Money Hacks for Students

Saving money as a student is absolutely crucial. And figuring out those little life hacks that can save you money will go a long way to stretching your loan.

A recent survey by Experian has highlighted that millennials have clear plans for the future, with most saying that building their career is the biggest goal. Unfortunately, the same survey found that the thing holding them back is their finances, with around a third of them saying that they had no disposable income, as well as no savings and not enough annual salary.

So let’s nip this in the bud right now and get some savvy savings tips under our belts before it’s too late!

Here’s our list of 7 top life hacks to save money as a student:

Never pay for a haircut again!

Okay, maybe ‘never again’ is an exaggeration. But if you haven’t already, look into being a hair model at your local hairdressers. They’re always looking for willing victims (I mean models) for their trainee hairdressers to practise on. It’s usually free, or at least very cheap! “What’s the downside?” I hear you ask. Well, you’ve got to go with a pretty open mind because you can’t always choose which hairstyle/colour/treatment you get.

Don’t buy moving boxes!

First thing’s first, have a look on freecycle.com for anyone giving away cardboard boxes in your local area. There’s usually someone, especially in bigger towns and cities. Other than that, you can stop-by shops on your high street and ask them for any boxes they’re not using — most companies have to pay for their empty boxes to be taken away, so you’d be doing them a favour anyway! Once you’ve successfully moved into your lovely/not-so-lovely new house, the next stage is to cut the tape that holds the bottom flaps of cardboard together and flatten the boxes. They’ll easily slide behind your wardrobe and hey presto… when you come to move again next year, you’ll already have boxes!

Using handkerchiefs instead of tissues

Move over, granny: handkerchiefs are back! Okay, if you’ve got an all-out cold, you’re going to spend more on washing them than you would on buying tissues! But if you’ve got the sniffles, a handkerchief is way better for the environment, as well as your wallet. You can get some really cool handkerchiefs from vintage stores in your local town, or online from places like Beyond Retro. Keep a handkerchief in your bag and cut back on those packets of tissues!

Reduce the margin sizes on your word documents

At around 10p per sheet (depending on where you go) printing your work can end up being super expensive! But if you just shrink the margin sizes a little on your word processor you can fit more text on each page and ta da…..lower printing costs!

Re-gift things that are given to you as gifts

Warning: this one’s a little cheeky! We all know that instead of giving someone a gift on their birthday you can bake them a whole bunch of cupcakes, or make them something cool by hand. But if your kitchen’s a mess and your handmade hanging mobile isn’t going to cut the mustard, then try re-appropriating one of your birthday or Christmas presents! Got a toiletries set for Christmas? Re-gift it! How about that scarf your mum’s neighbour gave you for your birthday? Re-gift it! It’s technically up-cycling and hey, I’m sure the person that originally gave you the gift would be pleased to know they helped you out of a sticky situation….right?!

Never buy freezer bags or Tupperware boxes

This is all part of the ‘Reduce, Re-Use, Recycle’ philosophy that all students should live by! Okay, you may not be so skint that you can’t afford a bit of cling film or a roll of sandwich bags, but if you get this saving money mullarkey ingrained into your daily habits now, you’re going to be winning when you leave university! Re-use absolutely everything your food already comes in, like cheese packets, jars and re-sealable tubs. If you treat yourself to a takeaway, save the plastic containers! You can use these for packed lunches, left-overs, or whatever else you might need them for!

Always buy everything that’s reduced

Once you go reduced, you never go back. Honestly, I’ve tried. I seem to naturally gravitate towards the reduced section of supermarkets…even if I don’t mean to! It’s almost always good stuff and the art of basing a whole meal on what you find in the reduced section is a fine art! You’re forced to be creative in the kitchen and you can always use your phone to google ‘what goes well with…’, if needs be! In most supermarkets there’s a set time they do reduce products. Reductions often happen in tiers and the cheapest band of reductions will almost always happen near closing time.

You can find a pretty good guide here if you need some money advice.