Money Saving

Managing your finances is a hard task in general but I’m gonna take a guess and say that it’s probably a lot harder as a student. I wasn’t used to buying food or cooking for myself before I came to uni. Even buying loo roll for the first time was a challenge on it’s own. Comparing prices and trying to find the best deal is something I learnt quite quickly though as I started out by buying brands and products my parents did at home. That quickly became unrealistic so own brands and Aldi became my best pals. The thing people do not realise is that these cheaper options are actually perfectly fine, I mean I think shopping at Aldi is totally on trend right now? It’s cool to be smart and save money now guys so don’t put your nose up at it. You’re a student; you’ve got bevs and travelling to save for.

I actually find joy in bargain hunting when doing a food shop; the reduced section in Tesco’s is where it’s at. Try 3pm or later on in the evening at about 7/8pm and you’ll find the goods. You may have to fight off the oldies that hover about but I always find something for like 80p that I wouldn’t usually be able to afford on a normal shop.

Being resourceful is a great skill, if you are already then great but if you’re not then get training yourself to be. I can now eat until my fridge is empty before I do a food shop. I mean it, zilch on my shelf. It’s doable if you have some basics in the cupboard and those are chopped tomatoes, coconut milk and herbs/spices that are there to be used, not just to look pretty. You can make a curry out of anything, got left over veg, a can of chopped tomatoes and various spices? There ya go. A nutritious meal that is probably a lot healthier than the jar of curry sauce you’d buy.

I mean maybe it’s just getting used to a lower standard of living but saving money is so rewarding for me, seeing the sum get bigger each time I add to it is exciting. Fair enough not having those sweet treats every day might be hard to start with but holidays and experiences are worthwhile and once you’re saving you’ll be able to do a lot more.

Putting your earnings into your savings as soon as you get paid and moving it over until you need it isn’t as convenient as just paying for something so it gives you a little longer to think about what you’re buying. Definitely think twice about what you’re about to buy, do you need it? Will you use it? Are you just buying it because it’s there? Re think buying new outfits for every night out you go on too, people are allowed to wear an outfit more than twice, you’re not Kim K, you’re a student that likes to get wear out of your already great wardrobe, ok? Just because everyone else is it doesn’t mean you have to as well, that’s another factor in saving money too. Sure Fomo is a thing but not doing what everyone else is doing just for the sake of doing could save you quite a bit. Opting for dinner in and cooking as a group instead of constantly eating out or having bevs at home and playing some games instead of splashing out on drinks in town is actually really fun, some of your greatest memories will come from those nights. Cheap is in fact cheerful and it’s alright to be on the budget tour. We’re allowed to be cheapskates for these 3+ years of our life and sort of get away with it. Of course do not miss out on every fun thing that your friends do because saving can actually be quite obsessive (I’ve been in that situation before, it’s great in the long run but treat yourself once in a while!).

Taking 20 quid out for a night out and drinking copious amounts of Aldi wine at pre drinks will save you money, also scoping out which clubs are easy to sneak booze in is something we’ve become good at doing. I know it’s bad and we shouldn’t do it but drinks are crazy expensive and yeah that’s only if things get real bad, alright?

I am in third year, I’ve not been out in over a month, in 9 days I can go wild, eat all of the food, drink all of the wine and spend the cash I’ve managed to save up because I proper deserve to. Having the mindset of “I wrote 100 words of my dissertation, I deserve a Strongbow dark fruits, get me t’pub” won’t really make you feel good, you’ll just be sat drinkin’ and thinkin’ about all the words you could be writing at that moment in time. Rewarding yourself when a reward is necessary is way more rewarding. You can do it.