Top Tips for Saving Money as a Student at the University of Reading

hand putting coins in a pink piggybank

University is an exciting part of life, giving way to valuable learning opportunities, personal growth, and unforgettable experiences. However, the combination of accommodation costs and everyday expenses coupled with the cost-of-living crisis can make University life financially challenging for a lot of students. Therefore, in this blog, I’ll guide you through some of the most effective money-saving strategies to save and maintain financial stability. 

First and foremost, one of the most overlooked yet effective ways a student can save money whilst at university is simply by budgeting. Not only does it equip you with essential money management skills, but it also unveils areas where you might be overspending. Understanding your income, when you’ll receive it, and how long it needs to last is vital for smart financial planning and to make this task easier, numerous budgeting apps like Mint or Snoop offer a great solution to tracking your finances.  

Moving on, it goes without saying that food shopping can be one of the biggest expenses whilst living at university. Most grocery shops like Tesco, Asda and Lidl have club cards or rewards systems that offer products at lower prices making it an excellent way to save money, it’s important to also keep in mind that grocery stores like Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury can be considerably more expensive than Aldi or Lidl which offer off-brand products at a cheaper price making it a suitable option for students. Additionally, at most supermarkets, you can also find a clearance section that offers largely discounted products that are close to their sell-by date making it a golden opportunity to buy what you need at a fraction of their regular price.  

Eating healthily on a student budget can also be difficult but is achievable for students that know exactly what to make. Spaghetti Bolognese is an easy-to-cook, fast and cheap recipe that you could adopt. The main ingredients include spaghetti, minced beef, onion and tomato sauce. Assuming that we’re shopping at Aldi, a meal like this would cost £5.47 and altogether come to about 4 meals. Other easy meals that are quick and tasty include chicken wraps, burgers, chicken and rice and pesto pasta. By cooking at home, preparing meals in advance, and incorporating low-cost recipes into your menu with a little planning and creativity, you can enjoy delicious and nutritious meals that don’t drain your finances. 

Ultimately saving money can only go so far and we all need money coming in to be able to spend and budget, so getting a part-time job or internship can prove to be extremely helpful for students. A part-time job won’t just provide you with a steady and constant stream of income but also provide you with valuable work experience that you could place on your CV. On the other hand, an internship is another beneficial way in which you could gain paid and relevant experience in a sector of your interest whether that be finance, healthcare, government etc with some internships are willing to fast-track interns to graduate schemes after university making it certainly worth looking into.

In conclusion, there are multiple ways in which students can save money, by implementing these tips you’ll surely be able to establish responsible financial habits during your university years and long after graduation. However, if you find yourself still struggling, don’t hesitate to reach out for support, The University of Reading offers various resources, such as bursaries and student support funds.

You can explore additional resources on financial literacy and savings by checking out financial management apps and websites, and consider sharing this blog with friends who can benefit from these tips.  

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