|All images: Google image search Edited: By me|
Hello all, I had been planning on doing this post for ages because I think that surviving university on a budget is a fine art. We all know that among the essential purchases such as food and toiletries, us fashionistas need clothes and pretty things too, but they're usually the first to go when a budget gets it's hold. I've recently finished university and I think i've got this whole living on a budget thing down, so I'm going to share my tips and tricks with all you lovely people who have just got your A-level results and are attending uni in september, or you just want to make your money go that bit further.
1. Student Discounts
Student discounts are something you have to make use of while you have the chance. I purchased my NUS card in my final year of university and I've been kicking myself that I haven't brought one sooner. They are currently £12.00 for the bog standard NUS, but they pay for themselves in what they save. When you attend uni you are usually issued with a student card, and this may suffice many stores to get you a discount. However, NUS takes it one step further in places like Superdrug, allowing you to save on toiletries and makeup and the Co-operative even allowing you to save 10% on your shopping. This is often the only form of student discount allowed on online retailers too so definitely pick one up from here.
I adoreeee Ebay, and if you haven't tried it yet you should. Whilst at uni, I'd often sell clothes on Ebay to make a little money but more importantly, you are open to buying clothes at really discounted prices. Sometimes, I would buy a plain dress or skirt and then match it with heels and accessories that are in fashion, the result is a reasonably priced outfit that is still in fashion and on trend. Setting it up takes a little bit of time but once you have you're open to a whole world of fashion at your fingertips. Try it here.
This is a fairly obvious point, but no savvy student would overlook them. Some people say that if you care about fashion, you'll avoid sales because they are old stock. I can't help but disagree, especially when it comes to key pieces such as leather jackets and jeans. My favourite spring jeans are a pair of light blue ripped skinnies that I purchased in the sale for under £10, but I can guarantee they make an appearance every summer. Sales are also a good time to make use of discounted costume jewelery, as they say "It's all in the accessories!".
4. Cheap Clothing Websites
When discussing ideas for this post with a friend, we agreed that of all the pointers, this one was the most crucial. Sometimes, it just isn't enough to save money, every now and then we just want a new outfit for a nigh out that's on point. That being said, I did some serious hunting to find some half decent clothing websites that are reasonable. The best among them were: Boohoo, Hidden Fashion and the Everything 5 Pounds shop. Boohoo is great if you have a certain style in mind and you want it slighty cheaper than Asos. Hidden fashion is great for finding key pieces and simple tops for reasonable prices, they also have some nice dresses and their service is good. I will admit that the Everything 5 Pounds store has some clothes that look cheap, but the heels are beyond amazing for the money and perfect if you're picking up a pair of heels to specifically go with an outfit.
5. "Thrift Shopping"
Thrift shopping, made more well known by Macklemore's catchy song, is buying second hand, pre-used clothes. Some people find the idea horrific, and to those people I say each to their own. But for me, I have found some absolute gems in "Thift stores" or to English readers charity shops. Obviously, you may have to rummage to find something you like, but it's all part of the fun. I can tell you there's nothing more rewarding than finding a gorgeous Topshop dress and seeing that on the label it's only £3. In places such as London, Liverpool and Manchester, the quality of charity shops increases, not sure why, but they just do. Also, and probably most importantly, you're giving money to a good cause, what's not to love?
So those are my five main tips for surviving university on a budget. Other tips may include avoiding buying magazines, I found I was spending £10 a week on them only for them to be left around the house or filling my rubbish bin or waiting to go food shopping in the evenings when things start to go on offer. But just remember, living on a budget not only teaches you the value of money, but how to make it go that much further. Good luck and feel free to leave your tips in the comments below!