Eight money-saving tips for students

11 February 2014

Four out of five students worry about finances while at university, according to the National Student Money Survey 2013.

On average, students spend £672 a month at a time when they earn a part-time wage at best, so it's important they get to grips with their finances while studying.

"Learning to manage your money and make every pound stretch as far as it can is a key life skill," said Vivi Friedgut, founder and director of Blackbullion - a new service that helps students learn to manage their money, which is funded by university bursaries.

"Whether you are on a tight budget or simply learning to live away from home for the first time, thinking about how you manage your money now can make a big difference in the future."

To mark National Student Money Week, which somewhat confusingly runs until 7 March, Blackbullion offers students the following advice to help make their money last longer:

  • Don't get caught out by estimated bills. Work out what bills for gas and electricity are likely to cost and put the money aside so you know that you are covered.
  • Take advantage of price comparison sites for buying anything from insurance and phone contracts to books for your course.
  • Book transport in advance to get the cheapest fares.
  • When you're out and about, plan ahead to car-share with friends or split a mini-cab charge, or work out the cheapest route on public transport.
  • Don't become an impulse buyer, picking up items that catch your eye in store or online. Consider your purchases carefully and always shop around for the cheapest deals.
  • Pay in cash for cheaper items so you can calculate how quickly you're spending your money - it's too easy to forget a couple of pounds here and there when you put everything on card.
  • When shopping for food, don't get carried away by supermarket deals, buying items you don't need. Compare food prices by checking the weight and price. Instead of cooking for one, take it in turns to cook larger meals to share with friends or freeze leftover portions to make your food go further.
  • Keep an eye on the smaller items that soon add up. For example, take a flask to lectures rather than buying hot drinks.

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