Continuing on from January, after all the festive fun is over, February tends to be another month of abstinence, with a good majority of us continuing to try and eat healthier, endure alcohol-free days and cut back on spending – but being short of cash doesn’t mean you have to become a recluse this month.
If, like us, the thought of checking the (sadly depleted) bank account seems a little overwhelming then don’t panic, because we’ve got eight ways to stay financially viable and survive the rest of winter as a student…
Take advantage of freebies in your local intu centre
The bank account may have gone into hibernation this month but that doesn’t mean that you can’t have any fun. Did you know that you can get free treatments at selected beauty counters at your local intu centre? Yep! Not only can you tap into the knowledge of sales reps for tips and tricks, but you can also enjoy complimentary services like facials, massages and makeovers. And the best bit? You can bag a number of product samples for free too – yes really!
From favourites such as Smashbox, Chanel, Benefit and more, here’s a list of all the brands that offer sweet treats and services you can get for free at beauty counters.
Be the boss of your budget and spending
Yes, it involves the dreaded task of checking your bank statements and doing some maths, but trust us, you’ll be glad you did it. It’s so easy to quickly spend more than you have coming in but – brace yourself, this is where it starts to get real – by setting a weekly and monthly cash limit, you can identify and control unnecessary spending habits which will save you money in the long run.
For example, you could start by putting aside what you would normally spend on a coffee everyday for a week and at the end of the month, and add that amount to a larger pot of money that you’ve set aside for a much larger goal, like a holiday.
Declutter and sell unused items online
A dictum of Feng Shui holds that clutter around you can block you from moving forward in your future, so this 2020, do a quick sweep of your wardrobe (à la Marie Kondo), and flog any unused items online for some extra cash. It’ll not only get you some much needed money, but it will also help clear overwhelmed minds from studying and reduce anxiety levels instantly.
Plan a games night with friends
Banish any possibility of boredom by hosting a great game (or movie) session with friends. Whether the whole squad is broke or just in the mood for a quiet night in, planning an evening indoors is the perfect bonding experience and the quickest way to merriment and side-splitting laughter. You could even have everyone bring one thing to share like snacks and drinks, or board games and movies if you’re planning to pull an all-nighter.
Have a ‘no-spend’ day each week
If you think about it, you most probably spend money on at least one thing everyday; be it a train ride, bus fare, a coffee, a small snack or a bottled beverage. Exercise a little self-restraint – your wallet will thank you later – and practice having one day a week where you don’t spend a penny unless it’s absolutely necessary.
Use your student discount
Although it’s not always advertised, tons of stores and restaurants offer student discounts, so it’s worth checking and asking if you can claim an offer before you pay full price at the till. From snapping up free samples to bagging 10% off at New Look and knocking a few quid off a MAC lipstick, check out our list of the best student discounts at intu, across fashion, beauty and food, that’ll make this winter a little brighter.
There’s always tomorrow
Don’t worry about missing out. Yes, the FOMO can be real but guaranteed that most (if not all) students will be feeling the pinch, so don’t feel like you can’t say no or feel bad for declining an invite. Remember, being a student is a full-time job which means your studies require your attention everyday. If you have a free night, focus on getting prepared for upcoming lessons to earn those top marks, which will then warrant a celebratory night out!
Feeling anxious? Here are 7 tips on how to build confidence while at uni.