I am currently at the end of my second year of University and one of the main things that I have learned in the past two years is that saving money is hard, especially when you don't have a lot of it in the first place. Anyone that knows me will know that I have a bit of a spending problem and this is something that I have really been trying to deal with and minimise as much as I can over the last couple of months, as we've been saving to move into our own house in September and I've been putting all of my money back for things like furniture and bills. So, let's talk about how to save money as a student...

how to save money as a student justalittlebitoflauryn

No spend days

Obviously, one of the easiest ways to save money is by not spending it in the first place. I try to have at least one 'no spend day' a week because it definitely makes a difference. Especially considering you never actually realise how much you're spending per week on quick snacks in the campus shop and coffees at Costa. It all adds up and so, making sure you always have a snack in your bag and just making the most of what is actually in your food cupboards is a really good way to save some money.

Make a shopping list before you go food shopping

This will always be one of my top tips for saving money. In food shops, especially when they are busy, I used to get quite stressed and so, I'd just throw everything and anything into my trolley, not think properly about what meals I could make with the food I'm buying and then spend about double the price of what I wanted to spend in the first place. Not ideal. At the beginning of second year, I started to write shopping lists and meal plans for the week before I went food shopping and this has helped me to save so much as I know exactly what I need, and I'm not just buying things for the sake of it.

Do your food shop in the evenings 

Due to my schedule, this isn't one that I often do but I know that it can be really beneficial for those who do. By waiting until about 6pm to do your food shop, you're entering the store right as they are starting to mark things as reduced. This can obviously be really beneficial to your bank account because you're paying such a small amount for something that would have actually been a lot more. If you're on a tight budget, I would definitely recommend doing this. 

Make the most of all of the student discounts

An obvious one, but one that can not be said enough. UNiDAYS, Student Beans, your uni ID card... they can all help you to save that money. A lot of places offer student discount, even if they don't advertise it and so, it's always worth checking before paying. Although, I would maybe argue that the ASOS student discount does my bank account more harm than good...

Purchase a Railcard

If you're travelling a lot by train and you don't have a railcard, you should probably add that to the top of your 'to buy' list as it can save you so much money in the long run. For only £30 per year, you can make so many savings. For example, when I book a train from Exeter to Reading, I usually save the amount I spend for my one-year railcard in just one journey so really, you can't go wrong. My other tip regarding railcards is to get an online one and the app instead of the paper one because I had a paper one for years and I always lost it and it just stressed me out as it was just something else to remember before a journey so it's definitely made my life easier by having it on my phone.

Use the library or buy pre-owned books

Before I started University, I read the reading lists and started stressing about how much the books were going to cost and how I'd be in my overdraft before I even started. 2 years in and I haven't bought a single book. I can't speak for all courses but for mine and a lot of others at Exeter, the books are made available in the library, either as an online format that you can read from home or a physical copy that you can rent out. Although, make sure you get in there quick because I've found that sometimes, there are only like 2 books available (doesn't really make sense when the course has 300 people on but yknow). If you can't get the book in the library, most Universities have a group for people selling pre-owned books for a fraction of the price which makes a lot more sense than spending like £50 on a book that you're only going to use for one module. 

Sell your old clothes on Depop and Ebay

If you're in need of making some money, selling some of your old clothes is always a good idea. Obviously, Depop and Ebay aren't the only places that you can do this but finding a selling site that works for you can be really beneficial as you're making some money while clearing some space in your probably already full room because let's be real, student houses are not the biggest. 

Track your spending and check your statements regularly

We are all aware that this isn't the most exciting thing to do but it's so important in order to see where your money is actually going. It's too easy to pay for something with contactless and completely forget about it, but this is usually where everything can end up going wrong. Being aware of what you're spending your money on is the best way to save some money. 

Do you have any tips on how to save money as a student?