So cometh the student savings

3 April 2008

At the start of my second year of university, I had nothing. No money, nothing, I was totally reliant on my interest free overdraft with my money in a terrible savings account earning hardly anything.

Today, approaching the end of my second year and just a few lifestyle changes (I don't even notice a difference or know where the money I was spending went) I'm now £7600 up! For this I need to thank a number of people including myself (for having self control and the patience to constantly juggle and worry about money) martin lewis for his money saving website and savings calculator and top tips, my parents my girlfriend and the lovely people at the halifax who give me 1750 interest free that earns me about £113 in interest a year.

 My first step was to cut my outgoings, small changes really. I stopped buying lunch out. Approx savings £15/week. Cut back on drink and meals out £25/week. Cancelled my £35/month contract phone (sometimes as much as £80!!) and switched to o2 pay as you go where you top up £10 get 300 messages and your £10, as well as endless rewards and free minutes. Now drive like the most patient man in the world rarely going above 50 (savings £60 a month!!). Shopped around for my car insurance, only saved a £100/year but well worth it. Also avoiding as much as I can unneccesary journeys or begging lifts (sometimes dishonestly).

The next was to up the hours of my part time job which used to be just 9 hours per week at £5.52 earning me about £198 a month. I had such low hours so that I had time to study and do work etc, but half the time didnt spend my free time doing it anyway so may aswell be earning. Placed a few dead cert bets and took advantage of cash back and free bets on gambling websites. Joined cashback greasypalm (although doesnt offer the most cashback, transactions are verified upto 6 months faster than rivals and I actually recieve payments from them). Earned me (in my 2 an 1/2 months as a member) £77 just for getting things I would anyway and great ones like £17 for opening a £1 opening balance savings account!!

Then I scrpapped my loyalty to the Halifax, (given to me by my parents). I opened a low credit score credit card and got a credit limit of £200 and am trying desperately not to spend more than this a month (total) and am so far managing. Pay that off in full every month at the last possible moment directly from the current account linked to my high paying savings so that the money earns interest for as long as possible. Opened the highest paying savings account and put every penny bar a small available balance on my student account in case I needed to pay on a debit card. No longer use the debit card just transfer money as and when from the savings.

I approached the halifax to up my overdraft from £1000 which they kept refusing to up despite me being in my second year and almost promised that I would receive the full amount by the end of my first year! I basically explained to the woman in branch (the phone service was no help) that I was desperate (like hell) so she was very kind and did everything to help me. Don't get why I cant just have the full amount, no problems on my credit history or anything and used to pay £700 a month into my current account with them aged 16-18!

O yeah and I no longer pay for parking at uni anymore, it used to cost £2 a day but now I just walk 20 minutes and park on a street instead for free!