Whether you are a new student or a well-seasoned studier, you are bound to be thinking about the best ways to stick to that scarily tight budget over the coming months. Whether you live in university run halls, private accommodation or houses in multiple occupation (HMOs), we have some advice that could help you keep your domestic expenditure nice and low.
Eating as a group not only helps you bond with your flatmates, but it can also save you all a lot of money. By eating in groups and making larger meals, you can split up leftovers and freeze them for when cooking isn’t an option and a takeaway breaks the bank.
You can also benefit from buying foods with a longer shelf life in bulk such as larger bags of rice and pasta. If everyone chips in on staple foods, you will be able to eat for a fraction of the cost of going out or purchasing your food separately.
Why not consider buying supermarket own brand items when shopping? They are usually made in the same factories as name brand products, taste only marginally different and they generally provide foods in larger quantities for the same amount of money as the name brand products. When meat becomes an unattainable luxury towards the end of term, try padding out your meals with low cost vegetables to make your food go a little further whilst giving yourself a health boost.
Privately Owned Halls
Even though students swarm towards university owned accommodation, privately owned halls could save you more money. Privately owned halls can often be found in a more central location between town and university, therefore saving you money on travel costs.
You might also find that your privately owned accommodation provides a variety of facilities such as a games room or a cinema room, saving you money on any additional leisure expenses. The costs may seem higher when looking at the price of weekly rent in private residences; however, this price should include all of your bills (including all utility bills, broadband, Wi-Fi and contents insurance), so all you need to think about is your mobile phone bill.
All Shared Accommodation
There are many ways to save money when living with other people, whether you are living in university halls or a privately rented flat.
When organising a night out, why not suggest splitting the cost of pre-drinks? This is a great way to save money on your overall night out.
Most clubs and bars in student areas host student nights which offer drinks and events at cut prices to make a minimal dent in your budget. Save yourself a few pennies by finding out which bars offer the best deals, and make these your new regular haunts for a night out.
If you plan on taking your car to university, offer to become the designated driver for nights out and shopping trips. By asking your flatmates for petrol money, you could all save money by avoiding public transport or taxis that can become quite costly. Depending on how much you charge you may also make some profit, but be careful how you do this as you do not want to make enemies unnecessarily.
By now you will have met some new friends on your course and should have bought all your relevant textbooks. To save money in your second term, suggest sharing textbooks with your course friends. This could also make studying easier as you could create study groups and help each other out instead of braving the workload alone.
When buying your books, it is also worth looking into buying second hand copies from students in the year above. Many book shops around universities will have a second hand book section, and if you’re really lucky you might even find that important chunks of text will already be highlighted for you. Selling your books once you have completed a module will provide you with the vital funds you need towards your next set of textbooks.
Emily Ware is a digital content writer for The Student Housing Company; the student accommodation provider with a difference. Since 2011 The Student Housing Company has been forging firm relationships with universities across the UK and providing premier, modern accommodation for their students throughout their university careers.