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How can Leicester students save money during the cost of living crisis?

Article writen by: Abby
07 April 2023

Hello there, students of Leicester! We are here to give you some tips on how to save money during these tough times. With the cost-of-living crisis affecting so many people, it's important to be mindful of your spending habits and find ways to cut back on unnecessary expenses. So, without further ado, here are 10 tips to help you save money in Leicester:

1. Plan ahead and budget wisely

The first step to saving money is to plan ahead and budget wisely. Take some time to sit down and map out your expenses for the month, including rent, bills, groceries, and any other necessary expenses. Once you have a clear picture of where your money is going, you can look for ways to cut back on unnecessary expenses and save money.

Here are some ways to plan ahead:

  • Identify areas where you can cut back: Once you have a clear idea of your expenses, look for areas where you can cut back. For example, instead of eating out every day, try cooking at home more often. Instead of buying new clothes, try shopping at thrift stores or organizing a clothing swap with friends. Small changes can add up to big savings over time.
  • Automate your savings: One of the easiest ways to save money is to automate your savings. Set up a direct deposit to transfer a portion of your pay check into a savings account each month. This way, you won't have to remember to save money - it will happen automatically.
  • Use coupons and discounts: Take advantage of coupons and discounts to save money on groceries, household items, and other purchases. Many stores offer loyalty programs and reward points that can be redeemed for discounts or free items. Look for deals online and in-store to get the most bang for your buck.
  • Track your progress: It's important to track your progress as you work toward your savings goals. Use a spreadsheet or budgeting app to keep track of your expenses and savings. Seeing your progress over time can be motivating and help you stay on track.

Leicester students cooking pasta 

2. Cook your own meals

Eating out can be expensive, so consider cooking your own meals at home. Not only is it cheaper, but it can also be a lot healthier and more enjoyable. If you're living in student accommodation in Leicester, make use of the communal kitchen to cook meals with friends. You can also save money by buying groceries in bulk and planning your meals ahead of time.

In addition, cooking your own meals can be a fun and creative activity. Experiment with different recipes and ingredients to discover new flavours and dishes. You can even involve your friends and family in the process, making it a social and bonding experience. Cooking also gives you greater control over what you eat, allowing you to choose the freshest and healthiest ingredients. Plus, by cooking your own meals, you reduce your environmental impact by minimizing packaging waste and transportation emissions associated with pre-packaged and ready-made meals. So why not give it a try and start cooking your own meals today?

3. Look for student discounts

Many businesses in Leicester offer student discounts, so be sure to take advantage of them whenever possible. This could include discounts on food, entertainment, and even transportation. Keep an eye out for student discount cards or ask about discounts when making purchases. You can also check out online platforms like UNiDAYS, StudentBeans, or Totum to find exclusive deals and discounts for students. Additionally, be sure to ask about student pricing when purchasing items like textbooks or technology. Many retailers offer special rates for students, which can save you a significant amount of money in the long run. When it comes to transportation, you can save money by purchasing a student bus pass or taking advantage of discounted train fares. By taking the time to look for student discounts, you can stretch your budget further and enjoy all that Leicester has to offer without breaking the bank.

Leicester students getting train to university 

4. Use public transportation

If you're living in city accommodation or near a university, consider using public transportation instead of owning a car. Not only is it cheaper, but it's also more environmentally friendly. You can save even more money by purchasing a monthly bus pass or using a bike to get around.

Additionally, public transportation can be a great way to reduce stress during your commute. Instead of navigating traffic, you can sit back and relax while someone else does the driving. Plus, using public transportation gives you the opportunity to read, listen to music, or even catch up on work while you travel. And if you're looking to socialize, public transportation can be a great way to meet new people and make connections with others who share your daily commute. So, next time you're headed out, consider giving public transportation a try!

5. Shop around for the best deals

Whether you're buying groceries or shopping for clothes, it's always a good idea to shop around for the best deals. Check out different stores and compare prices to find the best deals. You can also save money by shopping online and using coupon codes or promotional offers. Another tip for shopping around is to consider buying in bulk or waiting for sales. Many stores offer discounts for buying larger quantities, so consider stocking up on items you use regularly. And if you're not in a rush to purchase something, wait for a sale or holiday promotion to get the best deal possible. Don't forget to also look for loyalty programs or rewards programs that can give you additional savings or perks for shopping at certain stores. By shopping around and being smart with your purchases, you can save a significant amount of money over time.

Leicester students accessing books for rent 

6. Rent textbooks instead of buying them

Textbooks can be expensive, but you can save money by renting them instead of buying them. Many universities in Leicester offer textbook rental services, so check with your university to see if this is an option for you. You can also look for online textbook rental services, which can be a lot cheaper than buying textbooks outright.

Additionally, consider sharing textbooks with classmates or looking for used textbooks at bookstores or online marketplaces. These options can also save you a lot of money compared to buying new textbooks. And if you do end up purchasing textbooks, try selling them back at the end of the semester to get some of your money back. By renting or buying used textbooks, you can significantly reduce the cost of your education while still getting the resources you need to succeed in your courses.

7. Cut back on unnecessary expenses

Take a close look at your expenses and identify any areas where you can cut back. This could include things like subscription services, entertainment, or even daily coffee runs. By cutting back on unnecessary expenses, you can free up more money to put towards things that are more important. To help identify areas to cut back, try tracking your spending for a few weeks to see where your money is going. You may be surprised to find that small purchases add up quickly.

Look for alternatives, such as making coffee at home instead of buying it, or cancelling subscriptions you don't use. Another way to cut back is to negotiate bills or switch to more affordable alternatives, such as a cheaper phone plan or internet service. By being mindful of your spending and making small changes, you can save a lot of money over time.

8. Make use of free resources

Leicester is home to many free resources that can help you save money. This could include things like public libraries, community centres, and free events. Take advantage of these resources to save money and meet new people. You can also find free resources online, such as educational courses or digital books. Check out websites like Coursera or Project Gutenberg for free educational resources and e-books. Additionally, many local parks and trails offer free outdoor recreation opportunities, like hiking or cycling. By taking advantage of these free resources, you can have fun and save money at the same time. And don't forget to ask around and see what other free resources are available in your community.

9. Consider sharing accommodation

If you're living in Leicester student accommodation and looking to save money, consider sharing accommodation with other students. This can be a great way to split the cost of rent and other expenses, and it can also be a lot of fun. Just make sure to find roommates who are responsible and respectful.

Sharing accommodation can also help you build friendships and create a sense of community. You can split the cost of groceries and utilities, and even take turns cooking meals for each other. Another benefit is that sharing accommodation can reduce your carbon footprint by minimizing the amount of energy and resources used per person. Just make sure to communicate openly with your roommates and establish clear expectations from the start to avoid any conflicts. By sharing accommodation, you can save money and create lasting memories.

Leicester students chatting at university 

10. Talk to staff and students for advice

Finally, don't be afraid to talk to staff and students for advice on how to save money in Leicester. They may have tips and resources that you hadn't considered, and they can also provide support and encouragement. Remember, we're all in this together! Staff and students can give you insider tips on the best places to shop, eat, and have fun on a budget.

They can also recommend affordable housing options and share strategies for managing your finances. Don't be afraid to reach out and ask for advice, as many people are happy to share their experiences and help others save money. You can also join student organizations or clubs focused on budgeting and financial management to connect with like-minded individuals and get even more support. By collaborating and learning from others, you can achieve your financial goals and enjoy all that Leicester has to offer.

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