Clever budgeting tips have been key for the success of students over several years. However, the cost-of-living crisis means that there will be a harsh winter for the livelihoods of students.
24 Oct 2022
By: Krithika Iyer, Paul Hudson, Rishab Shaju & Titus D’souza
The rising costs of living caused by inflation in the UK have pushed students to resort to unique and unconventional ideas to save money. From clothing to transport, prices for essentials have reached unsurmountable summits.
National World surveyed students between the 17th of May and the 11th of August 2022. The survey found that 82% of its participants claimed to have significant financial problems.
We spoke with students from the University of Westminster to learn more about how they save during this unprecedented time.
Managing Essential goods
When students at the University of Westminster’s Harrow campus were asked about their saving hacks, they expressed a variety of solutions. Harrie, a postgraduate student, said: “I keep a 25 pound limit for my monthly expenses on groceries and toiletries. Having a home-cooked meal and avoiding takeaways would help reduce the charges.”
Travelling to University
Transport is crucial among students who do not live in university halls. With the increased bus and tube fares, students often find it challenging to cope with the expenses. Train fares were also rising, with an increase of 4.8% coming into effect from the 1st of March 2022 (TfL).
When Molly, an undergraduate student, was asked about the matter in question, she said: “I have tried my best to budget my travel expenses but have been unable to do so”.
“Travelling is a necessity and coming to the university to learn cannot be disregarded. I would have to come even if it is expensive.”
Data packs and Phone Bills
While most students utilise student wifi, completing work post-university becomes a task if you don’t have a secure network at home or a good data package. Students believed that buying short data packages could be a cheaper solution to their living costs. In addition to this, monitoring your data usage and switching off mobile data when you are not using your phone could save a significant amount in student expenses every month.
Applications like Unidays, Totum, Zeek and Grabble help students save money with the help of discounts on food, clothing, electronics and many other essentials. Nevertheless, a lot of the deals helped students balance out their savings.
Priyal, a postgraduate student studying MA Global Media, said: “Students need to use their ID cards. Carrying them around to supermarkets and departmental stores could help them claim discounts.”
She added, “You need to be selfish at times to manage your savings.”
With winter almost reaching its peak in London, buying warm clothes is a necessity. Shopping can be expensive, however, upcycling your wardrobe and purchasing from thrift stores could be beneficial.
Aditiya, an undergraduate student, said: “Shopping at stores like Primark would be reasonable for students since it is cheap and often has discounts.”
“To save money, I also got my clothes shipped from India. That way, I can enjoy the winters and save enough.”
Part-Time and Work
Most students engage in part-time or full-time jobs to ensure that they earn enough to manage their livelihoods. While many parents become a financial support system, students believe that having your own savings becomes an essential aspect of thriving in London.
A postgraduate student named Carolina said: “Although my pay is less, I suggest students avoid buying alcohol or other harmful substances.”
“I also believe that it is very important for companies and organisations [supplying maintenance loans] to make sure students are given enough money to sustain in such an expensive city.”
Despite the financial hardships over the past year, students have successfully found ways to budget essentials such as food, clothes, phone bills and transport.
Edited by Tyler Nicholas