As autumn draws in, a new swathe of 18 year olds are set to embark on the exciting adventure of university life….and may experience, for the first time, the financial hardship that comes with it. It’s an important life lesson I feel and as I comment on another blog, I can’t help wonder how much things have changed since I was a student.
As you prepare your children for university life, instilling a sense of frugality in them, so that they’re ready for the road ahead, is important. Over the last month we have been asking members of the public to submit their best money saving tips as part of our #ThriftyFamily campaign – this week we look in particular at ways to save money around the house. Here are some of our favourite tips, which will be especially useful to those experiencing living on a tight budget for the first time:
Make like a squirrel
As our money saving advocate Louie Spence puts it, buying items such as discounted bread – even when you don’t need it – and freezing straight away is good way of stockpiling for potentially harder times ahead. Take some time to think about how you might feed yourself if all the money ran out. Buying storable food that you will not use unless you have to requires discipline but little spending. The discounted aisles of some supermarkets are a good place to start, usually towards the end of the day.
If you’re lucky enough to have access to a garden becoming partially self-sufficient through growing your own fruit, vegetables, pulses and herbs can be an option. This not only saves money on the weekly grocery shop; it also gives you a tremendous sense of achievement. Autumn is the ideal time to start this process, so get down to your local garden centre and start potting!
Pass it on
Our recent ‘Need the Dough’ report found that one in five people has bought clothing that they have never worn or books that they have never read. One in ten (11 per cent) has spent money on shoes or accessories in the past year which have remained unworn and 15 per cent have splashed out on DVDs that they have not watched. Selling unwanted electrical goods and clothes is a good way of making a bit of extra pocket money, whilst also saving some space. Freecycle is a great site for both selling and purchasing used items.
Save money, drink beer
We all know that, despite what they may tell their parents, what most students like to do at university is socialise. It’s expensive pastime, notwithstanding the 2 for 1 offers and Happy Hours in most student cities, so some economical types have taken to brewing their own to entertain themselves and their friends. With each pint costing less than 20p, it’s an option an increasing number of students are turning to when times are tough.