How to save a little each day

Making a few small changes can make a real difference to your finances. Here Financial Planner, Loretta Mooney gives us some of her top tips to make your budget go further. This is equally important when you start thinking about going to university or moving away from home.

Pre-loaded debit cards

Pre-load a debit card with your weekly allowance to make sure you keep on track of spending. For example, the Monzo card (T&C apply) offers this service and also a great ‘round up’ option. Whenever you buy something you can choose to round up your purchase and put the spare change into a savings pot. It soon adds up!

Grab the best student deals

If you’re 16 or over and studying register for your NUS, Totum or UniDays discount cards and do make sure you are making the most of the discounts on offer. Retailers offer special student discounts on specific days so you need to keep your eyes open! The Money Saving Expert site has a regularly updated list of the best offers and discounts, check it out here

Use your bike!

Save money on public transport and get on your bike. The government is currently running a scheme called ‘Fix your bike for less’. If you have a bike that needs patching up, you can apply for a £50 voucher from the government to get it fixed. Anyone who has a bicycle in need of repair in England can apply, but there are a limited number of vouchers. Find out more here

Discount codes

Save money when you eat out. Check newspapers for vouchers regularly and make sure you visit websites, such as VoucherCodes, HotUKDeals and MyVoucherCodes, to check for discounts and deals before you go out. It can be worth checking daily-deals websites, such as Groupon, Living Social and Wowcher, for restaurant deals too.

Shop around

Shop around for the best student bank account. Arguably, one of the biggest priorities when selecting your account should be an interest-free overdraft  – having one makes for a reliable back-up when faced with any sudden, unexpected or emergency costs.

Food shopping

Food shop in the evenings. After about 6pm, most supermarkets start heavily reducing prices on items they need to shift. Look out for the yellow labels and you could save a fortune on your weekly shop. Just don’t go shopping on an empty stomach!

Rack-up loyalty points. Get yourself a reward card and stash points to claim money off, free treats and other discounts. The most rewarding cards are Tesco Clubcard, Nectar card (Sainsbury’s) and Boots Advantage card. Consider sharing an account with your housemates/ friends to reach pay-out thresholds faster.

Get your railcard

Get your 16-25 railcard it costs £30 per year and gives you a third off your journey, according to National Rail you can save up to £189 per year.  

Hopefully some of these tips should help you to make the most of your money. The feedback we have had from students is that budgeting really is key. At the start of each month make sure you know exactly how much is left to spend once your bills have come out to mak. This ensures your spending doesn’t spiral out of control. It is important to ask for help when needed and get into the habit of saving now. It is never too early to start good financial habits for your future.

A blog post by Loretta Mooney

Loretta is a Chartered Financial Planner at Kellands and has conducted financial education workshops in her local area of Cheshire.

For more on the above and other money subjects, check out the Your Money Matters here.