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Students often have to live on a tight budget. Overspending could mean having to borrow money from parents or take out extra loans. Below are a few of the things that students commonly overspend on and what you should be doing instead.

Overpriced accommodation

Universities often have limited space in halls of residence, which usually means having to rent private property. This private property can be a lot more expensive to rent than halls, although it does depend on where you look. It’s best to stick to private accommodation that is aimed at students as this can often be a better deal.

There are sites you can use to look for comfortable student accommodation on a budget. Sharing property with other students tends to be a much better deal than renting your own apartment.

Buying books new

Your course may require you to purchase a number of textbooks. Don’t buy these brand new from Amazon; there are much cheaper ways to acquire books. For example, you may be able to buy used books from students in the year above. The university library may be another option for renting books out for free (although you generally have to get in there quickly as there may be a limited number of the books you need). Finally, there’s also the option of e-books, which are much cheaper than physical books. 

Not using student discounts

As a student, there are lots of things that you can get discounts on ranging from electronics to even meals out. Make sure to look into these discounts and take advantage of them.

There are sites dedicated to student discounts, which can tell you all the places that accept them. A big area where students overspend is public transport. A student railcard can help you to knock a third off of train ticket prices, which could help you to make huge savings in the long run if you like to take frequent train journeys back home.

Takeaway food

When you don’t want to cook anything, it’s easy to get lazy and order a takeaway. However, these takeaway meals can quickly add up. Try to keep takeaways to a minimum and start planning out your meals in advance.

There are lots of ways to save money on food shopping, allowing you to eat for less. Cooking meals with your housemates/flatmates could be one solution – you can take turns to cook and share ingredients, which could allow you to take advantage of bulk discounts. 

Drinking out

When on a night out, it’s easy to overspend on drinks. Some bars may offer student discounts – these could help you to make some savings and are worth looking out for.

However, the best way to save money on alcohol is usually to take advantage of pre-drinking. Buying alcohol from a shop is much cheaper than buying it from a bar. Do most of your drinking before you head out so that you don’t have to splash out on overpriced bar drinks.