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10 ways to deal with having no money

23rd October 2014

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For the vast majority of us, “student” is synonymous with “skint”, and we can either stress about it and end up having no fun, or we can try and deal in the best way we can.                                          

MoneyIt’s not always easy, but we’ve tried to break it down into 10 easy steps to help you deal with those times when the bank balance is looking a little sad. 

    1.        Get your priorities straight

It may be tempting to stinge on the basics if you have limited resources, but missing out on food and heating is a one way ticket to hospital. Okay...that might be dramatic, but it’s certainly not good for you! If you want to be energy conscious, figure out the Rubix Cube that is your central heating controller and set it to come on at specified times (mornings and evenings are advised). And if you want to save on food, head to the local market rather than the big name supermarkets. You can get great, healthy food for a fraction of the price. 

    2.        Go meat free

While we’re talking about food, another great way to save money is to go veggie. It can save you a lot of money, and there are so many tasty vegetarian alternatives to meat that you can try. If you really need the meat, try staving off every other week, or just a few days out of the week. You can still get a balanced diet by making sure you eat lots of green iron-rich vegetables, eggs and pulses. You read correctly, delicious pulses! 

    3.        Steer clear of bad habits

It may be an obvious one, but most of the things that are bad for you are also a drain on your wallet. So smoking and excessive drinking are off the table! If you partake in these habits, it’s time to put them down for good. Not only will it improve your health in a major way, but it will keep your bank balance looking healthier as well. 

    4.        Have a house party 

Nights out may be the biggest drain on a student’s wallet, and no one wants to be that guy that stays in every Friday because of a lack of funds. The best way around this, is to invite your mates round to your place, and tell them to BYOB. You’ll have a free, fun night, and you don’t have to worry about those pesky “other people” that tend to occupy public spaces like pubs and discotheques. 

    5.        Look out for great deals

There are lots of discount groups and newsletters you can sign up for that could save you a quid or two. Check Facebook, Twitter and sign-up for emails like GroupOn and Wowcher and keep your eye out for good deals. The trick is to be selective. It may seem like a good idea to buy that set of 70% off kitchen knives, but you already have a workable peeler and chopping knife. There are often great deals on bulk loads of toilet paper at ridiculously low prices, and other boring essentials that you can save a few pennies on. It may not be glamorous, but it is necessary. 

    6.        Advertise for a company

One way of drawing in extra income without actually having to do all that much, is to let a company use your position as a student to advertise to your peers. A few companies have emerged in recent years to take advantage of this advertising hot spot, and you can also use this trend to make a bit of extra dough. Just do a quick Google search, and you can find companies that will pay you to put an advert on your car, and even on your face (in facepaint). they do the legwork, and you get a little bit of pocket money! 

    7.        Make use of the library

Universities and lecturers (who often have new books out) may try to convince you that it’s necessary to buy the full book list for your university course. Do not believe them! A few major textbooks may be needed, but for the rest you can turn to the resources of the university library. You will have to be ahead of the game so you don’t turn up to an empty shelf the day before your lecture on post-structuralist theory, but being on the ball will be worth it for all the money you’ll save on books that you might not actually get round to reading anyway. 

    8.        Limit your cash

One way to keep tabs on your spending is to just take out the exact amount of cash you want to spend. If you’ve budgeted for £70 a week, that’s all you should take out. Then you can see exactly what you have left, and you’ll slow down on spending if it’s running out too quickly! 

    9.        Avoid late night takeaways

Cheesy chips and kebabs are very tempting options at 3 in the morning, but it is an unnecessary expense. Keep a tasty and easy-to-make treat waiting at home for when you return from your night out, and keep that in your mind’s eye when those neon “open” signs are blinking in your direction. It’s also much healthier to avoid the rotations of the donner kebab meat in favour of a homemade snack. 

  10.        Get yourself a travelcard

If you study in London, an Oyster card is a must. If you’re in other cities across the country, invest a little in a railcard and you will save a lot when it comes to visiting friends in other universities and travelling home to see the ‘rents. You can also get discounts on the bus and underground rail systems, if you’re so lucky to have one in your chosen university town (ahem, only the best- Glasgow, Liverpool and Newcastle). Travel can be a major drain on your bank balance, so make sure you take advantage of all the discounts you can.


Don’t stress if you have no money, there are always ways to get around your broke status. Take our advice on how to deal with being skint, and you’ll be on your way to being discount royalty.

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