College: free from the constraints of home life, a time to let yourself loose on the world, headstrong and heartily.
The library and the pub are the places you'll become most familiar with, giving you a perfect balance between the stress and the social.
But what happens when the money is low and the morale isn't much higher either? You need a plan – you need a way of saving money, earning a bit back and making sure that you can keep your head well above water when the times are tough.
See below for our 8 life hacks to save money as a student:
1. Become an Online Tutor
A solid idea and some work experience too. You're paying for your studies, so why not use that newfound knowledge to give back to someone else. It's a great way to earn money and add something different to your CV.
2. Start Writing as a Freelancer
Freelance writing is another great way to earn extra cash. If you have a skill for writing and have knowledge that is sort after, people can pay a lot of money for your services.
One of the best reasons to go to school events: free food.
Any time you're out of the house and not cooking for yourself is more time saving yourself money on both shopping and electricity/gas bills. It may not seem like much at the time, but if you get yourself to enough extra-curricular events after class you may well end up eating like a king, and saving money like the best of them.
4. Apply for Scholarships
Applying for a scholarship at school and university is such a great way to get some extra cash. Scholarships are awarded for academic promise or achievement, so this only applies to some people. The exciting thing is that if you are one of the people who excel in their studies to that degree, you could get grants that you don't even need to pay back.
A great way to save money (especially at the start of the year) is by renting your furniture for your new home. Instead of buying a new TV or buying a new table and chairs, why not source them from your local rental company.
The prices are usually really reasonable and considering you may only be in that house for 8 months a year this is the perfect way to make your money go further.
6. Team Up on Self-Storage
Why not combine all of the things you have and everything your housemates/friends may need to store and share the cost of a self-storage unit.
This could be in summer whilst you're away from education or during term-time when you don't have enough room for things – share a unit as opposed to wasting space – and money – on getting one yourself.
It's a clever way for you and your friends to help each other out.
7. Sell Social Media Likes and Comments
If you're popular enough on social media, companies will pay you to like their work and comment on how great their business is.
It's a tough one to master, because it means you need to be a top influencer, but if you can get it right it can get you extra money.
8. Borrow DVDs of Movies and TV Shows From The Library
Physical rental shops are things of the past, but you can still catch a bargain from your local library. As well as offering books and computer services, most libraries rent DVDs too.
This would be a great way to avoid paying full price for shows you may only watch once.
Many food items go on sale at regular intervals. Stock up when your favorite products are discounted to tide you over until the next sales bonanza.
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Shop in season.
You'll tend to find that your favorite foods are more affordable – and taste better – when they're in season. Consult this chart for a look at when common foods are in their prime.
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Use what you purchase.
When it comes to food, if you don't use it, you'll lose it. Buy fresh ingredients that can be used in a range of recipes so you don't waste them.
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Commit to store loyalty programs.
Many grocery stores offer loyalty cards that earn you deals on in-store items. Some cards may give you discounts on gas or allow you to save digital coupons on your card.
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Try non-grocery stores.
Target, Wal-Mart and other general stores may post competitive prices on food items. Add them to your shopping rotation.
Skip the bottled water aisle.
Stop buying water at the grocery store. You'll pay less for each glass of cold water by using a filter in a water pitcher or on your faucet.
Buy store brands.
Store brands often cost less than their name-brand counterparts – and they often taste exactly the same.
Skip the prepared foods.
Pre-made salads and pizzas and pre-cut fruits and vegetables may look tempting on a busy weeknight, but they come at a high markup.
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Buy in bulk.
Buy large quantities of nonperishables, such as pasta or rice, or frozen items at your favorite supermarket or wholesale store. Just make sure you have room for storage.
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Ditch the meat.
Getting your protein in meat form is an expensive proposition. Ground beef cost $3.67 per pound on average in September 2016, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Dried beans, on the other hand, ran just $1.37 per pound.
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Check out the weekly ad.
Check your weekly circular for sales on your favorite items and plan your meals around those weekly discounts.
Download the store app.
Another way to get the best deal? Download the store's mobile app. Safeway's app, for example, allows shoppers to scan bar codes for deals and load digital coupons instantly.
Compare unit prices.
It's a challenge to compare prices when foods come in different container sizes. Drill down to the unit price when comparing the value between one item and the next to make sure you're getting a true apples-to-apples comparison.
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Leave the credit card at home.
If you need extra motivation to stick to your budget, leave the credit cards at home and just bring cash. It's an old-fashioned technique, but it will keep you from busting your weekly food budget.
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Do a pantry sweep.
Take stock of your pantry before heading to the supermarket. That way, you'll reduce the risk of purchasing duplicates or more than you can eat before items expire.
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Scan the bottom and the top.
Stores routinely place the priciest items at eye-level – and hide the cheaper options on the top and bottom shelves. Make sure to scan the entire vertical length of the shelf before committing to a brand.
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Make nice with the sales associate.
A good relationship with the supermarket workers – especially those who work behind the meat, fish and baked good counters – can yield valuable intel on upcoming sales and deals.
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Don't use coupons right away.
"Stores know weeks ahead of time what product coupons are coming out in the inserts, and they may leave the corresponding products at higher prices intentionally," Jill Cataldo, consumer coupon expert and founder of Super-Couponing, told U.S. News.
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Get in, get food and get out.
Dilly-dallying at the supermarket can cost you more than time. The longer you spend at the store, the more you spend on food. So, get in, stick to your shopping list and get out before temptation gets the best of you.