So, you’ve finished school, you’re heading out into the Big Bad World and suddenly, money is your biggest worry. Moving into shared accommodation saves a lot of living costs but sometimes it still seems as if there’s not a month goes by without money worries and a lot of penny counting. There are some simple ways to save money and make life a lot easier for you.

Plan Meals in Advance

As tempting and cheap as ready meals may seem, in the long run they’ll cost you a lot more money than cooking at home and are generally lacking in nutrition. If you cook batches of soup in advance and then freeze them, you’ll save money and always have a meal waiting for you! There is also the option of putting together a meal plan for the week. For example; buying a whole chicken and using different parts for different meals is cost-effective and it means you’re not buying last minute unhealthy quick-fixes.

Save Money on Travel

Anyone from 16-25 is entitled to the 16-25 railcard which saves you up to a third on rail fees and costs only £30 to buy initially. It lasts for a year so that’s £2.50 a month to save a third on every train journey you take!

Buy Non-Branded

Shopping in less popular supermarkets and buying non-branded products will not make a difference to your taste buds as there really is very little, if any difference in quality but the difference in your wallet will be monumental.

Find Reliable Energy Tariffs

You will notice people complain about their energy providers and the huge bills that seemingly appear from nowhere. Stay ahead of the curve and use offers like SSE’s price freeze that will last for up to 2 years and will help avoid such unexpected bills.

Use Cashback Sites When Shopping Online

Cashback sites are a must for students. All you have to do is shop at the same places that you always would but enter their websites through any cashback provider’s site and you’ll receive a percentage of the commission they’ll get for the click. There’s no catches, no effort, just free money!

Use Freecycle

Freecycle is used by people who have furniture, electrical appliances and homeware that is in great condition but are no longer any use to them. This means you can get couches, beds, chairs.. You name it, for free! All in the name of recycling and goodwill.

Use Open Office

Open Office is an open source office suite. It offers all the same products as Microsoft Word but for free! This will save you so much money in the long run and there’s nothing you need to do other than download it. It’s becoming more popular every year and this year it surpassed 100 million downloads!

Have More Nights In

Nights in can be as much fun as nights out and cost a fraction of the price. Buying 2 crates of beer will cost you around £20. Throw in some popcorn, movies or a good playlist and you’re good to go. You could even do theme nights, once a month. One night could be a movie night, another one a karaoke night. All whilst saving money.

Bargain Shopping

Charity shops are your friend! Most not only have some fantastic vintage clothing at great prices, there are also books, music and furniture available at a fraction of the price that they would have been initially. Charity shopping is also incredibly fun and you can really find some lost gems in them.

Free Haircuts

Haircuts are a pricey necessity but a lot of student and trainee hairdressers are always looking for new models to practice on. It’s not as daunting as it sounds- they are supervised by professionals and you won’t leave with a terrible haircut but you will leave with a lot more money in your pocket than you would if you paid! Ask at your local salon or look up local colleges.

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