The Student Room Group

Cost of living tips for students

Hi, I'm Chuks, an MSc Applied Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics graduate. Here are my tips for navigating the cost of living as a student.

It's a good idea to split your maintenance loan payments into monthly spending amounts so that you can effectively plan your budget. Try to note down everything you're likely to spend money on each month - after you've paid for your accommodation if you're moving away from home - like:

▪️ bills
▪️ food
▪️ social activities
▪️ subscriptions
▪️ travel
▪️ toiletries and household items

If you're not the writing down type, why not use your notes app or a spreadsheet to keep track of your monthly budget.

Next, it's time to assign a budget to each element, and then comes the hard part, sticking to it!

Cooking smart
Food can end up taking a big chunk out of your monthly budget if you don't make conscious choices about your shopping and what you're eating. Why not consider:

▪️ Finding recipes online and making your own food instead of eating out
▪️ Making a packed lunch instead of buying it when you're out
▪️ cooking bigger meals and freezing what's leftover
▪️ freeze any food in your fridge that you won't eat in time (make sure it's freezable first)
▪️ avoid branded food products, the non-branded items taste so similar and are a lot cheaper

If you need some meal inspiration or recipes to help you on your cooking journey, have a look on BBC Good Food, Student Recipes or Pinterest.

Student discount
One of the joys of being a student is the student discount. Signing up to student discount sites allows you to unlock discounts on hundreds of different things such as clothing, travel and food. Here are some sites to sign up for:

▪️ Unidays
▪️ Totum
▪️ Student Beans

Some places just ask to see your student card to give you the discount. Make sure to carry it around with you and ask retailers if they give student discounts.

Part-time jobs and other incomes
The Careers and Employability Service at your university can help you write your CV if you need some guidance and find a part-time job.

Managing your own budget for the first time can be a little daunting, you can speak to your university's Student Life Team for help and advice if you need support.

For more information on the cost of living and student finances, you can listen to our podcast. :smile:

What are your tips for saving money as a student?

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