As a student, I always try to make my monthly allowance last as long as possible, so I’m always on the hunt for new ways to save money. However, most (if not all) of the tips to save money involve giving up a few things or activities altogether. Which, yes, I understand that it’s something that is necessary and it has its advantages, but sometimes you don’t want to not do something just because you’re not a millionaire.
Although we are on a student budget, that shouldn’t be a reason not to live our lives and just have fun, we’re still young at the end of the day, so here are 10 of my favourite ways to save money while still doing everything that I want:
- Take your student card everywhere
This is, and will always be, the best way to save money as a student without giving up anything. You’ll be surprised at the amount of places that offer student discounts. Every time you’re shopping, whether it’s clothes, makeup, food, whatever, ask if the store that you’re in offers any student deals or discounts. It’s more common for clothing and cosmetics stores to have student discounts, but some supermarkets now have that option available. Check online if there are any “student days” or hours that prices are reduced; I know that a few cinemas, bars, clubs and restaurants dedicate one day out of the week for students.
This app is everything, all you need to do is download it and write the name of the store, restaurant, cinema, etc., that you want to check for discounts and it will check it for you. You can find discounts that are only available online or in-store. If you allow the app to access your location while you’re using it, it will even tell you if you are near any stores or restaurants or whatever that are having good deals at the moment. The best part is that you don’t have to be a student to use this app but unfortunately, I’m not sure if you can use it outside of the UK. Download it and find out or google and try to find any similar apps that work where you are.
This app is similar to Vouchercloud but it sometimes has better deals. However, unlike Vouchercloud, to use this app, you need to be a student to register and enjoy the deals.
- Sample Source
This is website that you sign up and take a survey so that they find out a little bit about you and get a sense of what you like. After that, they send you samples of products that are in need of reviews or have just been launched. This is a good way of trying new things before you actually buy it, even though you don’t necessarily have to go on this website to get free samples. You can go to any store and ask if they have any free samples available that they can give you or just buy the travel-size or miniature version of a product that you’ve never bought before so that you can test it and see if you like it or not. If you do, buy the big one, but if you don’t, you won’t spend a bunch of money on a huge bottle of a product that you’ll never use again. This is good for the people that like to try out every single product that comes out, it will save you a lot of money (and space) in the long run.
- Girls get in free before 11
This isn’t a fixed rule that every club has to follow, but most clubs do that, so check if the ones that you go to do it, get there early and you won’t have to pay. However, if you’re going out with boys (or if you are a boy), what you can do is check before you go out, if there are times that the price is reduced or check if it’ll be cheaper if you buy tickets online beforehand. If you didn’t really plan your outing beforehand, try to get to the club at the opening time and try to talk to promoters or something and see if they can get you any discounts.
- Work at your favourite store
If most of your allowance goes to a particular store, try to get a job there. Most stores offer employee discounts and some even let you use it in conjunction with your student discount, that way you save even more money. If you can’t get a job at that specific store (or if you have more than one favourite store), get a job at any store in a shopping centre; just make sure that your favourite store(s) are in there. A lot of shopping centres offer discounts to all of the employees that can be used at any store. Check online to see if there are any shopping centres where you live that do that, but if you’re in London as well, I know that Westfield does it.
- Dye or Cut you Hair for Free
If you want to change up your look without breaking the bank, try going to beauty schools to get treatments or cuts for free, or at a reduced price. Just remember that the best results aren’t guaranteed, given that it’s students literally practising their skills on you, so try not to request any drastic changes, just to make sure that you leave satisfied. For example, if you have very dark hair, don’t go to a beauty school to get it dyed blonde or don’t ask for any intricate haircut that requires a lot of precision and technique.
- Rent your books
The books in your reading list aren’t always available in your school’s library, so instead of buying a whole book that you’ll probably only use for a semester, try to rent it on websites like Course Smart or Chegg (check which one is available in your area). You can define the amount that you will need it for and you’ll save a lot of money and help the environment in the process since it’s an eBook.
- Buy bigger bottles of alcohol
As you saw in this post here, a good way to save money is by pre-drinking at home with your friends before you hit the clubs. But if you want to save even more money, buy bigger bottles of alcohol. A bigger bottle, yes, is more expensive, but you’ll have to buy alcohol less frequently. Let’s imagine that you have 3 friends and you go out once a week. If you and your friends alternate on who has to buy the booze every time you guys go out you can stay around 3 months or so with the same bottle instead of buying a smaller one, once a month; you’ll end up drinking more and saving a bit of money in the end.
- Participate in contests and giveaways on the radio, social media, blogs, etc.
Stay tuned to radio shows, follow companies or brands on social media, or even blogs like this one (we’ve had our first giveaway to celebrate our first month online) and just participate. The more contests and giveaways you enter, the higher your chances of winning will be. Cleo entered a contest on a radio show and she won tickets to see Rihanna perform (here). Just enter and participate, it’s free so you have nothing to lose but a lot to win.
I hope that this post lets you realise that if you are creative enough, you don’t always have to give up doing the things you like just to save money. You can continue ballin’ while you’re sticking to a budget. If you think I forgot to mention anything, leave your money-saving tips in the comments.