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Everyone makes jokes about how broke students are and, while this can often be true for many students, it doesn't have to be the case. As a student, you'll inevitably have to spend money but there are some things you can do to make your funds go further. So here are a few ways you can save as a student:

Students mostly spend on five things: rent, food, toiletries, transport and entertainment. Then there are those unexpected expenses that pop up every now and then, we’ll classify those as miscellaneous.

First things first, you need a student bank account. Why? Unlike a regular standard account, you can get a lot of freebies and interest-free overdrafts using a student bank account (please note that the same is not always the case for international students). It is worth looking into different banks and their benefits for student accounts to maximize your advantage.

Secondly, you need to write down a monthly budget. I know it may seem like you can keep track of your spending without one but trust me, having one will make your life easier and it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to cut down on your lifestyle choices. It will show you exactly where your money is going and help you if you wish to make a change. You can write it in your journal, your notes app or a budgeting software or app if you prefer. The most important thing is that you write down your total monthly income and calculate your total monthly expenses. This will help you discover if your expenses are in line with your income or if you’re overspending and from there, you can make whatever changes you want to.

Different people have different housing needs, you may choose to live at home and commute or you might move into student accommodation. It's important to think about your budget if you're choosing accommodation, but the good news is Chester has a wide range of accommodation options available for students. 

For the subject of food and toiletries, it is best to shop from cheaper supermarkets. Compare prices and keep an eye on offers at shops. Also, mini outlets may be more expensive, so it is best to shop at bigger supermarkets if you can. Planning meals for the week and dedicating one day of the week to meal preparation can save you so much time and stress as a student. It can be smart to pick up some cooking skills in order to save money on food as a student and there are a lot of resources on YouTube to help but if you are looking to eat out or order a takeaway, UNiDAYS and StudentBeans offer many discounts on these. They also offer discounts on several shopping websites as well and it is important to always check before checking out your cart or you could be missing some money off. A lot of physical stores offer student discounts too so don’t be shy to ask!

Commuting to university is extremely easy when you live close as you can just walk but for commuting students, this may be more expensive. If you commute by train, getting a rail card will help in reducing your ticket prices. Also, try to buy your train tickets in advance and look out for offers on your preferred train operator’s website (there are usually seasonal discounts available). Additionally, getting a bus card from your local bus station and buying your bus tickets online or monthly/weekly helps to save cost on ticket prices.

The University also offers some support through its cost-of-living catering initiatives including reduced and free food at certain times of the day. Printing at the libraries is also easier as the University gives students free printing credits upon registration. If you have any issue with this, please ask one of the librarians, they are always more than happy to help.

If you can use these tips, it is possible you’ll have more money to spend on miscellaneous expenses and entertainment so I hope that these tips are useful for you!

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