Starting university can be an overwhelming event as students move into the next phase of their life to get a taste of independent living.
With hundreds of things to consider and plan, it’s easy to miss out on things and spend more money than is necessary.
When it comes to moving to a university campus or to a new city, there’s a few tricks that will enable students to save money while also choosing more sustainable options. Many students also write about ways to keep your finances in check on their student finance blogs.
Apart from a few university essentials that are necessary for everyone, what you pack will depend on your needs and what you know. You may need bedroom items or kitchen necessities and personal toiletries, so with the below tips you will be able to make smart choices that are good for your pocket and the planet.
- Necessary Documents
The first thing to focus on are documents such as your passport, visa (if required), acceptance letters and other university-related papers, insurance, bank, and accommodation documents. Some of these you will need in paper formats, but acceptance letters, bank statements or accommodation documents can now be used digitally via apps. So, save yourself the printing and reduce the trees we have to kill by going digital where possible.
- Studying Essentials
Your main purpose at university is of course education. It is therefore vital that you are equipped with ideally eco-friendly products and stationaries that will help you get your course work done effectively. Compile a list and include everything that may be needed for academic purposes, but research green alternatives such as bamboo rulers instead of plastic ones for example. Such sustainable items will also last longer and therefore save you money in the long run. Don’t forget your laptop and your laptop charger and other accessories along with it but see if you can find solar charges as alternatives. You are better off purchasing your books and other study materials after you arrive, simply because other students may sell their used books for less and your luggage weight won’t be a burden. Make sure to also research student discounts everywhere on stationary, books and other utensils.
- Clothing Essentials
Depending on where in the world you go to university, you will require clothing that is right for the climate and weather there. If you move from a colder region to a warmer part of the world for example, it may be more economical to find adequate clothing there and you can check flea markets or secondhand shops in your local community to find bargains. In any case, it is always wise to only pack the most basic clothing such as underwear and so forth and get more clothing at your destination. You can then check out apps like Regain where people exchange clothes or give them away. However, you may want to bring along your favourite fashion items to feel comfortable and homely in your new home so make sure to pack those. Packing a raincoat or an umbrella to use on rainy days is never wrong either.
- Cooking Essentials
Many universities have canteens but if you are used to cooking your own food or if you have any allergies or food preferences it may be wise to be well prepared. The kitchen at your chosen student accommodation will be fully equipped usually and many student halls will give you access to a modern integrated kitchen that allows you to cook up a storm. But to prevent food waste you can get some food containers made of bamboo to store left-overs over a longer time. This will help you save money by not constantly paying for takeaways and cooking meals that can last for several days. Such reusable containers can also come in handy when you go on trips or to store other bits in your room.
- Bedroom Essentials
Most student accommodations are fully furnished, leaving you with at least one less thing to worry about. Many however prefer to have personal items in their bed such as their own pillowcases, pillows (if you have a special requirement), duvet covers or bed sheets to make them feel more comfortable. Choose wisely what you squeeze in your bag and only bring along what is absolutely necessary. Bring a tiny sewing kit with you to fix items with holes or lost buttons so you can reuse them. An alarm clock may also be useful but look for one that is solar powered. And don’t forget photos of your favourite people for the ultimate personalisation of your new bedroom.
- Personal Hygiene Essentials
As people have different needs, bringing personal hygiene items with you that you may not find easily at your new destination is a good choice. For people with sensitive skin, specific soaps, shampoos, conditioners, shaving creams, cosmetics, deodorants, and pastes may be required and if they have a favourite brand then they should bring it along. You may also want to carry hair styling tools and brushes with you as buying everything at the start can be expensive. Small items like a nail cutter or razors are easy to miss out, but they are usually easy to come by. Make sure to look for more eco-friendly options too. Bamboo toothbrushes or hairbrushes can last longer than plastic ones and save you money over time.
Now you should be good to go with the above green student budgeting tips and tricks to start university ahead of the game while ensuring the future ahead looks bright.
I am an Online Media & PR Strategist at ClickDo Ltd. and a passionate Blogger and Educator by Passion. I am also an editor in chief of many Education, Business and Lifestyle Blogs. I have completed a journalism summer course at the London School of Journalism and teach SEO content writing at the SeekaHost University.