Credit Crunch - How savvy students are beating the credit crisis

5 May 2008

Ever since I decided to go back to university, money has always been a topic of conversation with my student friends, both the lack of it and how to spend what we do have. Recently we've started to feel the pinch and we have started our very own 'Ditch the cuppuccino' club, where we stop buying our morning coffee's and save the cash instead.

Coffee Mornings

My Italian friend who is a coffee expert is doing incredibly well, where does she get her will power from? Is what I'd like to know. I'm more the 'social coffee drinker' - if my mates are having one, I will tag along. We now bring in our own coffee or tea bags and use hot water from the university cafeteria. I was surprised to find they charge 10p for the water but this is by far much cheaper than the coffee shop on campus and a million times cheaper than the high street coffee chains.

So I was surprised to learn that Starbucks recently reprted a fall in coffee sales as more people start saving those pennies. It looks like more of us are becoming money savvy, which isn't a bad thing - unless you work in a coffee shop, that is!

But we have decided to take this further and make our own cakes. Okay, baking is not a fashionable past time, but as we are students we have lots of time to kill so we might as well put it to good use. Chocolate brownies is the favourite in our group - moorish, yummy and easy to make.

Baking their way to success

But it looks like we are not the only one's with the same idea, recently many students have been selling everything from cosmetics, cakes to doughnuts! I spoke to Jo Michael, a film student who raised £420 by holding a sale on Valentine's Day. Here's how Jo persuaded cash strapped students to part with their cash:

"It was mainly just having the confidence to convince people that they needed and wanted cakes, roses and bundles of love on Valentine's Day. We made sure we were quite loud and took a tray full of cakes to our lecturers. We ensured that everyone who passed our stall bought a cake."

Next to follow in Jo's footseps was fellow film student Natalie Paleomylites who raised £150 with her popular cake bakes. Here are her tips on making extra cash:

"We decided to sell cakes, cookies and sweets as the university does not sell a great amount of these products, so we believed we would be able to sell them successfully. Also, do not be greedy with your pricing and remember it is a university and we are all skint so be fair. Make sure to advertise as it helps and try to get your customers to advertise for you. Cheeky but it works."

Jo's and Natalie's examples have inspired me to hold my very own cake sale. So while I'm brushing up on my baking skills, I'm certain being a little business savvy will help other students like myself through the credit crisis.