Tips to Budget Student Housing

Amidst the energy crisis, shortage of student housing, and skyrocketing rents, this year’s National Student Accommodation Survey brings to light some of the challenges students are facing when it comes to living away from home.

The survey shows that more than half of the respondents, who believed they were eligible for the £400 energy bill discount, reported that they have not received it. This is concerning, especially when 95% of students with bills are already worried about managing their payments.

To help alleviate this financial strain, My Student Living have compiled a list of creative strategies that any student can employ to make affording student rent more manageable. 

Here are some thrifty ideas for students:

Roommates and Shared Housing: 

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Explore options for off-campus housing, which can sometimes be more affordable than on-campus accommodations. Consider sharing the accommodation with roommates to split the rent and other living costs. Shared housing can significantly reduce individual expenses.

When considering shared housing, it’s essential for students to establish clear communication and ground rules with their roommates. Discussing expectations regarding cleanliness, noise, guests, and shared expenses can prevent potential conflicts and make the living arrangement more harmonious.

While it may require some adjustments to live with others, roommates and shared housing offer numerous advantages, making them a popular and practical choice for students looking to save money without compromising on the quality of their living situation.

Part-Time Work:

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Common part-time job opportunities for students include working in retail, food services, tutoring, campus jobs, or online freelancing in areas like writing, graphic design, or web development.

Remember, it’s essential to strike a balance between work and academics to ensure a successful college experience. With proper planning and time management, part-time jobs and freelance work can be an effective means for students to earn income and contribute towards their rent and other living expenses.

Scholarships and Grants: 

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Applying for scholarships, grants, and financial aid is a crucial step for university students to help cover housing expenses and alleviate financial burdens. By being proactive and diligent in the scholarship application process, university students can increase their chances of receiving financial aid, making housing expenses more manageable and enabling them to focus on their studies and overall college experience.

Resident Assistant (RA) Positions: 

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Consider becoming an RA on campus, which often provides free or reduced-cost accommodation. Overall, the role of a Resident Assistant can offer valuable experiences and financial benefits for a third-year university student. It’s essential to assess your ability to fulfil the responsibilities and consider how the position aligns with your personal and academic goals. If you believe you have the qualities and dedication required, becoming an RA can be a rewarding and enriching part of your university journey. 

In addition, if you are living in Purpose Built Student Accommodation, ask reception if there are any ways you can help out with the building. A lot of buildings require someone available for lock outs, cleaners or even fire wardens, so it’s worth asking and in return see if their is a discount on your rent.

Meal Planning: 

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By implementing meal planning and bulk grocery shopping strategies, students can better manage their food expenses and allocate more funds towards rent and other essential needs. It’s a smart way to save money without sacrificing the quality and variety of meals.

If you are also in a shared house, you can also cook with your roommates and share the costs of ingredients. It is a lovely social activity at low cost.

Sell Unwanted Items: 

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Selling unused items not only provides extra cash but also helps declutter your living space and reduce waste. It’s a practical and sustainable way for university students to earn some money and manage their finances more effectively.

Sites like Vinted, Facebook Marketplace, and other online platforms are excellent places to sell unwanted items and give them a second life to someone who may genuinely need them.

Before buying or selling, it’s essential to maintain safety and security by following the platform’s guidelines and best practices. Additionally, ensure that the items you sell are in good condition and accurately described to maintain a positive experience for both parties.

Overall, participating in the second-hand economy is not only financially beneficial but also contributes to a more sustainable and conscious way of living. It’s a win-win situation, as you can declutter your space, earn some money, and find great deals on items you may need—all while making a positive impact on the environment and supporting others in the community.

Second hand Textbooks: 

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Instead of buying new textbooks, consider renting or buying second-hand ones to save money for rent. One way to save money on textbooks is by exploring the “Used” option on Amazon when purchasing books. Opting for used copies can significantly reduce the price compared to new ones. Additionally, there are several online second-hand book sites that offer affordable options for textbooks.

Another approach is to visit second-hand bookshops or charity shops in your area. Shops near your university often receive a surplus of university textbooks at the end of each term, making them a worthwhile place to search for affordable options. By being open to buying used books, you can save money without compromising the quality of your education.

Any books from previous educational years that you have lying around can be easily sold again on Amazon, Ebay or websites like We Buy Books, for some extra cash. 

By employing these creative approaches and being proactive in seeking financial assistance, students can better cope with the cost of student accommodation and create a more affordable living situation during their academic journey.

If you are still in the mission to find the most affordable house for your new academic year, My Student Living is here to help! Just contact a member of our staff.