Managing your finances at WBS

25 October 2023

We caught up with some of this year’s Masters students to find out the best ways to make your money last through your university experience.

  1. Budgeting

Sharmila: Develop a monthly budget by tracking your income and expenses. This will help you stay on top of your finances and identify areas where you can cut back.

Aditya: I usually review my spending patterns on a regular basis and compare them to my budget to uncover areas where I overpay/overspend. This practice has helped me as well it will benefit you to stay accountable and make required budget modifications, keeping you on track financially.

Sharanya: Budgeting for living expenses becomes significantly easier when you discover ways to be resourceful. Take the first few weeks to explore all of your options to determine what best suits your needs.
Coventry is a vibrant university town, and as a result, many eateries and brands offer student discounts. Don't hesitate to inquire at the counter—you'll be surprised at what discounts you can receive simply by asking. Remember, when you seek, you shall find!

  1. Student discounts

Sharmila: Living on a tight budget should not mean sacrificing happiness or quality. Coventry provides a wide range of opportunities for students to have fun while saving money.

You may get discounts and exclusive offers at eateries like Heavenly Desserts and Oodles Noodles in Coventry's city centre by flashing your student ID card. Websites like Student Beans provide special discounts on apparel and other goods. The Too Good To Go app also provides cheap meals from nearby restaurants that have leftover food at the end of the day, which can help you save money while eating out while reducing food waste.

Sharanya: I highly recommend downloading two apps: StudentBeans and UniDays. These apps offer student discount codes for a wide range of brands. By registering with your Warwick student email ID, you gain access to discounts on various products, including clothing, accessories, electronics, and eateries. I've come across significant discounts from brands like H&M, Nike, and PureGym throughout the year.

Many brands also offer referral codes when you first sign up, so be sure to utilise and share referral codes when using services such as Revolut (virtual bank card), Voxi (phone carrier provider), Deliveroo (food delivery), and Getir (grocery delivery).

Edward: Many mainstream/high street stores will offer a discounted price for students that can present them with their student ID or, alternatively, a verified UniDays account. Similarly to Sharanya, I would highly recommend signing up for UniDays online- it is free to create an account, and I have found it extremely useful for saving money as it offers student discounts on many well-known brands and websites.

Aditya: I often buy used textbooks or borrow them from the library or my classmates, use public transport rather than taxis, and plan my meals and prepare at home for the week, which saves time as well as money. Take advantage of student discounts at a variety of businesses, restaurants, and entertainment establishments to save additional money in the difficult current climate.

  1. Transport

Sharanya: The city boasts excellent connectivity both within and to other cities. For travel within the city, buses are my preferred mode of transportation. If you frequently use the bus, consider getting a monthly or term pass, depending on your usage.

If you are travelling to and from the university campus, you can obtain a subsidised ticket known as UniHop. For intercity travel, I opt for trains or coaches, depending on the duration of the journey. In both cases, you can benefit from an annual pass (Rail card and Coach card) that reduces the ticket price by a third.

Sharmila: Make sure to take advantage of student discounts on public transportation, such as bus and train passes. Opting for monthly or termly passes instead of single tickets can result in substantial savings.

Edward: If you were looking to venture further out of campus, there is a bus station located less than a five-minute walk from WBS. The buses that depart from there offer a discounted student ticket to Leamington Spa and Coventry city centre, with the option of a discount for groups of people. These shopping hotspots have many stores to choose from that can offer pretty much anything and everything from clothes to pharmaceuticals.

  1. Self-catering

Edward: Cooking for yourself is the best way to save money at university (so maybe start studying Jamie Oliver’s tips and tricks!) When it comes to grocery shopping, sign up for a Tesco Clubcard as Tesco often offer reduced prices or offers on items, whilst you accrue loyalty points which will reward you with substantial future discounts.

Sometimes cooking can feel like a bit of a chore, but my friends and I have found a way to make it more fun. In our accommodations, there is the option to book a shared kitchen for the evening so you can cook with your friends. We also like to have cooking competitions where we each cook our packed lunch and compare to decide who has the best cooking skills.

Aditya: Adopting a thrifty attitude and practising smart purchasing habits can have a big influence on your financial wellbeing. I always look for ways to save money in all facets of my university life.

Sharmila: Although dining out can be tempting, it can quickly deplete your funds. Reserve eating out for special occasions and focus on cooking meals at home. Not only is it more cost-effective, but it also gives you the opportunity to experiment with your culinary skills.

Another tip is cooking in bulk. You may enjoy homemade meals without the inconvenience and expense of everyday cooking by making dishes in bigger amounts, and freezing individual servings.

  1. Treating yourself

Aditya: I delegate a small budget each month for luxuries like new clothes or concert tickets. It’s also advisable to leave a small percentage aside as contingency budget, to facilitate any unforeseen circumstances or events.

Edward: Although cooking at home is the most cost effective, there are ways of making a great night out slightly cheaper. The Student Union is located at the heart of the campus with many great eateries, and Rootes grocery store to grab some lunch on the go (perfect for those who spend most of their time on campus). Places like Curiositea, Dirty Duck, and Varsity often provide discounted items for students, so they are definitely my go-to.

Sharanya: While I also primarily prepare my own meals, there are days when I indulge in eateries around the area. The Phantom Coach, a cozy English pub near the university campus, offers student discounts. They serve brunches and classic pub food, providing excellent value for money.

Additionally, various restaurant chains throughout the Coventry, such as Zizzi's (Pizza and Italian), Wok to Walk (Chinese), and Bombay Palace (Indian), offer student discounts while ensuring high-quality food. On campus, there are also affordable eateries to explore, such as the Dirty Duck and Fusion Sports Bar, known for their pocket-friendly food and student-friendly vibe.

Sharmila: If you you’re disciplined and stick to your budgeting plans for the majority of the time, there’s no guilt attached when do you want to reward yourself. Find that right balance!
 

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