Everyone always tries teaching you how to budget your student loan before you get to University, however, it really is a trial-and-error experience. Nevertheless, here are some useful things you can do to keep the costs down but still experience the student life.
The most important thing to do is make sure all of your bills are paid, student accommodation will usually take three payments for the year which coincide with the dates that the SLC pay you. However, for other bills e.g. your phone, it is a good idea to put that money aside, perhaps in a savings account, and transfer it monthly to make sure you don’t spend it.
When shopping for food you do not need M&S’s finest foods; unless you want to run out of money before your next SLC instalment. Instead shopping in ALDI, ASDA and other cheaper option shops will save you a lot of money, especially if you buy their own brands as oppose to well-known brands. Another tip is that if you go shopping later in the day you will find a ‘whoops’ section which encompasses the cheaper foods that either slightly damaged or have an approaching sell by date (you can freeze most bakery items and meat for a later date!).
Student discount; by far the best way to enjoy the finer things in life, like fancy clothes and good food. There a number of different student discount options and you must check beforehand if you only need your student ID card or if you need to buy a NUS card.
NUS (National Union of Students) cards are a little over £10 for the year and when you calculate how much you will save they are definitely worth it; they also offer cards lasting more than one year which work out a little cheaper. You apply online for the card which I recommend you do so early if you want your card ASAP as they can take up to a few weeks to process. Once you have it you can download an app that will show you the great online and in-store offers for many clothes shops, places to eat and things to do.
Another great app for student discount is the Student Eye App. This app is exclusive to Liverpool’s students as it gives offers for most independent places within the city. On the app you find offers for; restaurants, cafés, bars, pubs, take-outs, retail shops, events, night-life, hair and beauty, ink, barbers, gyms and activities. Also, the best part is that the app is free!