5 Great Money Hacks for Thrifty Students in 2020

Let's face it; it's not easy to live a life of financial freedom when you're a student. Even with your student loan or any other personal loans that you're using to make ends meet, you'll know that every penny counts. That's particularly true when you're spending hundreds of pounds on things like course books, accommodation, and even food.  A group of people sitting on a bench

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The good news is that you don't have to commit to a life where you just never have enough money. We've got some quick and simple hacks that you can use to make your cash stretch a little further as we move into 2020 and beyond. 
  1. Stock up on Freebies

First things first, make sure that you know what kind of freebies come with your Uni fees. You're not just getting an excellent education for your cash; you're probably also going to have access to things like student clubs. Gyms, and libraries where you can borrow books to your heart's content. If your university has a forum or Facebook group, join it to make sure you're not missing out on any freebies. 
While you're at it, keep an eye open for things available for free elsewhere online. For instance, you might be able to get some free tickets to a gig as a student or grab some free furniture that a homeowner wants to get rid of asap. 
  1. Always Use Vouchers and Coupons

If you're finding free stuff hard to come by - don't panic, you can at least cut some costs by taking advantage of coupons and vouchers instead. Start by signing up for an NUS card so that you can ask for student discounts wherever you go, then download an app or two to help you find other saving opportunities when you shop. None of this is going to help you become rich, but it’s a start.
There are plenty of handy smartphone apps and browser plugins available today that will automatically apply discounts to your purchases when you're shopping online, so you can get the best price, without having to spend forever searching for sales. 
  1. Stop Driving

Driving might be convenient, but it's also a huge way to miss out on money when you're a student. There's a good chance that you'll be able to save a lot of extra cash by switching to public transport or using a ride share instead. 
To help you get to wherever you need to be, look into bus fares that are designed specifically for students, or rail cards that you can purchase with your NUS discount. While you're looking for ways to cut the costs of travel, don't forget that you can always save money and improve your health by walking or cycling more often too. Walking might not always be possible in winter, but you can definitely do more of it when the weather starts to heat up. 
  1. Split the Costs

If you're living in a house or dorm with multiple roommates, ask them to help you spread the costs of student life. For instance, if you all eat similar food, you could buy some of the items you love most in bulk and split the expense between you. For instance, you can get a huge bag of pasta for the whole house without spending more than a couple of pounds. 
If you want to get extra thrifty and you don't mind being creative, you can also ask some of your roommates if they might be interested in sharing clothes from time to time. Swapping your favourite garments gives you access to a bunch of new outfits without you having to spend any extra cash. Remember to make sure that you're all doing your bit to pay towards shared utilities too, like streaming services, broadband, and electricity. 
  1. Buy second-hand

Finally, as a student, it's a good idea to make sure that you know where your closest charity shops are. You can save a fortune on furniture, clothes and other essentials if you're willing to buy them second hand, and most of the time, you'll find that they're in great condition too. If there are no charity shops available nearby, don't be afraid to join Facebook groups and communities that might sell items online as well. 
You can even find a lot of the items that you might need, including course books and materials on sites like eBay or Craigslist - although you might have to be willing to do a bit of travelling so you can collect the things that you buy from some sellers.

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