A Liverpool student’s guide on how to be thrifty
That student loan isn’t going to last forever
We've all had that text from Student Finance giving us possibly the best news of the year – our student loan has come in. Praise the Student Finance gods for their deliverance; we can buy our pasta and pesto from the Asda on Smithdown and fund our nights at Quids In for, what we hope to be, the foreseeable future. Life is looking good…
Jump to week five and you're calling your mum asking to transfer you an extra £20 for "uni stuff" (aka your Subway addiction) because you've gone and blown your money on things you didn't really need to waste your money on. Cue our guide on how to be thrifty this year at Liverpool so you can spend your dollar where it matters and save it where you can.
DO NOT buy Tesco meal deals on the reg
Okay, so this one might be tough but if you think about it, those meal deals just aren't worth it. £3 per day for 5 days a week for 24 teaching weeks and 6 exam weeks over the entire year is a whopping £450 a year on a mediocre sandwich which may even get slated when you post it on a "rate my meal deal" Facebook page. Nobody needs that negativity in their life, and you certainly don't need that negative bank balance. Make lunch at home the night before uni to save those pounds. Imagine what you could do with that extra £450. Thanks Brownlow Hill Tesco, but no thanks!
Use the boiling water in the Sydney Jones for tea or coffee
Given how cold it's been in the SJ recently, it's perfectly valid if you want to fuel your intense library sesh with a hot beverage. The library has a machine providing both cold and boiling water so you don't have to scrape your change together to buy a nice warm drink from the cafe. Be prepared with a flask, your milk (optional) and tea bags or coffee granules and just add hot water when you get to the library. You won't have to suffer through the painful beeping of that contactless payment for your venti latte anymore.
Ditch the 699 and the 86s and walk to uni
This one may be a bit gruelling when winter truly kicks in, but it'll be worth it when you can use those extra pounds to buy a train ticket home or treat yourself to a nice, warm, waterproof coat to protect you on these walks in the Liverpool wind and rain. You won't have to experience the unreliability of the 86 and you won't have to be rejected from getting on the 699, which will almost certainly be full of freshers from Greenbank and Carnatic. You certainly won't be cursing the day either because it happens to be a Stagecoach when you bought the bus pass exclusively for Arriva buses. You'll also get some exercise and have a good, active start to motivate you through the day ahead. Bonus: loads of people walk into uni so you might even have some walking buddies!
Ask in shops if they take student discount
The old saying "if you don't ask, you don't get" comes to mind here. There are shops in Liverpool city centre that do student discount that don't exactly advertise it that much, or that only do it for a limited time so always be sure to ask if there's an offer on for students. You'll soon be walking down Church Street donning all of your bags full of discounted clothes. Also, use your student status to get cheaper food in L1 and feel smug when the locals have to pay full price.
Keep your bus tickets – they come in handy for nights out
This one may seem odd but we have a point here. If you're one of those people that craves a mid-night snack after dancing your heart out all night in Concert Square, you might want to keep hold of your old bus tickets that give you money off at McDonalds. Get your drunk food for less than half the original price, and cut the queue at Nabzy's, hurrah.
Use the university's financial advice service
Last but certainly not least, if you really are struggling to budget during your time at university in Liverpool, the uni does have a Financial Advice Service. It's located in the Careers Hub in the Alsop Building near University Square. They offer daily drop-in sessions, and you can also phone or email them. You can find more information here.