'It's the most wonderful time of the year'... but sadly not for your bank account. Spent too much this semester or gone a bit overboard on people's Christmas presents? Here's a few of our top tips on how you can easily save a few pounds here and there in the New Year.
Get a Monzo
Getting a Monzo card is a great way to help with your budgeting. You can set monthly spending budgets, and as you spend it lets you know how close you’re getting to your limit. Monzo also has ‘Pots’ which you can put money in to set aside, great for things like bills or saving for a holiday! The summary screen is useful in showing you how much you have left to spend, and will tell you if it looks like you’ll run out of money before the end of the month. Monzo is an easy way to keep a track of everything you’re spending (even though you don't always want a reminder of how much you spent on drinks the night before), all helping you stay on track.
Cycle around your City
An easy way to save money each month is to get a bike and reduce the amount you're spending on travel. With decent bikes starting at £100, you'll soon pay it off by riding to lectures, and around your University city. So if you're still stuck for what to ask for for Christmas, a bike might be a good one. It's also great for the environment and gets your exercise in - a win win!
Reduce the amount you spend on food
Find yourself often overspending on food shops?
Here’s a few tips on how you can easily reduce the cost of your weekly food shop:
• If you have an Aldi near you, shop there, it's the cheapest supermarket around and always has great deals. Buy your fruit and vegetables from your local greengrocers, it's cheaper than any supermarket - and a lot fresher!
• Make a shopping list. This sounds obvious, but plan what you want to make that week and write down everything you'll need for the meals, and stick to the list. This avoids buying random stuff you don't need and wasting any food.
• Avoid buying brands. Of course when it comes to ketchup and baked beans it has to be Hienz, but with pasta sauces, cereal and other things, swap out brands for a lot cheaper supermarket own brands.
• Bulk make at least one meal per week. Bulk cooking one large dish to last you the week is an easy way to be more economical with your cooking. You can also freeze some of the portions so you're sorted if you get home late from a lecture or club.
• Browse the reduced sections - these often have some gems - these are the time's to get the best deals. Some restaurants also reduce their food in the evenings, if you're craving sushi, Itsu and Wasabi reduce everything to half price after 8pm!
Cancel Memberships You No Longer Use
An easy way to save a bit of money each month is cancelling a membership you no longer use. Make a list of all the memberships you are currently subscribed to, from Netflix to Amazon Prime, to PureGym, then have a think about what you don't really use and could live without it. Paying for a TV License along with Netflix? Signed up to the gym in freshers to make yourself feel better but in reality have only been once? Cancel those you don't use enough, or team up with your flatmates and save some money.
Earn Some Extra Money
There's always earning some extra money with a part-time job, do a few Stints each week in the New Year and stress less about money (we couldn't miss out on that plug could we).