Living on less money is something you have to get used to when you’re a student. Unless you happen to have very rich, generous parents the chances are you will be trying to make your student loan stretch further. Even if you get a part-time job it can sometimes be hard to make ends meet, especially if you’re a bit of a party animal and have a very active social life. However, if you want to avoid getting into excessive debt it is worth looking for ways to save money, as otherwise you might still be trying to pay off your debt when you’re in your sixties!
You therefore have to be prepared to start budgeting, so that you are able to ascertain how much money you have available to spend each month before deciding how to spend that money. There are obviously certain expenditures that you cannot avoid, such as rent, utility and grocery bills. Student housing is relatively cheap and if you share a house with friends it shouldn’t be too expensive to rent, while you are able to share other bills as well, such as those which come with telephone, gas and electricity.
As far as grocery shopping goes you may share the costs with your housemates, or you may prefer to buy your own. Either way, you can save money if you buy certain items, such as pasta and toilet rolls, in bulk. You should try to limit the number of microwaveable meals you purchase and stay away from fast food as much as possible, as the convenience of this kind of food comes at a price. You should also avoid the most expensive brands and opt for own brands where possible.
The biggest savings are likely to be had from your social life. Clearly, if you decide to go out less you probably won’t spend as much money to get into clubs and on alcohol. You don’t have to abandon your social life altogether, but there are other ways you can spend your time with friends. Even if you decide that you still want to drink you could always buy some alcohol from a supermarket, where it is much cheaper, and have a few before going out.
There are, no doubt, other areas where you could save money and so you need to think about how much money you spend on clothes, music and other items. It is still possible to buy these things, but you have to budget for them and perhaps choose cheaper alternatives. Thus, to live on less money when you’re a student you simply have to give more consideration to where your money goes and look for savings where you can.