When we decided to write this blog, it was a way to exercise another side of us aside from our academic one that at times feels like it overtakes our life. However, it is always nice when I can showcase what I have learned in uni right here on this blog!
For this post not only I can use my Econ major findings, but also use my experience being a university student to teach you some tricks of the trade.
Going to university is probably the biggest investment your parents, or you, or your government (or all) will ever undertake in your life, thus saving is always welcome.
For me, my university degree is getting extra tough given the fact that Angola is going through a financial crisis so money is tighter than it was before! So any tips to save money are always welcomed, so here I will share with you guys, the little tips that I have gathered in my experience as a uni student so you don’t overdraft (more than you should lol).
- Go to self service places- (cheeky nandos anyone?) sooooo many times I spent more than I should (and to be honest deserved) because my friends and I will eat at a restaurant then when the bill comes there is so many people (and lets be real some users) that you end up paying 5,10 or even 15 more pounds than you should. That adds up very quickly! So avoid this by going to self-service where there is no awkwardness of who didn’t pay exactly for what they had or some free riders!
- Pre-drink- that’s a normal thing for most uni students but maybe because it’s kind of a western university ritual, many foreign students miss that and spend abnormous amount of money by buying drinks at the clubs or bars that they go to (some clubs go as far here in London of charging 15-20 pounds per drink!). Pre-drink at home or at a friend’s where if you share the tab at some place like Tescos it can probably cost you about 5 pounds each for a lot of booze.
- Please don’t buy all recommended books- I made this mistake when I got here, thankfully the crisis wasn’t hitting in the bone yet when that happened! All books that teachers recommend are in the library, no teacher will be that vicious (or just plain inconsiderate) to ask for books that the only way you can get them is by buying. Now, obviously the books will be out of there by the time the teacher recommends them so be a bit of a nerd and check the reading list before your first day (most if not all teachers put the reading list online prior to first class, if not, email them and explain your struggle lol) if there are no books go to your subjects facebook group or just ask around for an upperclassmen that can lend you their used books. Another alternative, is to buy the book online as many books have older versions available in PDF format. Another alternative is to rent a book, as there are new companies that provide that service for the duration of the school semester.
- Take advantage of your student discounts: students get a lot for free- windows word, adobe, movie deals, clothes deals (check unidays if you live in the UK for clothes) take advantage and ask about any student deals before you make any purchase anywhere (I recently found out that student discount in Ted Baker is actually higher than at Topshop, if I didn’t ask I wouldn’t know!)
- Join societies, sports teams- not just for the obvious reasons but also for the fact that many of the people in your team/society may be in the year above you so that would make you more comfortable on asking upperclassmen on lending books that they no longer use
- Don’t go grocery shopping alone- for this one, it’s easy for me since I live with my sister, but for those that don’t have flatmates go with your friend/cousin/classmate and do groceries together and then split it (at one of each others kitchens). When I used to live alone I wasted so much food/money because there are basically no deals for small quantities of food or if I bought those deals the food would just go bad! So do group grocery shopping to save on some deals (and also don’t go shopping hungry you will buy stuff you don’t need!)
- Shop in January- shop really close to the holiday season, January is the best since stores just want to get rid of all the leftover clothes from the end of the year/Christmas frenzy so don’t waste your money (if you don’t have to).
Hopefully these tips help you on making your time at uni less about stressing for money and more about having fun (on a budget of course).