Moving away from home can be a big and expensive life change. But don't fear! TSR has compiled 11 money-saving tips for freshers. Share your own hints in the comments.
1. Make a budget
Use a tool like Student Calculator to get an idea of how much is going to be flying in and out of your bank account. Forewarned is forearmed.
2. Stick to your budget
Don’t buy that coffee from Costa every day just because it’s convenient. Stay strong.
3. ALWAYS ask for a discount
If you buy an NUS Extra card you’ll be eligible for loads of pre-arranged student discounts. But a lot of places will offer a student discount with your regular student ID. Sometimes it’s not clear that shops offer a student discount so always ask. It can’t hurt. If you’re shopping online use myunidays.com to receive student discounts.
4. Don’t buy a TV licence
You can watch on-demand TV platforms like BBC iPlayer without having to pay for a TV licence. Remember that TV licences are 'per household' so if you're in a shared house and one person is watching live TV then you will need a license for the house.
5. Buy used books
Before you buy any books try to assess how often you're going to need them. If you only need one chapter in week 12 then there’s no point buying the whole book; just borrow it from the library. If you absolutely have to buy a book then get a used copy online. It will save you hundreds of pounds over the duration of your course.
6. Sell your old books
Once you’re done reading, free up some cash by sending your books back from whence they came by selling them online. It’s the circle of life.
7. Buy a printer
Despite the initial outlay, buying your own printer can save you lots of money. If you’re printing more than 1,000 pages a year then a laser printer will probably be more economical than an inkjet. You can pick up a cheap laser printer for about £40. CAUTION: Most universities will give you free print credit at the beginning of the year. Make the most of your tuition fees and use it!
8. Never pay for condoms
You can pick them up for free from NHS sexual health clinics and some students’ unions. Find your nearest sexual health clinic here.
9. Don’t waste food
Know the difference between use by, sell by and best before. Plan your meals to make the most of your supplies.
10. Download free software
If you’ve got a new laptop for uni it’s tempting to buy a lot of apps. However, this can end up costing hundreds of pounds. Check out our guide to the essential free software for students.
11. Shop off-brand
The amount of money you can save by shopping at a discount supermarket like Aldi or Lidl is mind boggling. If your halls are near one of the pricier supermarkets then keep an eye out for their 'value' or 'basics' range.
Are you a master of money-saving? Share your tips in the comments and help out some other TSR users.
|More on TSR:|
•Check out our guide to essential free software for students
•Read our guide to freshers week 2015
•Look at our checklist of things you'll need to take to uni