Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Saving money the student way

I have a new obsession, and that is to save money. Maybe now you can see why blogging has taken a back seat. I've discovered far too many tips to just keep in one post so keep checking back for a more in depth look at some of these tips. 

Did you know, buying a pack of face wipes every 2 weeks or so at £1 each, wastes around £90 per year? Using flannels are a lot cheaper over the long run and do the same job. It saves the environment as your not chucking it in the bin when you're finished you just pop it in the wash. It's the same for other disposable things like tissues (roughly the same saving) and even tampons! A menstrual cup lasts around 10 to 15 years so if you roughly spend £2 per month then it could save you £240 to £360. You may think they cost a lot but I found a brand new one on Ebay for £6 (and free delivery) compared to the usual price of £20+. You can make your own tissues out of cut up fabric (I used an old pair of leggings) and then layer them into a tissue box so one pops up when you use one. This can also be taken further by using the fabric squares as toilet paper and then storing them in a mini bin and then washing them. As I split the cost of toilet paper with my  flatmates I haven't gone to this extreme yet, but never say never.

Fabric tissues instead of disposable ones
I live on campus at university so there is no daily travelling, but on the bus its £2 each way. Meaning I've spent £4 before I've even bought anything. I'm looking into getting a bus pass but I've discovered the main expenses are food, housing and transport. I have the ability to choose almost anywhere to live next year so by living in between the main town and university it saves on taking the bus as its easy to walk and also walk to the shops to get food. Thus saving money and getting exercise. 

Another way you can save money as a student is to consider buying a mini portable washing machine. As they are usually used for camping they are light weight and very easy to use. This can significantly reduce the cost of your laundry by making it virtually free (only paying for the laundry powder). In my case, washing my laundry once a week costs £2.50 (considering I mix all different coloured clothes together I was already saving £2.50 per week than washing them separately) and so the saving I'd make (£92.50) far outweighs the cost of the machine, which can range anywhere from £20 and collect it to £100 and have it delivered. So overall I have saved £185 by choosing where my money goes and researching other options.

My sunncamp CG1000 portable/ mini washing machine
Finally, this popular tip abut carefully planning meals does actually save lots of money. At first I thought I knew exactly what I wanted to eat so just threw anything into the online trolley. But by planning what I will eat I have saved almost £20 every week. If you're worried about loosing flexibility you can always choose which meals you want you just may have less to choose from. This is saving me around £740 over a year.

These are pretty painless ways of saving money. It's likely you already do a bit to save money but taking it a little bit further (or even to the extreme) may make life easier and save you money at the same time. Before parting with cash or your debit card see if there's an alternative to make it cheaper. Living below or even well below your means helps to save money and have a little fun while making things to last instead of store bought disposable ones.