possible fraudulent activity on your account.
Careful budgeting may sound like a chore, but it will help you make sure your finances don’t get into a mess and add to the pressures of study. Draw up a spreadsheet of all your outgoings and any income you have, then set yourself a spending limit. Take out only what you need from the cash machine – all those tenners you draw out soon add up – and try leaving your cash card at home when you go to lectures, classes or seminars.
Pay rent and bills on time every month
Getting into the habit of making regular payments helps you remember them, and lets you keep track of how much money you’ve got left to spend for the rest of the month. Also, you won’t be liable for any late payment charges. If you set up direct debits for bills you don’t have to worry about forgetting them, and you often get a discount for paying that way too.
Not only banks, but other retailers offer student incentives and discounts on essentials such as books, music and computer equipment. Take advantage of these every time you think about buying something, to make your money last longer.
Invest in an NUS extra card to get loads of discounts – look out for the student discount sign in every shop you go to. If you can’t see it, ask. You could be missing out. If you’re a level 4 (non-NHS funded) LJMU student, you get one for free! Keep an eye out in your LJMU mailbox over the coming months for your link to get your free NUS card.
All supermarkets have 'value' ranges, which might not be as bad as you think. Cleaning products and toiletries in particular are usually significantly cheaper than named brands and will noticeably reduce your shopping bill. Also, it’s usually cheaper to buy multi-packs (e.g. a four-can pack of baked beans or 12 toilet rolls).
Another tip is to go to the supermarket at the end of the day. Often they reduce the price on products that are due to go out of date, including bread (one of the most expensive food items), which you can take home and freeze.
Why not club together for food, and plan meals to last you all week? Not only will you save money, you’ll improve your cooking skills and spend quality time with your friends. You can download free recipes from a number of websites, including BBC Food, which means you don’t even have to spend money on a cook book. You can also pack your own lunch – try it for a week and you’ll probably save enough for a night out.
Used textbooks are much cheaper and you’ll probably be able to sell them on again once you’ve used them. If you share books with your course mates you could split the cost between you. But remember to buy the most up to date versions. On the other hand, the library’s books are free to use, and don’t forget that the lighting, heating and electricity are free to use as well, so why add to your own bills?
Buying goods online can be cheaper and often more convenient. eBay is an excellent place to buy and sell stuff. You can also sell unwanted text books on Amazon or, better still, search on Freecycle, which has everything from desks to books on it.
Charity shops are excellent places to dig out a bargain. Most charity shops sell clothes and shoes, and all for a fraction of the cost of the high street. You can also pick up homeware and used books in most shops.
You’re bound to be tempted to put luxury goods on your credit card – but try to resist! If you don’t have enough cash to buy something that’s not a necessity, leave it until you’ve saved up enough. This gives you time to shop around for the best price, and you may even realise that you don’t want it enough after all.
If you live close to campus, you could save a lot of money on transport by walking. You should always walk with friends if you’re worried about your safety, especially at night time.
If you live in the community, invest in a bus pass. This not only saves you money over the year, but gets you to your campus on time. If you are a level 4 student studying at IM Marsh, you can apply for the Marsh Travel Bursary, saving you money on your bus pass. Keep an eye out over the coming weeks at the LJMU intranet, LiverpoolSU website and your LJMU email.
Working part-time doesn’t only earn you some extra cash to pay your way – it gives you much needed employment experience and keeps you away from the temptation to spend. We recruit for student staff throughout the academic in various departments such as retail, marketing and in our community teams. Check out our website for details. Alternatively, visit the LJMU World of Work vacancy website and look at the hundreds of part-time jobs there.
You want to remember your years as a student fondly, so take care not to taint those memories with worries of debt. A lot of other students have the same concerns as you, so make the most of your free time with friends and colleagues – you don’t need to spend money to have a laugh. Join clubs and societies to meet new people and explore new interests.
Liverpool as a city has transformed spectacularly in the last number of years and as an LJMU student, you’re entitled to visit places such as the TATE Liverpool and Royal Court Theatre for free – check out the LJMU Student Opportunities pages for more details.
LiverpoolSU provides this information this information in good faith and has taken care to make sure it’s accurate. However, student finance issues can be complicated, and rules change frequently. You should contact the Student Advice and Wellbeing at LJMU if you’re uncertain or need more help. Contact them at email@example.com.