/ Money, Parenting

Do you have any tips to help students save and reduce waste?

Student money

National Student Money Week (or NSMW, whichever you prefer) is an opportunity for money advisers to connect with students about a particular theme to do with cash (or lack of it). So here’s Ani Bailey of National Student Money Advisers to explain more about this initiative…

NSMW was set up seven years ago by NASMA (National Student Money Advisers) to highlight a certain financial concern that students face whilst studying and in a way that is engaging and promotes discussion.

This year, NASMA’s focus is ‘Waste Not, Want Not’, and is aiming to raise awareness about food waste, sustainability, upcycling and recycling.

But this year’s theme isn’t necessarily exclusive to students. In fact, it could well be that reducing waste, limiting want and saving money are all part of your mantra too

Waste and want

This week, universities will be hosting clothes swap shops, aiming to encourage recycling and upcycling rather than buying brand new.

Offering help and advice for students to grow their own veg from seed and channel their inner gardeners. As well as the running of food banks for students to donate to and cut down on waste.

Students will also be encouraged to show off their talents at using leftovers to make a delicious meal, and taste-testing competitions will see if anyone is savvy enough to spot the difference between branded and unbranded foods…

All of these activities will be aiming to raise awareness to the many ways you can save money and cut down on waste.

And some of these handy tips and tricks shared this week will probably be mantras well practiced the Which? Conversation community too.

In addition to thinking about how certain things like reducing food waste and upcycling old clothes can help save money, we also want students to also get involved in the broader issue of recycling and sustainability within their local communities too.

Communities working together

Through communities such as Which? Conversation, as well as all the social networks well used by students, we want to encourage students to connect and share ideas and tips to improve their financial situation.

So as it’s National Student Money Saving Week, we want to know what your tips and tricks are for students to reduce waste and save money? Do you have any clever hacks that help you to cut back and save?

This is a guest contribution by Ani Bailey from NASMA. All views expressed here are Anita’s own and not necessarily those shared by Which?.


Advice for everyone not just students Destroy your Credit Card Then you cannot spend unless you have the money to pay for the thing you want and maybe not need

My advice would be to download a budgeting app – very handy for working our what your outgoings are and making sure you’re sticking to a daily budget. But to keep it on the theme of this year’s activity, I knew people at uni who’d reuse tea bags (which I know you can do, but I couldn’t get my head around it). My tip would be to club together and buy bigger meals that you can cook up and then use leftovers for next couple of days. And avoiding buying expensive text books by just going to the library!

We bought secondhand books and then resold them through the university bookshop. Don’t drink. Don’t smoke. Take a year off after school and work to earn a cushion of cash. And, as Lauren says, prepare a budget so you know what you need to do with your money. that applies to anyone of course. Perhaps @ldeitz Which? could produce a budget app or a spreadsheet – may be you already do?

I would be interested to know why students can’t go to a university closer to home – they seem to spend a small fortune on coach and train fares. I appreciate that it is often a question of course choice.

I’m not sure students should give up drink; that would take much of the pleasure out of student life, but perhaps they should only drink in public places like pubs and bars, not in their rooms or lodgings.

It was my impression that most students already wear recycled clothing and are certainly adept at making things last.

Not having any family now at university we wouldn’t be averse to sponsoring a student if there was a suitable scheme [and possibly a modest tax break]. I think it’s that or a gorilla.

Your comment has made me chuckle @johnward.

In my days as a student, we definitely went around in recycled clothing 🙂 and if we wanted to change our look a bit, just used to swap outfits with each other for the night/week/month/term.

We’d definitely have baulked at the idea of stopping drinking, too. To save money, we used to make a punch to share, so we wouldn’t spend so much on alcohol when we were out (well, that was the theory…)

I also used to buy food with a friend to save money. Being a bit older, she knew how to spin out her grant a bit longer by going to the market for veg and shopping at Aldi (before it got really popular).

The quirks of the English language! In my day we would have invariably written “balked at” but “baulked at” has become the general usage. It’s one of those phrases like “bail out” or “bale out” that don’t seem to be able to settle down for long.

I’ve just looked this up, @johnward. Seems baulk is a British variant of balk, but both are used in British publications interchangeably. Interesting!

Thanks, Melanie. I think “baulked” predominates now, but my browser spell-checker red-lines it!

My advice is to really make sure you understand how the most popular financial products work… look into your overdraft interest rates, fees for credit cards, be suspicious about anything that sounds ‘too good to be true’ as it probably is, and stay away from payday loans. You can really reduce your outgoings by being smarter with the tools you use every day.

On Thurs 9 Feb at 7pm, Which? Money will be running a live Q&A session on the WhichUK Facebook page. Ask Which?’s Harry Rose and Gareth Shaw any question you may have on financial products and services – it may be on banking, savings, insurance, credit cards, pensions, investments or tax. Click on the above link and submit your question for for Harry and Gareth to answer.