27 February is the start of National Student Money Week and this year’s theme is Navigate the Numbers: Coping with the Cost of Living. We know that living costs remain a focus for many of you, so our Student Champions wanted to share some of their top tips with you to help.
Sainsbury’s Smart Shop and Nectar – by Sophia
With Sainsbury’s being the most convenient supermarket for many students, it’s great to know ways to save some money on your food shop. Many students have been seen scanning their nectar card at the checkout to get their points but Smart Shop allows you to complete your shop on your phone. You scan the items as you go and then simply pay at the checkout. Not only does this save time, but you can also see how much you are spending as you do your shop which is helpful when you are shopping with a budget in mind. The best feature is that Smart Shop tracks your shopping habits and begins to offer you cheaper prices on items you buy regularly, as well as more points which can eventually be used as money off coupons too. For instance, my favourite cheese is usually around £4.50 to buy, but with Smart Shop it’s £2.94! So, I highly recommend you make use of it.
Money saving apps- By Jennifer
As a student, it’s always a challenge to save money. From buying groceries to paying bills, it can all add up quickly. However, there are a few apps out there that can help make your life easier and save you money! Here are two apps that have been particularly helpful to me.
Too Good To Go
Too Good to Go connects users with local restaurants and cafes who have leftover food at the end of the day. Instead of letting that food go to waste, the restaurants offer it at a discount through the app. It’s a win-win situation: you get a great meal at a lower cost, and the environment benefits from less food waste! I’ve used this app several times and have never been disappointed.
UNiDAYS is an app that offers student discounts at a variety of stores and restaurants. It’s completely free to sign up and offers discounts up to 50% off at popular stores like Nike, Deliveroo, and Apple. I’ve used this app for everything from clothes to electronics, and it’s definitely helped me save some money when making online purchases.
Better budgeting – by Esha
When it comes to budgeting, tracking previous expenses to see where you have spent the most money is very useful. Recognising patterns of overspending can help you to understand where you can make changes. Try to define your spending categories clearly and allocate a maximum allowance to each of them, and stay within that! Do not try to set unrealistic budgets because you will tend to be disappointed. Instead, try to reduce how much you spend on a category slowly or over time, if needed. For example, I have always overspent on food. To cut down on my expenses, I reduced the number of times I got takeout from twice a week to twice a month by opting for ready to eat meals from grocery stores instead. It involves a lot of trial and error though, so do not worry if you cannot get it right the first time!
Money advice and funding
Student Funding at the University now has a new name Money Advice and Funding, who are available to help with your money questions or worries and offer twice-daily drop-ins with a Money Adviser. There is no need to book, just use this link at 10 am to 11 am or 2 pm to 3 pm and someone will be available to answer your questions.