Postgraduate qualifications can be an expensive thing, and although there are many funding options available, it’s still worth trying to save money whenever you can.
But constantly turning down nights out and being known as the ‘cheap friend’ is never a good thing. Here are some easy ways to save money that won’t make your friends roll their eyes at you.
Books for postgrad courses can wipe out your money before you’ve even got it in your bank account, so it’s always worth asking around to see if anyone already owns the books you want. Ask if they’re willing to lend them to you, or at least sell for a ‘mates rate’ amount.
They’ll also be able to tell you about books they say you need but don’t (there’s always at least one you never actually need, and they normally cost the most), and may even pass on other tips on how to save money while you’re studying.
It’s time to think like an undergraduate and the key to this is timing. Before anyone can suggest a pub crawl or anything else that starts with the phrase, ‘a massive night out’, ask your friends if they’d like to have a night in round your house. Even if you cook a meal and have a few drinks, it’ll still be cheaper.
Although you don’t want to be cooped up at home all the time, so it’s also worth checking out free events in your area during the week too. That way you’re still saving money but without being stuck indoors all the time.
If there’s one thing the internet is good for, it’s websites that specialise in providing discount vouchers/codes. Some sites primarily exist to give you discount codes for items, so if you’re shopping somewhere in particular, it’s always worth having a quick Google to see if there are any discount codes knocking about, you may even find the odd freebie!
And although it’s corny, picking the sales assistant up on their offer of a free loyalty card is always worth doing. Even if it means having a free burrito once every 6 months, or taking over a year to earn enough points for a loaf of bread, it’s still one less thing to spend your money on.
Food is cheaper if you buy it in bulk, and it can be even cheaper if you buy the supermarket’s own version of the food which tastes the same but has rubbish looking packaging. Obviously it’s worth bulk buying things that take ages to go off, rather than fresh fruit and veg which could just end up rotting in your fridge and growing suspicious looking mould.
And to make sure you use all this massive amounts of food, cook as much as you can at home rather than relying on the pizza delivery man.
It’s always worth having a monthly look at your direct debits to see if you’ve got anything coming out which you don’t actually use or even want.
Got a gym membership but haven’t gone in over a year? Might want to stop paying for that. Got four different types of TV subscription memberships? Maybe cut down to the one you use the most or do what some students do and offer to add a friend to your Netflix account if they add you to their Prime Video account!
Oh and check to see if your debit card offers you cash back rewards. They can also be very handy when it comes to saving money too.
For things that you just have to have, it’s always worth trying to see if it’s available second hand first. Charity shops and sites like Amazon and Ebay can be goldmines, especially when it comes to non essentials like books, DVDs and things to make your postgrad house more homely.
When it comes to certain items like insurance, your car, your bank account and even your phone bill, never assume you’re getting the best deal. Price comparison websites exist for this very reason so take your time and shop around before parting with your cash.
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