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Back to Uni: How to Keep to Your Student Budget

02 August 2019

Heading to, or back to university this year? Most students survive university by relying on their student loans - welcome windfalls of money distributed far too sparsely throughout the year in the opinions of many. It can be difficult to make the whole lot last until your next instalment, especially considering that it has been estimated the average student budget to hit around £1,032.50 monthly (excluding nights out)!

So, here are a few tips to help you stay smart with your money and get by easily on a basic student budget in the meantime, courtesy of B&M stores.

Budget-Friendly Food and Drink Tips

Meal prep

how to budget as a student

This is a great way to keep on top of your nutrition as well as saving tons of money. Grabbing a cheap lunchbox or two and planning your meals based on an average student budget per week - focusing on a few simple ingredients - works like a charm when you’re watching the pennies.

Eat on the cheap

It isn’t just a rumour - when you’re scraping the bottom of your overdraft, nothing comes to the rescue quite like instant noodles. Add some super-cheap frozen veg to get the vitamins you still definitely need!

Replace your luxuries

hot tea flask

Are you guilty of a slight addiction to venti lattes with all the syrups? Every little bit adds up, and fancy coffees can really melt a hole in the average student budget per week! Even if it’s just for the hard times, consider picking up a thermally insulated flask and a big tub of instant coffee. Feel free to add your own flavouring at home!

Have nights in

Yes, uni is the time to party. But drinks prices on a night out are many times more expensive than enjoying a few bevvies back at halls with your flatmates. Plus, factoring in taxi fares and entry costs, going out can really set you back. Going big here is also a good idea - maybe put together a flat party fund, and spend it on larger crates. You’ll be paying a lot less per can or bottle that way!

Don’t Overspend on the Basics

Buy in bulk

detergent

It may feel like a big hit at the time, but buying large quantities of necessities when you’re feeling flush can really help you through the hard times. Whether it’s food staples with a long shelf-life or household essentials like detergent and fabric softener, remember to pick up useful items each time you receive a financial boost.

Seek out cheap alternatives 

The time for designer clothing will come. Right now, if your wardrobe is looking a little threadbare, take a look in stores that stock branded products for less, like B&M. Picking up specialist sturdy items can also reduce the impact of wear and tear on your wardrobe and other belongings. For example, opting for sports socks instead of regular socks will not only add comfort, but they’re designed to be put under a bit of strain.

How to Cut Costs at Uni

Be savvy

Firstly, you should make sure to grab a TOTUM student discount card and always check where you can get money off. Throughout the year, you can save loads doing this!

Make a spreadsheet and set a limit for how much you want to spend each month. Include everything from rent and bills to toiletries, and set an achievable target for how much you’ll try to stick to when it comes to luxuries and nights out!

Start Saving

With each instalment of your student loan, take a little out of your weekly student budget and put it away. Whether this means opening a separate account that you don’t touch or simply popping a few quid into a piggy bank, it will all add up.

B&M Top Tip: When it comes to reducing the amount you dig into your university student budget, it doesn’t come easier than taking your pick of household goods, food and drinks from our everyday essentials selection!

Have you got an ingenious saving technique that helps to keep your university student budget in check? Share it with the B&M Community via Twitter, Facebook or Instagram!


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