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Great 'Your Top Tips For New Uni Students' Hunt

edited 18 August 2009 at 9:27PM in Student Money Saving
77 replies 35K views
MSE_ArchnaMSE_Archna Senior ResearcherFormer MSE
1.9K posts
MSE Staff
edited 18 August 2009 at 9:27PM in Student Money Saving
Starting uni can be a daunting experience and if it's your first time away from home there's a lot to contend with. So we thought we'd tap experienced MoneySavers' knowledge for their top tips for new students.

What do you wish you'd known before you moved away? What should no student be without? What are your top tips for making your student loan stretch?

Click reply to add your tips.

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  • edited 21 August 2009 at 11:21AM
    bc3000bc3000 Forumite
    758 posts
    edited 21 August 2009 at 11:21AM
    The best thing to do is to make sure you know how to cook! Make a meal as if it was for the whole family but just freeze it into portions and then you have a meal ready to eat for when you can't be bothered to cook, and it's cheaper to do it that way too :) Also for the moment Top Cash Back are doing a decent amount of cashback for the first time you shop with Tesco/Sainsburys online, AFAIK its about £12 for Tesco atm (I Think), pair that with a code found on these forums for some more money off and you've got yourself some free food :)

  • edited 25 August 2009 at 9:07PM
    gemmacarolyngemmacarolyn Forumite
    1.3K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Photogenic
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    edited 25 August 2009 at 9:07PM
    To make some extra money while I was studying, I worked for the alumni office, calling grads and asking whether they would like to donate time/money/expertise to the Uni, and keeping them up to date with their college etc. Since I was working for the Uni the hours were very flexible, and I never had to work during exam time. It was on campus, so I had no travel costs either. As I understand it, most Unis do something similar, so look out for ads in the SU, or go and ask! It was a great laugh, and I worked for some lovely people who really understood my concerns with working and studying :)
    Latest Wins: £1500, £500 John Lewis voucher, bath time hamper, Dashcam & car cleaning kit, 18 of the latest DVDs, PS4 headset, 6 month Spotify membership, Now TV vouchers, Easter baking hamper

    Thanks to all who kindly share competitions!
  • gemmacarolyngemmacarolyn Forumite
    1.3K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Photogenic
    ✭✭✭
    Top Cash Back are doing a decent amount of cashback for the first time you shop with Tesco/Sainsburys online, AFAIK its about £12 for Tesco atm (I Think), pair that with a code found on these forums for some more money off and you've got yourself some free food :)

    This is a great suggestion! I used to shop online, as it was MUCH easier than getting the bus into the town. If you shop with friends, you can often take advantage of BOGOF offers and split the cost! It also means you only pay a fraction of the delivery cost-for me it was actually cheaper than getting the bus!
    Latest Wins: £1500, £500 John Lewis voucher, bath time hamper, Dashcam & car cleaning kit, 18 of the latest DVDs, PS4 headset, 6 month Spotify membership, Now TV vouchers, Easter baking hamper

    Thanks to all who kindly share competitions!
  • At the freshers fair, you will be offered many many credit cards. DO NOT GET ONE unless you are very capable of paying it off every month and not ending up with a huge bill like I did. Oh and don't then take out a graduate loan to pay it off and then keep spending on it.... :rolleyes:

    My debt free diary
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  • sjb92sjb92 Forumite
    55 posts
    Join a uni sports club. Membership is often slightly subsidised by the uni, so chances are you'll never be able to play sport this cheaply again. It's also a really good way to meet people, and as you may never have so much free time again it's also a great time to learn a new sport.
  • angryangry Forumite
    42 posts
    Get a rug.
    It will make your dorm room look and feel so much more like a home.

