IF ‘DRY JANUARY’ IS THE MOST ACCURATE WAY YOU CAN DESCRIBE YOUR BANK BALANCE, THEN LISTEN UP: IMI BYERS HAS FOUND OUT THE BEST WAYS TO ACTUALLY SAVE YOUR STUDENT LOAN AND AVOID THE STRUGGLES OF A THIRSTY BANK ACCOUNT.
Edited by Natalie Whitmore
Not matter how much we don’t want to confront it, it’s in fact true that the festive period and all of its indulgences are officially over. After a merry month of spending on gifts, treats, and all the food you wanted to eat over Christmas, you might be finding it considerably hard to exit the spending-spree spiral.
At the start of the month, when your student loan slightly stalled your bank account from starvation, you had promised yourself that you would try and save your loan this time around. Well, there are a few things you can do to make sure that you actually save it for the next months, and aren’t wasting any unnecessary pennies:
- Online Bill Payments
If you’re living in a student house and having to tackle household bills separately to rent, you can keep it simple (and save a lot of hassle) by sorting it all out online. This paperless method means that you wont face any postage or late fees. It also means all of the numbers are easier to compare to make sure you are getting the best deal around. Use EnergyHelpline.com to make sure you aren’t missing out on savings by using a different company.
- Don’t Spend Money on Club Entry if Before a Certain Time
We’ve all been there. Eager to grab any bargain when tempted with £2 entry to an event before a certain time, only then to turn up to an empty dancefloor, being too sober to hack it and having to rely on ridiculously expensive drinks from the bar to reach a good level. You will save a lot more in the long run by getting there later and not spending so much at the bar. Also – if you arrive too early, by the time the night really kicks off you will be so bored and tired of the venue you’ll end up bailing off somewhere else anyway, which means more money on entry.
This point is probably obvious but to further emphasise how much you can save: If you spend a fiver on lunch only three times a week, it all adds up to a whopping £600 over the academic year. Think off all the jaeger bombs and holidays you can buy with that money. It’s not too hard to whip up a super quick sandwich or salad before heading off for the day. Plus, that way you can have whatever you want and aren’t limited to the canteen options. Houmous, avocado AND cheese? Yes. Yes I think I will.
- Clever Banking
All of the different sorts of bank accounts can make it so confusing when trying to sort out best ways to save on your student loan. However, doing the research is worth it and if you ever are lucky enough to have a large sum of money in your account, you can gain interest by moving some of it into a high-interest cash ISA.
- Vouchers and Discounts
The NUS card can be a godsend. It gives you so many discounts and offers on restaurants, shops and experiences. (Half price mains at Zizzi’s? Yes Please.) Also visit vouchercodes.com for other various offers you can get your paws on. It’s also worth looking out for buying in bulk and splitting the contents and price between you. Getting a box of booze as opposed to individual bottles is much cheaper if you split the price with mates to share it and can make a night so much cheaper (Also, it makes it easier to stick to the same drink all night = less of a hangover. Win, win).
- Charity Shops
Ok, I am very familiar with the fact that wearing clothes from a charity shop does involve having to slip on material that a stranger has worn, and it definitely involved awkward eye contact and an eerie silence with the store keeper when browsing but when you can buy a £30 topshop dress for £3.50. And yet, I would say it is worth it! Charity shops are also a great place to get books and other random riffraff because not only are they super-cheap but the money goes to charity!
So those are only a few ideas. Good luck with your saving for 2016!