Students and young adults always ask Ben and I, how we can afford to travel so frequently. So, to answer your questions, we’ve put together a list of all the things you can do to help yourself save money.
PACK LUNCH & EATING OUT
This might be one of the best saving strategies for us. Ever since I can remember I have taken pack lunch with me, whether that be to school, work or if I know I’m going to be out all day, I will always take pack lunch!
When Ben and I met, he started doing the same thing for work. He used to spend around £3.00 a day on buying lunch, which seems minimal. But after taking pack lunch everyday instead, he saved £60 a month! That’s £720 a year, equivalent to a return flight for China!
We don’t eat out at restaurants very often either, mainly because we would prefer to do something more exciting, but also because eating out is expensive! Even if you go to cheaper restaurants, like Toby Carvery, Weatherspoons or Bella Italia, it’s still overpriced. If you fancy an Italian you could buy a pizza, that’s just as nice from Morrison’s for £2.00, rather than £8.00.
Or if we did want to eat out, for a special occasion, we look on Groupon or use Tesco club card points.
Cooking meals from scratch also helps, buying ready-made meals or things such as pre-grated cheese is always more expensive.
Since being at university, Ben and I have discovered reduced items. Whenever we need a food shop, we go in the evening, as this is when supermarkets will reduce all sorts of foods and drinks down to pennies.
Another popular money spender for students is going out clubbing. Ben and I are lucky that we don’t enjoy clubbing very much anyway, but for others I know this could be a hard thing to give up.
Entrance fees to nightclubs are normally around £5.00, plus you’re probably buying drinks constantly and you may have bought a new outfit for it, which all adds up. Have a house party instead! No entrance fee and you can buy alcohol for a much cheaper price.
I always shop in the sales or wait for birthdays and Christmas’ to get clothes. Getting loyalty cards for shops is also useful as you can get discounts. Ben likes to buy from Charity shops, which seems to be a growing trend now-a-days and I think he looks pretty cool.
If you can stay away from big brands like Gym Shark, Champion and whatever else is on trend, it will save you a lot of money. You can buy the same quality clothes from cheaper stores, just without the expensive brand on them. Or if you can’t stay away from the big brands, buy them second hand on eBay or depop.
Speaking of which, why not sell your old or unwanted clothes, and other items, on these selling sites? It’s free and easy to do.
If you’ve got a particular skill or hobby why not use it to earn money, alongside your job or student loan?
Ben and I used to make tie dye for fun, but now we’ve turned it into our own mini business (@donkey_dyes). I also write these blogs, which provide a small income.
If you love a particular class you go to at the gym, for example yoga, you could take a training course on this, and then teach it to others part time. That way you’re getting paid to do the class you love, rather than paying someone else to teach it to you.
Whether you’re going on a date or hanging out with your friends, chose free activities! Take your own kayak to the river, cycle in a forest, take a picnic, play board games, go to the beach, surf, skateboard or explore a new city! These are all things Ben and I love doing for free, but I’m sure you can come up with ones more suited to you.
Of course, some things do cost money, but, as I said earlier, you can use Groupon or loyalty points to get discounts.
SUBSCRIPTIONS & BILLS
If you pay for your own phone bills, take a look at what you’re actually paying for. Do you really need that much data or storage? You can also compare different company’s prices, to see which are cheaper.
You can also look at what money is coming out of your bank each month from subscriptions, to see if they are really necessary. For example, you may be paying for amazon prime, but only use it a couple times a month, is it really worth it?
There’s also ways to make your subscriptions cheaper. I used to pay for Spotify on a student discount price, but now I use the family option and split the price with my family or friends. These little things really help to save money.
The most obvious of them all, is a savings account. Compare different banks to see which ones offer the best rates and advantages. Then set up automatic payments from your current account into your savings, do however much you think you can afford per month, but make sure you don’t take money from this account! Forget that you have a savings account, until a year later when you would have built up enough money to go on your dream holiday!
If you have any more money saving tips, let me know in the comments below.