Note: I can only provide advice and information from a student living in UK / Northern Ireland perspective. One day I hope to write about living abroad.
Dreaming of a holiday but struggling to save money, these tips may – or may not – help you.
Living at home with your parents does have it’s benefits, firstly, mum is great we take turns cooking and making cups of tea and she is there for emotional support during term time at University and Dad is great for the nifty DIYs like putting up shelves and curtains in my bedroom. Yet the other benefit is being able to save. At the minute, long term I am not sure what I am saving for however short term I save for trips away.
I work a 12 hour job in retail, it’s minimum wage, I get two yearly instalments of student loans which are have mostly been saved. I consider my job the main income and outcome source that I can play about with for going away to explore the world. It is not much per month however there are some ways I can save some of that or ways I can get extra income that you may also want to consider:
Got Extra Time? Get a second part-time job (in somewhere useful and then be entitled to staff discount!) or do agency/seasonal work.
Since I was fifteen I’ve never gone for more than a year without a job. I’m coming on 23 now. I’ve been incredibly lucky on the employment front. I used to work through recruitment agencies in hospitality at hotels and cafes when I wanted and wherever was available. It was basic pay and wasn’t terribly exciting jobs however it paid to fund whatever I was saving for at those times in my life.
If you’re at university I do recommend visiting your careers/employment department or portal as they may offer part-time paid work.
- How to get agency work? Search or look up your local recruitment agency and get on their system, I had to provide a CV / Resumé and photographic identification. You may need to ring them weekly to check in if any jobs become available.
Do Mystery Shops:
Mystery shops are available widely across the UK and Ireland in chain shops, restaurants, and transportation. All you have to do is follow specific guidelines, visit a place, carry out the guidelines and write up a report based on your visit. Payments and reimbursements vary from place to place but Mystery shops are great for getting free / discounted meals or clothes. Work out the amount you will need to spend, get reimbursed and get paid and see how much profit can be made. I’ve done a fair amount with MarketForce, if you live in a big city or travel a lot to bigger places its more beneficial as there are more assignments.
Keep loose change in a jar:
I am always finding loose change at the bottom of handbags or in the washing machine (is this common?) so get a jar and use that money specifically for something. I have one by the washing machine that is for washing powder. “Save the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves.”
Be a Savvy Shopper:
Get every loyalty card going. Be wary though some shops have loyalty credit cards, you just want a loyalty points card which give you money off in store or for experiences. Some of my favourites are:
- Tesco Clubcard – Wait until double points event or join Clubcard Boost and save your coupons towards meals or trips away! (Yay, trips!)
- Sainsbury’s Nectar Card – Take note: Sainsbury’s is not the only place you can collect points. Over 500 places allow you to collect points.
- Superdrug – Get the App and make use of Treat Thursdays. Also if you’re a student get the My Unidays app too and you are eligible for student discount in Superdrug (among many other places online and in store.)
- Boots – One of my ultimate favourites. Points are so easy to collect, boots sometimes offer triple points events too or more points when you buy specific products.
- Caffe Nero Loyalty ‘stamp’ Card – Buy nine coffees get one free.
Troll the websites and never pay full price for anything:
Websites like SuperSavvyMe (has coupons off products you may usually buy), Student Beans, Student Money Deals have great deals / freebies available. Note you will get promotional emails however, you can unsubscribe to these whenever.
Always shop the sales in stores and take note of reduction times of your local supermarket. Never pay full price for your holiday, I believe if you’re savvy (read ballsy) enough to bargain down travel agents do it, however it is usually cheaper booking your holiday independently. Use SkyScanner to search the best flight deals.
Sell the stuff you never wear/use:
A basic one however you’d be surprised what you no longer wear or use. Put items on eBay, Gumtree or electronics/music/consoles on Music Magpie or join your local Buy Sell Swap group on Facebook and make money. I sold my old curtains for £30 recently.
Please do read the terms of all the websites/loyalty cards above before subscribing.