    Also, this definitely isn't a money saving tip, but... Don't let money hold you back in freshers' week! This isn't like any other week - the idea is to meet new people and experience new things. There'll be plenty of time for saving money later (ie the other 51 weeks of the year), but freshers' week is a rare thing you should try to enjoy as much as you can.
  • forgeryforgery Forumite
    82 posts
    If you can, find the nearest iceland!! Amazing place for real budget eating!! Spend £5 on 4 chicken pies, 12 potatoe waffles and 6 tins of beans! That with top ups from the reduced isle in other supermarkets you'll never be short of a meal! That's what I do anyway :)
  • Go shopping late in the day when stuff is reduced. Great bargains can also be had a places like Poundland and Home Bargains.
  • edited 21 August 2009 at 11:12AM
    SueyDSueyD Forumite
    1 posts
    edited 21 August 2009 at 11:12AM
    To make some extra money while I was studying, I worked for the alumni office, calling grads and asking whether they would like to donate time/money/expertise to the Uni, and keeping them up to date with their college etc. Since I was working for the Uni the hours were very flexible, and I never had to work during exam time. It was on campus, so I had no travel costs either. As I understand it, most Unis do something similar, so look out for ads in the SU, or go and ask! It was a great laugh, and I worked for some lovely people who really understood my concerns with working and studying :)



    Here, here! You need to think carefully about how much you can manage to work without affecting your studies though. However it is worth while, as soon as you get there, to check out the part-time work situation as jobs tend to go quickly. There is likely to be a job shop which is run by the Careers Office or the Students Union. The Careers Service will also be a source of summer work which might pay more than typical shop work. Both part-time term-time and summer jobs improve your CV which will make you more employable at the end of your course.

    Take advantage of the range of activities the Careers Service offers because the earlier you start working out what you want to do the more likely it is you will get a job at the end of your course. There is a lot of help available to students from Careers Services in universities to help them improve their CV and get a job in the summer and at the end of their course but you have to seek it out yourself. Think long term and then you will be able to clear your student debt much quicker once your course is finished. Good Luck, university is a fantastic opportunity to take up new challenges and learn more about yourself. By the way I bet you can't guess what my job is! :D
  • edited 19 August 2009 at 10:16AM
    minerva_windsongminerva_windsong Forumite
    3.8K posts
    edited 19 August 2009 at 10:16AM
    Invest in a good student cookery book. I can highly recommend Beyond Baked Beans (also comes in Green for veggies and Budget versions), and had a housemate who swore by The Student Cookbook (orange and yellow cover with white circles). BBB has a great website as well: www.beyondbakedbeans.com

    If you're moving into a house rather than halls, shop around for your gas, electricity, internet and other utilities. Be aware you may have to get a new phone line as well.

    Most societies at Freshers' Fair will allow you to go to their first meeting or event for free - do this rather than coughing up £4 (or whatever it is) to join on the spot and finding you've run out of money before you even get halfway round the stalls.

    Grab as many discount vouchers as you can. There will be lots of these available at Freshers' Fair, particularly for big chain places, but you will also get some localised ones especially if you pick up discount booklets. A lot of universities provide new students with discount booklets and quite a few of them will be town specific. Also always always ask when you go somewhere if they do student discount (I used to get my hair cut at Saks whilst at uni in York and always got 10% off because my hairdresser knew I was a student, but never saw it advertised). You never know, they might throw it in to try and win you as a permanent customer!

    As well as the jobs on campus gemmacarolyn mentioned, a lot of universities also have an internal jobs website where companies post looking for students to work for them. The work is likely to be a lot more flexible than Christmas temp jobs in shops for instance as if these companies are advertising on the university website then they know what they're letting themselves in for and that you will have other commitments.

    Go to charity shops for your crockery, cutlery and glasses. They might not match but they'll be cheap! Or alternatively, large supermarkets and Primark normally have a decent and not too expensive selection of household items, including towels, duvets, pillows, bed linen and kitchen stuff.

    HTH!

    ETA: Buy your books second hand if at all possible - there are normally cheap(er) copies of textbooks that people don't want knocking about on Amazon or Play.com. Your students' union may also have a second hand bookshop on campus.
    "A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge." - Tyrion Lannister
    Married my best friend 1st November 2014
    Loose = the opposite of tight (eg "These trousers feel a little loose")
    Lose = the opposite of find/gain (eg "I'm going to lose weight this year")
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