It can be so tempting to fritter away money on things you don’t need. If you’re having a bad day or stressful week, splashing out on a new top or a takeaway pizza can feel like the best way of taking the edge off, but you might not thank yourself the next time you check your bank balance. While you should allow yourself some room for treats in your budget, clothes and food are areas where students often overspend; so stop feeling guilty and take steps to mend these habits.
Next time you want a new outfit, try looking for second-hand clothes at your local charity shop instead of hitting the high street.
Consider swishing – swapping unwanted clothes or accessories with others without spending any money. Check to see whether there are any events near you or set something up with your friends – it helps if you are similar sizes and have similar tastes in fashion.
If you’re bored of your current wardrobe, try upcycling; see Save the Student for tips. Don’t forget to search YouTube too for countless guides on upcycling, as well as demonstrations of the basics such as sewing on a button or repairing holes.
Instead of spending lots on takeaways or eating out, grab a (virtual) cookbook and start trying out the many cheap and easy recipes you could make at home. The Skint Dad website has ‘fakeaway’ recipes for those counting their pennies, and see Student recipes, BBC Good food, Good Housekeeping, Food Network, and the Independent websites, as well as our ‘Cooking vs Takeaway’ post for further cooking inspiration.
If you do want to eat out on a budget, consider Elsie’s – a local ‘pay as you feel’ café using food that would otherwise have gone to waste. You’ll have a great meal and will have done your bit for reducing food waste too, what’s not to like?
Ease your environmental conscience as well as saving money: visit Love Food Hate Waste for tips on making the most of your freezer, ways to save money on your food bill, and lots of recipe ideas. Save the Student has tips and recipes to rescue food before it hits the bin. Remember that wasting food is wasting cash!
If you’re skint but hungry, use the free Olio app to collect any surplus food for no charge from local businesses or your neighbours which otherwise would have been thrown away.
Don’t forget that the Multi-faith Chaplaincy on campus provides free tea and coffee – as well as lunches every Monday for students.
Do you have any tips on mending your spending habits? Let us know and they may be featured on this blog.