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Lifestyle

How to make your loan go the extra mile

By bzellie 20 Jan 2021

When you received your loan, it may have gone one of two ways, either you've saved it or you've spent it on treating yourself during the pandemic...

If it's the latter, it may be time to starting planning on how it can last you a little longer. We've got some simple ways to make your student loan last - it can be the smallest changes that can make a massive difference!

1. Take note

Write down the amount of loan you will be receiving and take away however much will be going out each month. This would include, rent, bills, food shopping and anything else you have going out your bank account like phone contracts. This will enable you to work out how much you can spend each month.

a close up of a calculator

2. Write everything down

This may seem tedious, but it is well worth it. Write down in a notepad what you spend money on each day down to the last penny. You'll be able to see how much money you are spending and if there are any unnecessary things you can stop buying to save.

a man sitting at a desk writing in a note pad

3. Allocate cash

After you've worked out how much you can afford to spend each month, you can see how much you have left per week. You could withdraw your weekly allowance from your bank so that you only spend that money. You may have money left over each week to spend on treats like takeaways or online orders (yes, you can still enjoy yourself when budgeting)!

a close up of someone putting money in a piggy bank

4. Shop smart

Choose where you go for your food shop carefully! Shopping at the likes of Aldi and Lidl will save you a lot of money compared to shopping at Co-op or Tesco. Always do a weekly or monthly food shop too - don't go to your local corner shop for food every day because it'll end up a lot more expensive.

a supermarket filled with lots of food

5. Student discount

One of the great benefits of being a student has got to be the student discounts. If you haven't got a student card, then invest in a TOTUM card or UNiDAYS / Student Beans, they have hundreds of student discount codes for online shops so always check these before buying anything.

a shop window with the word 'sale' written on it

6. Save on travel

Ok, so we know you won't be travelling during lockdown, but it is definitely something worth investing in once things start to go back to normal. Whether it's a bus or train ticket to travel to uni/home, you can save some extra cash. Getting a railcard or a bus pass will get you up to 1/3 off ticket prices, this is yet another simple way to make your loan last longer if you're trying to make savings wherever you go.

the inside of a bus

7. Shopping lists

Sorry, but spending money on food is inevitable! A simple way to shop smart is to make a meal plan for the week and write a shopping list before you go/or shop online, this will ensure you only get the things you need instead of buying everything and anything. Also, NEVER go food shopping hungry, you'll crave all kinds of food and end up spending money on rubbish.

a person writing notes in a notepad

8. Make some cash

Obviously getting a part-time job is a bit difficult whilst we are in lockdown, so getting creative is key. Now you've got some extra time on your hands, why not have a clear-out and sell some old clothes or items on the likes of Depop and Shpock? Is there something you could make to sell on Facebook or Etsy, whether you like painting, drawing or making cards, anything sells these days!

a person in an apron making a smoothie

So, if you need to cut down on your spending try one (or all) of these tips to see how much you could save.

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