The Rice at Home team are dedicated to sharing financial information that will create a new generation of financially intelligent millennials. Students are not an exception! Whether you are a first year or final year, you deserve a platform dedicated to helping you become financially free.
Students, you are in the perfect position (ignoring inevitable debt) to learn and build skills which will better your money management skills and cash flow.
Statistically, the average university student spends £286 in freshers week. That’s a lot right? Honestly you don’t need to be spending such when there are loads of student nights with discounted drinks, food and entertainment. In this article we want you to beat this cycle of reckless spending, and gain some financial education.
So, here are some financial hacks which we feel will help you in your journey to becoming financially free for each aspect of your university experience.
We need food to survive, you don’t have to be a genius to know that one, however food is also one of the reasons why many students start to have a lack of money at the beginning of term. Many students find it hard especially in first adjusting to living alone and managing their time, and as a result this leads to a huge increase of the amount of times the average student eats out, which in return eats in to your pocket.
If you are going to eat out, DO LUNCH! Lunch menus in restaurants are usually 35%-50% off with a Student ID. Or go to restaurants where you can get a voucher on voucher codes or some other website with discounts. Trust me their available so use them. Let me give you some perfect filling, and tasty lunchtime examples:
GBK – 4oz Burger and side is from £5.95
Pizza Express – Classic Pizz and a Leggera Pizza and a soft drink
The Slug and Lettuce – 50% off every Monday! So, if there is one around go on a Monday!
Or are you that student that actually enjoys to cook but you find yourself spending so much on your weekly shopping? Here’s a more cost-effective way to save money on food.
Meal prepping is something I have discovered to be equally a life saver, and a money saver. It has improved my fitness and my bank account, and it doesn’t require much time. If your one that finds it hard to stick to a religious gym schedule, then meal preparation is the way forward for you. First, decide on 3 to 6 dishes you want to make each week and which ingredients are required. The top supermarkets to save money are Lidl, Iceland, Aldi, Asda or even the market. You can get a lot of cheap fruit and veg in bulk in the markets which will save you a lot. Now here is where meal prepping comes in, rather than cooking one meal a day cook 5 dishes for your Monday-Friday routine, put them into containers and then store them in the fridge or freezer depending on how much you cook. Following this I can guarantee will help to eliminate the urge to buy food on the go, because everything is done so there is no excuse. There is RICE AT HOME!
Convert Skills into Money
Most times as a student you are going to acquire skills through your course, or extra curricular activities which you may take part in out side of lectures. Did you ever think about using these skills generate an additional income to your student finance? Well if not now is the time to start! Wealthy people practice an art which consists of having multiple streams of income and not depending on one pay check to survive. University is a great TAX-FREE environment to start a off a small business, and start generating more than one source of income for yourselves. So whatever your field whether you are a hairdresser, barber, graphic designer, personal trainer, coder, musician, digital artist, it’s time for you to start collecting some coins for your talents.
Here are four vital tools you’ll need in order to make this happen:
Promotional and Marketing materials (Flyers around uni campus, word of mouth, social media, student union)
Good Reviews or testimonials
If you wanted to be a freelancer, and use your skills there are websites such as www.freelancer.co.uk and www.workana.com which connect independent professionals with companies. For example if you are a photographer, you could sell your photos on stock photo websites.
I’m sure you get what I mean now but essentially, university is an opportunity for personal development, not only in your formal education, but also your financial education. University is a place where a lot of young people are in close proximity to each other, therefore there are several potential clients.
Budgeting is not realistic for students. However, I will promote having a money system. A money system may sound like just another way of saying budget but it is a lot more than that. Let me explain. A money system is an excel spreadsheet which consists of all your outgoings, expenditure and cash flow. All direct debits, bills and expenditure will be listed out, all income will be listed, and column will be used for your potential savings. Your savings should be for three things: investments, emergencies and luxuries. You will essentially track all your money to the penny. There isn’t a pound coin accounted for. Whether you want to aggressively save or save just bit by bit, a money system will allow you to practice financial discipline, and you won’t get a heart attack every time you open your online banking.
If you would like a money system made especially made by us at Rice at Home, get in contact through our twitter page @RiceAtHomePod and we’ll be happy to provide you with one or help.
Alternatively if you can’t see yourself going down this path. Get yourself a Monzo card! Monzo is a new kind of bank, particularly working in the interest of students. It updates your balance instantly and sends you intelligent notifications on how you are managing your money. It’s so simple to just download the app on your smartphone and then register and it should arrive in as little as three days. You could use Monzo for the social aspect of your life, and put a restriction on how many drinks you buy on a night out, or how many pizza’s from Dominoes you order.
Don’t get me wrong, this article isn’t to say you shouldn’t enjoy your time at university but your descions today will affect your status or situation tomorrow, so let’s all get financially educated before it gets bad.
One more rule. If you can’t buy it twice, remember there’s Rice at Home.
Finally check out episode one of our podcast ‘ Poor Mum, Poor Dad’