Student life can be stressful. With looming deadlines, late-night study sessions and an overstretched budget, it’s no wonder that many students feel exhausted, and struggle to afford nights out and other entertainment with friends.
Luckily, there are a lot of things you can do to save money, help keep your notes organised and still enjoy your favourite entertainment. Here are a few of the best student life hacks, to help you make the most out of university life.
Shop for groceries late in the day
They say it’s the early bird that catches the worm, but in the case of your weekly food shop, you can actually get the best deals and make the biggest savings by leaving your shopping trip until later in the day.
Many grocery shops heavily discount products like fruit, vegetables and baked goods close to closing time, as they would otherwise pass their best-before date and go unsold. Ready meals and luxury desserts can sometimes also be found at heavily discounted prices.
By shopping late in the day you can save a considerable amount of money on your grocery bill – all you need to do is establish the approximate time each day that your local store start cutting prices, and time your grocery shop to match.
Use a note-taking app
Note-taking apps like Google Keep and Evernote conveniently keep your notes in one place, whether you want to access them from your phone, laptop, or a library computer. They also let you save quick voice and image notes that make saving any type of relevant information easy, and shave minutes off the time it takes to save something for later.
Google Keep wins points for being free, while Evernote has a free version, so you don’t need to splash out in order to make your life easier.
Get a student bank account
As a student, you might not have a large balance on your bank account or much in the way of savings, so even the smallest unexpected expense can send your account right into overdraft. Luckily, many banks offer student bank accounts with free overdrafts for the duration of your studies.
Switching to a dedicated student bank account will not only help you save on overdraft fees, but also often offer extras such as gift cards or railcards that make other parts of your student life cheaper too.
Use your university email for discounts
Many companies offer their products to students at a discount or even for free. The Microsoft Office suite, for example, is available for free to all students. All you need to claim it is a valid university email address (one that ends with .ac.uk).
You can also sign up to the popular UNiDAYS service for many discounts at a whole host of other companies, from fashion and other retail to days out and gadgets. Most major brands now offer student discounts, so do some research and see where your official login could be saving you cash.
Use a VPN
VPN (Virtual Private Network) services can save you money and allow you to get around internet restrictions, two useful life hacks for any student.
VPNs can be installed as an app on your computer and phone, and typically cost around a few pounds a month. They direct your internet connection through their own private servers, which allows you to get around any restrictions on internet use in your campus, accommodation, library or anywhere else.
You can also save money on things like flights with a VPN app, as they allow you to browse the internet as if you’re in another country – meaning you can take advantage of regional pricing, and save cash to spend on food and drinks while you’re away.
Buy books secondhand
Books can be a major expense for students. Luckily, many universities have Facebook groups where students can buy and sell course books, allowing you to save money on your purchases and also to make it back when you sell on your books once you’ve used them, making student life that bit easier.
Buying used books online is also another good option, with used books on Amazon often being only pennies on top of the shipping price, and sometimes coming with handy crib notes from the last reader.
Use apps to sell your books easily
In addition to selling your books on Facebook groups to other students at your university, you can also use apps like as Ziffit and WeBuyBooks to easily scan your books and find out their value online. You can then package off and send the books you wish to sell, and receive payment for them in your bank account within just a few days without having to look for buyers yourself.
While you might make more money selling them individually on Amazon or eBay, the convenience of not having to sell or package them individually make the book selling apps a great option for time-strapped students.
Save your documents in the cloud
Losing an essay or project you’ve been working on for hours is the last thing you want. By working online with tools like Google Docs you won’t ever have to worry about losing work, as everything you do is automatically saved on cloud servers every couple of seconds. Google Docs also allows you to easily access your documents from any phone or computer, making printing in the library or showing a presentation in class quick and easy.
Save by going without a TV licence
A TV licence can be a major expense to students – but one that you don’t necessarily have to pay. If you only use online streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime, and don’t watch regular TV or BBC iPlayer, you won’t have to pay for a TV licence at all. You just need to report that you don’t need a TV licence through the official online portal so you won’t get sent endless letters about it.
Get student discounts on music
Ad-free music is great, whether you want to listen to something while studying or put on an all-night party with your friends. Spotify Premium, Apple Music and YouTube Music Premium all offer a major discount to students, allowing you to listen to music ad-free without paying the highest prices.
These are just a few great ways to save time and money as a student, but by opting to spend a little time installing apps and registering for discounts, you’re sure to feel the benefit. Student life is as much about having fun and feeling independent as it is about studying, so make the most of great student life hacks whenever you find them to ensure you can focus on enjoying yourself as well as staying top of the class.