5 ways to keep living costs down at University

For the majority of you, going to university will be an exciting experience and your first real experience of independence. It may also be first time you have to manage your finances alone so if you’re struggling to keep out of your overdraft, then here’s a few tips to keep costs down.

Party hard but wise

If you’re new to Uni then I’m sure you’re aware that one of the main perks of living away from home is the social life. For many this will mean blowing your student loan and either sponging off parents after this, or being skint for the remainder of the semester! The best way to get around this is moderation, play it wise and you can have a decent social life without breaking the bank.

Fresher’s week might be a tricky one to plan, as there are parties on every night of the week, no lectures and probably a lot of takeaways which means you’re likely to spend lots. The positive side of this is that everywhere will be competing to get your custom. Bars, clubs, and takeaways will all be running special deals to try and get you in each night, in the hope you will make it a regular occurrence! This also is the time you’ll make the most friends (remember, everyone is in the same boat as you so this will be easy).

Once Freshers is out of the way everything will calm down. From thereon, try and avoid the kebab house on the way home, think ahead and buy some pizza in advance, in the long run you’ll be shocked how much you can save!

Shop sensibly

There are supermarkets within walking distance of most Sheffield university accommodation but alternatively, many supermarkets offer discount for your first home delivery so take advantage of as many of these offers as you can (You may have to pay a minimum spend on the order so share the shop between your housemates to get the price up). If each of you use the offers available then you will be going for a while before you have to make a non-discounted order! Don’t be afraid of cooking too much food either cook in bulk and save some for lunch the next day! Forget pricey meal deals, nothing beats a reheated cottage pie!

Transport

Getting around the city can be difficult at times with traffic, especially for getting to those 9am lectures! A time and cost saver is investing in a bike, most student accommodation will have plenty of bike racks available. If you already have a bike then even more of a saving, if not check the local pages on social media or local papers and see if you can bag yourself a bargain!!

Textbooks

Once you’ve decided your course you’ll be expected so shell out for a number of textbooks depending on what it is you’re studying. It always pays to check online first to see if you can get used ones, some may have annotations etc. but for the amount you can save it be worth it! Another alternative is to go to the Uni library which also may have the books you need. I know it may not sound cool but you may also be more productive in the library where there are fewer distractions.

The final commandment: Thou shall not forget student discount

Get yourself a student discount card as soon as you start. Don’t be afraid of asking places if they offer student discount! From Museums to Nightclubs the discount possibilities are endless. You may even occasionally pick up some freebies so be sure to carry it with you at all times if you do invest in one. Never forget!!

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