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How to live on a student budget

Residing in a new country is an exciting experience, you will be studying, exploring and making friends.

However, you need to be able to manage your money. Here are some ways you can save money in the UK while still having a great time.

  1. Buy used
    Buying used is a great way to save money when you are a student. Two items that are usually excellent used items are textbooks and furniture.

    • Check out second-hand bookshop, social media pages and online sites! You can also sell your books when you’ve finished for extra cash!
    • Scavenging through the internet, the local tip shop or op shop can save you a lot of money, and you can get some great furniture, especially in upmarket suburbs. A splash of paint or stain can really change a piece. You might even find renovating furniture to be a lot of fun!
  2. Buy home brand food
    Buying the cheap brand of food can save you a lot of money on your weekly shop. Most cheap brands are high quality, and you wouldn’t know the difference in taste.
  3. Drink water
    Having water during the day instead of buying drinks will save you money and also is a healthier option. Remember that you can drink out of the tap in the UK.
  4. Eat out less
    Get creative in the kitchen and start planning your lunches. Spending £5 a day on lunch can add up very quickly over time.
  5. Find free entertainment
    There are plenty of free events and activities in the UK. You could go to the park, read in the library, visit one of the many cultural festivals, get involved in an outdoor activity, explore different parts of the cities or learn about world history at the many museums.
  6. Use your student ID everywhere
    Many retail stores, adventure parks, cinemas and restaurants have student discounts at the presentation of your ID card. This may be restricted to certain days. However, most have the offer all year round.
  7. Set up direct debit bills
    Once you know the cost of the bill, direct debit is an easier and cheaper way to pay your bills. However, make sure you always have the correct amount in your account otherwise you could be charged an overdrawn fee.
  8. Research your transport options
    Look into which transport options is the most convenient and cheapest. Also, make sure you use concession ticketing. It is also a good idea to see if anyone wants to carpool and share the costs of fuel and parking.
  9. Buy a British SIM card for your phone
    A UK SIM will save you a lot of money when texting and making calls within the UK. For international calls, it is a good idea to look at free online chat tools like Skype, Social Media and WeChat
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