Here we go again, another article coaxing millennials to save money that probably has references to Rich Dad, Poor Dad. Or so you’d think. However, I am no financial expert, nor have I ever read Robert Kiyosaki’s book. I was once a student with a poor financial prognosis and the concept of saving seemed so futile. But I was also an entitled bratty student who wanted to travel and catch gigs without guilt, and I couldn’t do any of that if I had not figured out a better way to save my pocket money.
As a former university student in the UK, I went through great lengths to save money and I successfully managed to save for all of my travels. So forget about finding a “sugar daddy”, or asking money from your parents. Instead, here are 8 things you can do to save more:
Cut the bill costs (and avoid arguing about the bills with your housemates)
Our gas and electricity bills were the ones that really took a toll on us, especially during colder winter months. So we scheduled specific times to heat our house, particularly when we were mostly at home and we learned that this really made a difference.
Other ways you could cut your costs is to wash your clothes once a week and forget about the tumble dryer. This actually saved us a lot of money. Halfway through first year each of us had to pay at least £90 for the electricity bills not knowing that the tumble dryer was forking out our money.
Sell your old textbooks & buy second hands, or just borrow from the library
I remember buying every single law book that were listed for our readings in my first year and it carried a hefty price check. The next year, I’d learned to save by buying second hand textbooks from my seniors. So if your course has a Facebook group page, you could ask around if they have textbooks they would like to sell or if anyone would want to buy books off of you.
Another option would be to regularly borrow books from the library, which does require a lot of effort and sometimes excellent hiding skills if the books are limited.
Save spare change
A habit I’ve had since I was a kid was collecting coins until they were enough to get me a Mr Softy ice cream and once a $16 Funky Friends pencil case (back when this was a luxury to me). So if you’re the type who would just leave change in between sofa cushions forgetting that it is actual money-DON’T! Spare change is good enough to pay for your weekend laundry if you ever need to send them off to the laundromats.
Know your discounts & save some coupons
Never forget to bring your student ID wherever you go as very often you could present your student ID to get discounts everywhere from retail shops, restaurants to cinemas. Another habit is to never throw your grocery shopping receipts away since some stores give you discounts for your next purchase if you retain your receipts.
- Ask your graduating friends if they have food to give away
Okay, this only works if you: (A) Actually know these people, otherwise it would just be weird if you’re asking strangers for free food; AND (B) They’re graduating and still have lots of food to finish.
During my second year I made plans to travel during every holiday I had, and I knew that I had to save up a lot. I was lucky enough to know many of the seniors who gave away their food before they graduated and I didn’t have to buy groceries for a few weeks because of this.
Take part of student surveys to make some cash
I’ve signed up for students’ experiments and surveys that would pay me anywhere from £2 to an Amazon shopping gift card.
Make your own coffee
We had a Starbucks on campus and I used to purchase a cup nearly every day when I happened to be on campus. I moved on from that habit, and instead had a £30 coffee machine from Argos (which still works) brewing me coffee every morning before lectures, saving me at least £15-£20 a week.
Say no to dining out
This is common sense but it can be pretty difficult if one is so accustomed to going out to eat with friends. Despite this, there are other ways you could save some money and still have your social life like cooking dinner together with friends.