Being a student doesn’t have to mean being constantly broke, so we’ve asked The Boar’s senior team for their best budgeting tips.
Get cooking – Kate Rice
The worst budgeting mistake I made in my first year was rarely cooking. You‘re living on your own now, so that means you’ve got to give yourself the “we’ve got food at home” talk. Even when you can’t be bothered, if you don’t cook your money will absolutely disappear into takeaways, the Dirty Duck, and mediocre instant ramen. Going out for food with mates is always fun, but be careful to not slip into a habit of ordering a new meal four times a week!
Have impulse control – Jasmine Parker
The best thing you can do to save money at university is to have impulse control! It’s so easy to get sucked into sales or to buy loads of snacks you don’t need when you go to the supermarket, so whenever I want to buy something I always ask myself: do I really need this? And nine times out of ten the answer is no.
Plan meals in advance – Meg Seymour
The biggest tip I can give for budgeting as a student is to plan. Planning your meals is a great way to save money, as it not only keeps the bills down, but prevents unnecessary waste too. If you want to take this even further, you can write your shopping list in the order that you plan to go around the shop, ensuring that you buy only what you need, and that you don’t get drawn in by those pesky offers.
Don’t buy food on campus – George Campkin
Like Kate, my tip is to try not to buy too much food on campus – it ends up costing way more than you think and can be fairly easily avoided. Instead, you could try bringing in a packed lunch or leftovers from something you’ve managed to rustle up lots of! If you don’t have time for that (i.e. rolled out of bed just in time for your 9am), I’d recommend the Library Café for a very decent-sized meal for about a fiver.
Buy in bulk – Alex Byrne
As with many new students, careful budgeting was a skill I had to learn. Yet, I do have one big tip that has helped me out a lot: buy in bulk. As an example, my flatmate and I discovered that we could buy 5/10kg bags of rice relatively cheaply and save lots of money on simple dishes. If you are as incapable a cook as me, looking up cheap rice dishes and cycling through a few has kept me well-fed for most of my time at uni.