Blog By: Olivia Bettison, Current Bath Student.
As a student all your money seems to get sucked into socialising. By the time the end of term comes around you’re a grand deep into your overdraft, with nothing to show from it except for some class snapchat stories. So, here’s some top tips on how you can party like a millionaire and still afford to do a weekly wash:
1. Know how much you can afford to spend each week
When your student loan comes flooding into your account it’s pretty easy to blow half of it three weeks later. Therefore, before term even starts break your loan down into a weekly budget. This way you can keep tabs on how much you spend under or over your budget per week. Another way to stick to this is to have two bank accounts, a personal and student account. Then every week you can transfer your budget over into your personal account so you can’t spend over.
2. Pre drink!
Pre drinks are a big part of uni culture but are also the best way to have a cheap night out. Both Sainsburys and Lidl sell a 700ml bottle of vodka for around £10.00 and mixer is never too steep. Instead of drinking in bars or saving it for the club try to power through pre’s on a good level.
3. Sharing is caring
There’s no point in having nine bottles of washing up liquid, eight olive oils and a million salt and pepper pots. Save those extra pennies by taking it in turns to buy the essentials everyone uses. To keep it fair, make a chart of who’s brought what. This applies for washing too, share loads with your flat mates if you don’t have enough darks or lights to fill the machine. Trust me every penny counts by the end of term.
4. Know your nights
The biggest money drain of Uni life is definitely going out often. So be efficient, leave your card at home and only take out the amount of cash you’re allowed to spend. Find out which club has student night on to get those extra discounts and always ask at bars if they have student drinks discounts on. Also, for a bigger night out in Bristol, instead of spending £30 or more on an uber make use of the 24-hour weekend buses (the X39 and airport shuttle). You can nearly always find a stop near you.
5. Watch where you shop
We are lucky enough to have a LIDL basically in the city center, make use of it! Even if you have to buy a bus ticket to get there it’s definitely worth it because you save so much. Also, Uni isn’t the time to buy the Prada bag you’ve always wanted, you’re a student now – go to Primark.
6. Make a meal Plan
In order to do an efficient weekly shop, it’s good to have some idea of what you’re going to eat each night. This not only prevents you wasting food but also saves you from having to run to the shop all the time because you’ve forgotten an ingredient. Plus check out the frozen section, often frozen chicken breasts and vegetables can save you a few pounds.
7. Going home fund
Unless you’re super lucky and your parents will pay for your trip home or you live nearby, chances are that the train journey home will be a chunky part of your weekly budget. Therefore, try not to go home every week, Uni is meant to be the stepping stone into real adult life – make the most of the freedom. Also ask around to see if any friends are driving through where you live so you can sneak a ride. Plus, check out flixbus or national express coaches, especially to big cities you can get around super cheap on these.