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Lifestyle

How to manage your money

By ZahraRLA 10 Feb 2024

Being on a student budget can be difficult, but it doesn't mean you can't have fun!

Food

Be smart with your food shop. The cheapest supermarkets are Lidl and Aldi, so if you live near one of these- make the most of it! There is a Lidl near the main campus in Cathays.

Make a shopping list and a meal plan. This will stop you buying things you don't really need and prevent food wastage. Also, if you have a loose plan of what you will eat each day, you will be less likely to spend money on takeaways, which can save a lot of money.

Clothes

When it comes to buying clothes, consider going to charity shops and checking second hand websites/apps, such as Depop and Vinted. Not only does this save you (a lot!) of money but it is also more sustainable. There are plenty of charity shops on Albany Road, Roath and a MASSIVE one on Newport Road, so definitely check them out. 

To stop impulse purchases, consider waiting a week or two after wanting a new item of clothing before you buy it. This will make you realise if you really need it or if you are just feeling impulsive!

Student Discount

If you haven't already, download Unidays and Student Beans to get discounts off all sorts of things. Make sure to read the terms and conditions, as sometimes there are restrictions on the days they are valid, especially with restaurants!

Also, if you travel by train a lot, the 16-25 railcard is definitely worth getting. It saves 1/3 of the fare each time you travel, so you will save more than you originally paid for it in no time.

Free/cheap activities

Cardiff has so many free and cheap activities to do alone or with friends. For example, there are nice parks to walk or play sport in (Bute Park, Alexandra Park and Roath Park- did you know, Roath Pleasure Gardens has its own indoor rainforest?!), as well as nearby places such as Cardiff Bay, Penarth, Barry, St Fagan's Museum and IKEA, which are just a bus/train ride away.

Cardiff City centre also has so many arcades to explore, with so many shops and coffee shops to have a look at.

Finally...

These tips aren't to say don't treat yourself. You can still buy new clothes, order takeaways and go to that event- just be aware there are other options too (and be realistic with what you can afford)! If you ever find yourself struggling financially whilst at University, there is financial advice and support available from the Advice & Money team. 

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