A practical guide to saving money this semester

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Money. A topic we all worry about at some point or another. Whether you are a Fresher handling your own finances for the first time, or a fourth year getting ready for post-university life, all of us could use some tips on how to save a coin or two.

Some of these might sound cliché or obvious, however making small but consistent changes to your lifestyle is the key.

1) Save money on food and drink

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Yes, we have all tried packing our lunch at least once. And yes maybe that cup of instant coffee you make at home doesn’t taste as good as a good ol’ Costa before a lecture. But the reality is the money that you spend on coffee, sandwiches and bottled water in a week could buy you groceries for a whole month! Invest on a cafetiere and a travel mug. If you’re not a fan of packing lunch or cooking, schedule your meals so you can eat at home as much as possible.


2) The more the merrier

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Buying in bulk is one of the easiest ways to get the best deals. Whether it is hand soap, shampoo, water, and yes cigarettes, when you buy larger quantities everything is more affordable.

3) Explore your options

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It might sound boring but going to different stores and browsing prices online before deciding where to buy something is a smart idea. Even if the difference isn’t huge, if you make it a habit your savings will add up.  

4) Use coupons and advantage cards

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Most advantage cards are free and easy to use. My personal favourites are Tesco’s Clubcard and Boots Advantage Card. These are places where you are probably going to shop a lot and their points and coupons can save you a few pounds every once in a while. Also ask about student discounts!

5) Keep your receipts

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Not only will you become more aware of how much you are shopping and spending by keeping and going over your receipts (keeping a shopping journal is also a good way to keep track), but you will also have the option of returning any impulse purchases you might have made.

6) Have strong will power

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Make sure you really need whatever it is that you are about to purchase and learn to discipline yourself by saying ‘no’. If you feel guilty that’s probably a red flag. I find it helpful to step out of the shop and think about it elsewhere. If you have second thoughts you can always go back to the store.

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