Radar has compiled a list of handy tips to help students have a more affordable lifestyle. Having financial difficulties can take a massive toll on your mental health, these simple but efficient techniques will help save you money, time and stress.
- Balance the books
At the start of every week/month set out the money you need for food, accommodation and any other costs you may have. Keep a note of costs that you usually have, so you know how much to put away. If you have any big expenses coming up then try to plan in advance and save a little every month to ease the expense. For birthdays and Christmases, plan ahead! It is odd to buy Christmas presents in Summer but this is actually when they are usually cheapest, and vice versa for Summer items.
- Always write a shopping list
When going shopping, always go with a list. You can write it on your phone beforehand and erase the items when you’ve bought them. Alternatively, shop online to stop the urge of picking up unnecessary items.
Another top tip for the shopping lists is to write out a weekly meal plan, this means you know exactly which items you need and will also help during days when you haven’t a lot of time for finding recipes and cooking them.
- Use foods that will last
There are foods that can be altered more than once to make multiple meals. For example, a cooked bag of pasta lasts 3-5days and cooked chicken lasts 3-4days. Look for foods that can be adapted for several meals, saving money and also time. Additionally, multipacks items that are non-perishable are great as they will last a long time.
- Don’t eat out every night
Eating out is not only an expensive habit but can prove relatively unhealthy. Cook in as much as possible as this will be cheaper in the long-run and also a great skill to learn. Always opt for the cheapest options, own-brands are just as good and can actually be even tastier at times. Also, make sure to look at the price per weight as this shows the cheapest options- not the actual face-on price!
- Look for free entertainment
There are tons and tons of videos on social media platforms, mostly all free! Use alternatives rather than the streaming giants, which require payments. YouTube has tons of entertaining and informative videos; whilst TedTalks are great for inspiring you and also being a good place to turn to for coursework.
Another important point is to try and use libraries for books as much as possible, whether it’s for coursework or just reading for enjoyment. RGU Library also provides free DVDs which you can book out on your account.
Overall, there are lots of simple tips that are easy to incorporate into your life. Are there any tips you find handy that you would recommend? We would love to know!