When you’re a student money can be incredibly tight at the best of times, with many students requiring financial aid or a part time job to be able to afford the student lifestyle. But with the cost of living crisis, students are on tighter budgets than ever before.
This is only made worse by Winter approaching, meaning that: Christmas presents need to be purchased, you need to pay to go home for the holidays and unless you live somewhere warm, you’ll probably be paying a pretty penny to heat your student accommodation.
What can students do this winter, to save some money and avoid paying over the odds for utility bills?
Save On Heating Costs By Adding Extra Insulation
In the winter, one of your biggest utility bills will be your heating, which usually isn’t a big deal, but thanks to a number of factors, heating bills are incredibly high this year, which can make the cost of running your heating a hard pill to swallow on a student’s budget.
But, you can cut down the cost of your heating by improving the insulation in your accommodation! To improve the insulation, you can: lay draught excluders by doors and air vents, use thermal blinds from DotcomBlinds to add insulation to your windows, place rugs on cold hardwood or stone floors to retain heat, or even place foil behind your radiators to avoid loosing heat through your walls.
Prepare Meals In Advanced To Use Less Energy Cooking
When cooking and preparing meals, the most energy intensive part of the process is cooking your food in the oven. While it may seem like a small issue, you’ll find that cooking food at home everyday will quickly run up your electricity bill, which isn’t ideal if you’re on a student budget.
But if you prepare your food in advanced, you can cut down your electricity use when cooking. By cooking all of your food for the week ahead, your oven will use a lot less energy. Then when dinner time comes around, simply heat up your food in a microwave which will use much less energy to warm your food than your oven would.
Use School Facilities & Supplies Where Possible
If you live in private student accommodation, you’ll find yourself on the hook for the utility bills in your accommodation, which means you’ll be paying out for every warm shower you take or every time you do your laundry. If your university has facilities for these things, you can save money by doing it on your school’s dime.
Schools with gyms will often have shower facilities, so you can shower for free at the gym. As well as that, your university should also have other facilities like laundry rooms that you may be able to use for free. And of course, when your electronic devices need to be charged, why not use the school’s electricity to do so, rather than using electricity in your accommodation?
Take Advantages Of Student Discounts At Local Businesses
When you’re a student, finding deals is essential to maximise your budget and to be able to afford a few luxuries for yourself. But, unless you’ve done some searching around there may be a whole host of deals and offers for students like yourself that you aren’t taking advantage of.
Many business in towns with a big student population will frequently offer deals for local students, your Uni or student union should have a list of businesses that offer discounts to their students or you can ask about students at the local businesses you visit often. It’s also important to remember some big chains like McDonalds also offer discounts and free items to students, so you should look into that as well.
Cut Down Unnecessary Bills & Subscriptions
Another thing students often overlook when budgeting is their subscriptions and whether or not they actually make use of them. While on the surface paying a tenner a month for a Netflix subscription is quite cheap, when you’re subscribed to Spotify, Netflix, Hulu and Disney + the cost of subscriptions can really add up.
You can cut down the total cost of all of your subscriptions by re-evaluating what ones you need and use. There’s no sense in paying for multiple streaming services when you only watch Netflix, or any sense in paying for a gym membership you never use. By cutting down on subscription services, you could free up a decent bit of your budget every month.