Check out some top tips for budgeting whilst at university from Leyla, our Student Content Creator.
Use discount cards
Many shops have discount cards available for students. These can range from student discount, advantages and point collections. Many are available on your phone, such as Unidays, Boots, Pret and Co-op. Sometimes, shops even have discounts if you show them your Student ID so it is always worth asking. My personal favourite is the Boots advantage card, which gives you reduced prices, offers and points that can add up to spending money.
Buy your veggies from Grainger Market
Grainger Market is a must-go as a student. Not only are there cheap places to eat (perhaps for another blog post!) but the vegetables they sell there are much cheaper than going to any supermarket. By doing this, you are supporting local businesses and they tend to produce seasonally without plastic, meaning you are helping the environment at the same time. I would say I spend a maximum of £15 per week to buy my normal fruit and vegetables.
(Left: £1.20/kg satsumas at Grainger Market)
Charity shop for your new clothes
In the same vein as Grainger Market, charity shops are excellent for saving your costs. They stop the fast fashion industry, benefiting the environment, and you can find some hidden gems in Newcastle’s many charity shops. Check out the British Heart Foundation, Oxfam and Amnesty International Bookshop for some of your clothing necessities, books and winter balls.
(Right: My favourite find in a charity shop in Newcastle!)
Cook from home
Eating out, ordering in or even buying a meal deal on a daily basis is costly. Therefore, I recommend cooking big enough portions to bring lunch with you the next day. If you are not a fan of cooking, you can batch cook on one day or strike up a washing up deal with one of your chef flatmates. There are several microwaves dotted around campus, including in the Phillip Robinson and Marjorie Robinson library and the Student Hub on the third floor of the SU to ensure you have a hot meal as it gets colder.
Set up a budget
Though potentially the most boring, setting up a budget is probably the best tip to save money. If you dedicate one hour to set up your budget, you’re all sorted for the year. Decide how much you want to spend per week or per month and break it down from there.
For mine, I used Excel. I have a row per week with a section to record how much I spent throughout, called my spending breakdown, the total spending at the end of the week and the money left over if I didn’t spend the entire amount I allocated myself. Look below for the example budget I made!
Check out my 5 budgeting tips video on TikTok too!
Especially as you transition to handling your own money, budgeting can seem intimidating. If you are still struggling, please refer to the Student Services Cost of Living Hub for more advice.
By Leyla, third-year English Literature, Language & Linguistics student and Student Content Creator