Smart Money Moves: A Guide to Saving for UK University Students

  |     |   Student Living


Embarking on the journey of university life can be both exciting and challenging, especially when it comes to managing your finances. With tuition fees, accommodation costs, and daily expenses, you may struggle without some savvy money-saving strategies. More recently, tips and tricks are more needed than ever with an average of a 14% increase in living costs.


Here are some practical tips you can put into place to make the most of your budgets and build a foundation for financial success.


Create a Budget:

The first step in managing your finances effectively is to create a realistic budget. List all your income sources, including student loans, part-time work, or any financial support from your family. Next, outline your monthly expenses such as rent, utilities, groceries, and transportation. Having a clear budget will help you allocate your funds wisely and identify areas where you can cut back. The last thing you want each month is to receive unexpected utility bills – that’s why at Fresh, all bills and wifi* are included in your rent so that’s one less thing to worry about!


Take Advantage of Student Discounts:

Being a university student in the UK comes with its perks, one of them being access to various student discounts including Unidays. From clothing stores to restaurants and public transportation, many businesses offer special rates for students. Look for discounts for restaurants, clubs, and bars, at student fairs, and your accommodation reception. Don't forget to carry your student ID card and explore local discounts.


Cook at Home:

Takeaways are delicious and easy, yet they can quickly drain your finances. Embrace the art of cooking at home to save money on food expenses. Plan your meals and cook in batches to reduce both time and costs. Not only is home-cooked food generally healthier, but it's also friendlier to your wallet. Make cooking fun by hosting a dinner with your university friends, try a 'Come dine with me style' dinner party, and take turns hosting. Our accommodations would be the perfect place to host dinner parties with your friends and family in our stylish communal kitchens. When shopping for food, try going later at night when lots of shops reduce items that they need to sell fast due to sell-by dates.

Buy Second-Hand Textbooks:

Textbooks aren't a negotiable item and can be a significant expense, but there are ways to cut costs. Consider buying second-hand textbooks, either from fellow students or online platforms. You can also use digital versions or utilize your university's library resources to borrow the textbooks. Some of our Fresh Accommodation sites have book swap areas, where you could find textbooks or books for entertainment.


Embrace Public Transportation:

Owning and maintaining a car can mean never-ending purchasing to fix and upkeep the car. Instead, make the most of public transportation options. Many cities in the UK offer discounted travel passes for students, providing a cost-effective and eco-friendly way to get around. You could also car share and all chip in for the petrol.


Part-Time Work:

If your schedule allows, consider a part-time job to increase your income. Look for on-campus jobs like becoming an ambassador. Not only will this help you earn some extra cash, but it can also provide you with valuable work experience for your future career.


Limit Impulse Spending:

Resist the urge to make impulse purchases. Before buying non-essential items, take a moment to consider whether you truly need them. Set spending limits for non-necessary expenses and be mindful of your financial goals.


Explore Free Events and Activities:

University life isn't just about studying – there are plenty of free events and activities you can enjoy. Attend student club meetings, explore local parks, and take advantage of free cultural events in your city. Check your social boards at your Fresh accommodation for activities such as pizza nights, a fun and free way to make friends and spend your evening. Engaging in cost-free activities will help you maintain a social life without breaking the bank.

Some of our sites have their own gyms which would mean you wouldn’t need to pay for an external gym – another bill saved!

Navigating the financial challenges of university life in the UK requires a practical approach and smart money management. By creating a budget, taking advantage of discounts, and adopting frugal habits, you can make the most of your resources and set the stage for a financially stable future. With careful planning and discipline, you can enjoy your university experience without sacrificing your financial well-being.

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