HOW TO DO UNI ON A BUDGET PART 1
Okay so maybe you've just got accepted into university for this coming September ? or maybe you're already a uni student who can't quite tighten your purse strings?
It is no joke when they tell you that going to uni will make you broke and when I say broke I literally mean broke. The kind of broke where you can no longer afford fancy lunches out with your friends every week and the kind of broke where you decide to have a nap for dinner. Well folks, when I tell you that all is not lost would you believe me? Yes it is possible to do most (but not all) of the things that you want to do at uni if you budget more strategically, this means ditching M&S for Aldi and getting more for your money.
So here is a compilation of 5 useful ways that you can do uni on a budget.
This can include anything from the likes of changing your regular expensive supermarket to shopping online and splitting the costs with your pals. If you find that you're an impulse buyer, like myself then this might particularly benefit you as you will not be tempted to grab loads of random items (that you don't need) from the till point. Sometimes you may find that you only need a few little bits, in which case clubbing together with your house mates to split the delivery costs may work in your favour.
The way that I see it is if I budget around £30 for a weeks worth of food then I can spend my additional money that I have left over on going out and doing fun things with my friends.
Another way that you can do uni on a budget, is by simply saying "no" to plans that maybe you've been forced into going to and at the time you politely agreed but you don't actually want to go. I think this is a big problem with people at uni because many of you have only just settled in so you're still trying to "find your feet" plus you're lumbered with the struggles of moving away from home and being pushed out into the big wide world by yourselves. Some of you may want to impress your peers and be well-liked, this is fine but you should feel comfortable enough to say no to things without worrying about what the other people may think of you for not going.
At the end of the day it is for you to weigh it up and make your own choices but for me I would much rather go to an event that I actually want to go to rather than going to something that I won't enjoy just to impress other people, plus you will save sooo much more money just by simply saying "no". I remember when I first started uni, I was a little bit like this because I struggled to say no to plans and went to everything just because everyone else was! Now, I will say no to a lot more events and not care about missing out at all.
Okay so lets suppose that your loan has just dropped and you have a dnb event on Friday that you still need to find an outfit for, what are you going to do? Well.. obviously head to Depop and spend the majority of your loan on some wavey garms.
Depop is one of the best apps for selling and purchasing quirky clothes at a discounted price. If you're looking to make some money fast and have a few key designer pieces in your wardrobe then you should definitely consider using Depop because you don't have to go through the whole auction process like Ebay and it is geared more towards younger people so you're more likely to get a response quicker! Alternatively, if you're looking for a few bargains and won't max out your overdraft then cop a few Depop garms and do uni on a budget.
Alright I will be honest, I am yet to try one of these bad boys but so many of my friends at uni have one and they say that it makes budgeting 10x easier. If you don't already know a pre-paid card is essentially a top up card and means you will always stay within your budget. The best thing about them are that you have no interest to pay back and no "unexpected" charges to catch you out. If you're wondering about going into your overdraft too much then a pre-paid card might be the solution for you.
If you decide to go on a night out and don't want to spend endless amounts of money that you don't have on drinks for yourself and other people, then you can just take your pre-paid card along with you and then use the Uber app for taxis to get home.
So it is inevitable that by the time you finish reading this that you're thinking "I have a job or I have more money than the average student so I don't need to budget" or even "I just really like eating out". Well if there's one thing that you should take from this blog post on how to do uni on a budget, then it's that you should all download the app UNiDays (unfortunately this isn't sponsored btw) but you can get so many good restaurant deals from the likes of Zizzi Italian, Ask Italian and Chiquitos. It also means that if you're saving between 25%-40% off the bill that you can spend on some cool clothes or event tickets!
My final piece of advice is not to restrict yourself from everything, if you want to spend half of your overdraft on a new coat and then not be able to pay your rent for the next month then you do that, just don't blame me when it goes wrong. Have fun and enjoy yourselves whilst you still can but don't over do it!
Do any of you go to uni? And if so do you have any useful methods of how to budget and most importantly do you stick to them? I would love to hear back from you in the comments below. Thank you all so much for reading, I appreciate it!
Love Leah xx