Feel Good Contacts is happy to announce we’re now giving 16% off on first orders to our student customers. Simply visit our student discount page to register and get your exclusive discount code.
University can be one of the most fun times of your life. It’s also a time in which most people find themselves having to budget and handle money by themselves for the first time.
Keeping track of the money you have coming in and how you’re spending it will help you better understand your finances. We recommend the mobile budget planner app Fudget. Available for both IOS and Android, this visual tool allows you to view your expenditures such as household bills and travel as segments. You also have the option to export your budget onto a CSV file. Once you’ve downloaded the app, start updating it every time you make a purchase. Seeing your monthly income go down each time you buy something might make you more conscious of how you’re spending your money.
Cut take-out coffee
Not buying take-out coffee can save you a small fortune. Let’s do the math, shall we?
£2.50 (one coffee a day) x 5 coffees a week = £12.50
£12.50 x 4 weeks = £50 a month
£50 x 12 months = £600 a year!!!
£600 = that could buy you a new laptop, or several staycations!!!
Even with popular chains like Pret introducing coffee subscription services, coffee will always be an easy expense to cut out. As well as saving money, you’ll also be taking on a healthy habit because too much caffeine isn’t good for you. If you can’t let go of your favourite cup of latte, buy instant coffee or coffee sachets that you can take on the go. Most cafeterias/common rooms will have a hot water dispenser so you can make your own brew at a fraction of the cost.
For some people, professional comper is now a part-time occupation. There are entire online groups and threads dedicated to posting new competitions daily. Have a scan through and enter a few competitions a week. #FreebieFriday and #WinItWednesday are popular hashtags on Twitter that both offer up a weekly dose of easy to enter contests. Feel Good Contacts also hosts regular competitions on our Twitter feed @feelgoodcontact.
Set savings goals
Using a savings account is a simple way to help you put away funds. Instead of looking at saving as some sort of personal punishment, why not make a game out of it. Challenge yourself to see how much you can save and pinch the pennies tighter every month. Set yourself a savings goal and be determined to set aside that money each month. Even if it’s just £10 a month, by the end of the year, that will be £120.
Saving is more than just putting money away for a rainy day, it’s about developing positive habits and a sense of self control over your spending. Look online for frugal living or minimalist lifestyle groups and blogs to inspire you.
Learn to cook
Cooking from scratch is much cheaper than buying ready meals or takeaways. Meal planning is a good way to ensure you’re eating a healthy diet. This can also be a great way to limit your food waste as you tend to only buy what you'll cook. It’s estimated that the average British home wastes around £470 of food a year, for a national total of £13 billion . That’s not only a huge waste of food and money, it’s also a shame considering how many people around the world go without food, as well as the huge environmental impact it has.
Buy quality, not quantity
It’s better to buy fewer things that are higher quality because these tend to last much longer than cheaper alternatives. Why contribute to fast fashion by purchasing 20 pairs of cheap sunnies, when you can purchase a few classic shades from our extensive designer range that you'll have for many years?
Learn to say no
Your student days will be packed with endless activities. Mid-week parties, Friday nights you’d rather forget and adventurous weekend getaways. These are all very fun experiences, but they can also leave a huge dent in your wallet. Know when to say no to nights out, particularly things you haven’t already budgeted for. Time with yourself is just as important, so use the moments when you don’t go out with your friends to detox. You’re not ‘missing in action’, you’re just giving yourself more ‘me time’.
Find things to do for free
There are plenty of activities that you can do for free. Look at tourist-centred websites to find museums, exhibitions, events and festivals. A great resource for finding hidden treasures is Atlas Obscura, which lists quirky and unusual places to visit.
Cut down on bad habits
Bad habits such as smoking and excessive alcohol consumption are not only detrimental to your health, but also your pocket. Unbeknown to some, you can receive smoking cessation services from your GP. There is also an NHS backed platform called Smoke Free, which drastically increases your chances of quitting, even if you’re already using e-cigarettes or stop smoking medication. Many smokers also swear by Allen Carr’s Easy Way To Stop Smoking.
Binge drinking on occasion may be socially acceptable by today’s standards, but it doesn’t minimise the real dangers of over consuming alcohol which include liver disease, heart disease and brain damage.
Purchase second-hand goods
When you’re looking to buy something, consider if and where you can get it for cheaper and don’t shy away from buying second-hand. Pre-loved items are a great way to save money, be more eco-friendly and help a good cause all at the same time. In fact, you’re helping the Earth by keeping unwanted item out of landfills. Here are a few great places you can purchased used goods:
- Local charity shops
- Websites like Ebay, Depop, Gumtree, Amazon and Shpock
- Bric-a-brac/car boot sales
You can also item swap with others and upcycle old items.
Cancel unused subscriptions
Think twice before you sign up to subscriptions and reconsider any you’re currently paying for. Gym memberships are often the biggest culprits for this. Look out for free open air green gyms during the summer, purchase equipment you can use in your home/dorm room during the winter and go on runs in your local park. You can also find lots of workout videos for free on Youtube. Mobile phone apps and entertainment packages such as Amazon Prime and Netflix should also be monitored. Consider if you’re actually using them to their full worth, and if not, cancel.
And a few other things…
- Always ask if there is a student discount before buying anything.
- Shop during the sales.
- Buy value brands.
- Borrow books from the library (just make sure to take your books back on time so you don’t incur a late fee).
We hope that these tips help you get through your student days.
You may be asking: “What about when I’ve finished my studies and have to start making those pesky student loan repayments?” No worries, Feel Good Contacts can promise that we’ll still be the cheapest retailer of contact lenses and designer sunglasses on the market.
 - https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201617/cmselect/cmenvfru/429/429.pdf - House of CommonsEnvironment, Food and RuralAffairs CommitteeFood waste in EnglandEighth Report of Session 2016–17.