Making the most of your student loan can be tough. With the freedom of university life comes responsibility, and it’s all too easy to spend your whole loan soon after it comes in. However, by making a few smart choices you can make that loan go a little bit further, which can in turn make all the difference. Here are our top smart tips to save money as a student:
1) Buy products meant for the opposite gender
You might have heard of the “pink tax”, which describes the fact that certain women’s products cost more than their male counterparts. For example, women pay an astounding 317% more for moisturizer than men do. At the same time, a “blue tax” also exists which sees men paying more for products such as deodorant. So if you’re looking to save money on health and grooming products, then it might be worth buying products intended for the opposite sex.
2) Food shop in the evenings
A major drain on the student budget is food shopping. If you don’t fancy scouring your local frozen foods store for meat of an indeterminate origin just to save a few dollars, try shopping at your regular grocery store or supermarket in the evenings instead. Shops are more likely to discount items later on in the day so you’ve got more of a chance of bagging a decent bargain if you shop later on.
3) Buy your coffee in bulk
In college, you will no doubt be fueling yourself with huge amounts of coffee to get those assignments in on time or to study for that class that you’ve been neglecting for way too long. If you’re visiting your local artisan coffee shop every time you want a caffeine buzz, you’re quickly going to drain your resources. Depending on where you live, you may be luckier or unluckier, as a recent survey by Couponbox showed that the prices of Starbucks coffee vary worldwide, from $6.06 for a cappuccino in Switzerland to $2.85 in Warsaw, Poland. In general though, coffee is much cheaper when bought in bulk than in store. You might want to give this a try so that you can enjoy quality coffee at home without breaking the bank.
4) Stop smoking
With the amount of tax on tobacco, smoking is a hugely expensive habit. If you care about your health and your wallet it’s worth cutting down or even stopping altogether. The smokefree.gov website has resources that can help and information about nicotine replacement therapy like patches and gum.
5) Go to a barber training school
It can be tempting to fork out a huge amount of money to get a new do and look your best. This might not always be possible if you’re tight on money after blowing your last bit of cash. If you’re bold enough to trust trainee barbers with your hair, then you might end up saving a good amount of money – or even getting a new look for free.
6) Take advantage of discounts
A few generous companies out there know how hard it can be for students. Cash in on Spotify’s 50% off for students deal; Amazon’s “Prime Student” membership which offers free two-day shipping on millions of items and Amazon’s streaming service; and Asos’s 10% discount for students.
When you first get your student loan it can be tempting to indulge in the finer things in life to enjoy your new found freedom. There’s nothing worse than finding yourself broke a few weeks into the semester though – so take note of these money saving tips and save yourself having to pay a visit to the bank of mom and dad.