11 things that students should spend their money on

 

Students are notorious for having to scrimp and save through their university years, but there are some things that are worth spending your depleted student loan on. The following are items that, with a small investment, will ultimately save you time, money and stress in daily student life.

Textbooks

We are at university to learn after all, and the advised course textbooks will help you to achieve your potential in your chosen field. Universities tend to issue enormous reading lists, and it can be unclear what is compulsory and what is recommended. So before you splash out on the entire list, make sure that you’re only buying what you will actually use. It’s often useful to you to own the core books, but much of the other reading may be easily available in the library for free. That said, it's often possible to find second-hand editions from last year's students, on ebay or on your uni intranet - and these could save you a packet.

Student insurance

It may sound expensive, but student insurance can actually be very reasonable. With some companies offering excesses of just £10, it’s worth claiming as you won’t need to spend a fortune yourself, and often one claim will pay out much more than the overall cost of the insurance. Lots of businesses even let you pick and choose the options that suit you best, so that you only pay for what you need.

Train tickets and railcard

You have to travel back and forth to university somehow, and price of buying, running and maintaining a car is difficult on a student budget. Travelling by rail is the perfect solution, and by booking in advance it’s easy to get cheap fares. Websites like The Trainline offer a ‘best fare finder’ so that you can work out the cheapest time to travel around the date that works best for you. A 16-25 railcard costs just £28 for a year and will save you a third on travel, so you can often save what you spent on it with your first journey.

A daily newspaper

Staying in touch with current events is important for everyone, and just the simple act of reading a daily newspaper will improve your grammar and vocabulary, which could ultimately boost your essays by several marks. i is perfect for students, with its concise, intelligent format, and currently offers discounts to students through its subscriptions, at just £30 for the entire year or £10 per term.

Trainers

It’s entirely understandable if your student loan doesn’t allow you to stretch to a gym membership, but if you’re looking to lose that Christmas weight then all you need is a good pair of trainers. There’s no shame in exercising in the great outdoors, and investing in decent footwear will keep you motivated by keeping blisters at bay.

Fairtrade products and local produce

Fairtrade produce costs little more than its rival products, but makes all the difference to farmers and workers in the developing world. Making a switch to Fairtrade products will not dramatically change your life but it will change the life of its producers, who are enabled to improve their quality of life through the scheme. You can also support local produce in your area at markets, which can often be fresher and less expensive than chain supermarkets.

iPod speakers

A necessity for house parties, iPod speakers are great for adding some atmosphere and sharing your music tastes with your friends. Even the most basic ones can be bought with a radio and charging dock so you can combine lots of gadgets in one easily portable device.

An NUS Extra card

At just £12 for one year, an NUS Extra card offers exclusive discounts with Amazon, Spotify, ASOS and many more companies used typically by students, and can save you money every day. They’re currently offering an extra month for free if you sign up this January.

Academic diary

Diaries (or planners) are inexpensive, and will save you time and effort. A5 ones are the perfect size to keep in your handbag or pop in your pocket, so that you can always refer to your timetable and other commitments. They really do help you to get organized with lectures, tutorials, deadlines, and social events too.

Toastie press

Universities are unlikely to provide a toastie press in Halls, but toasties are a staple part of the student diet, being easy to make and appropriate at any time of the day (or night).  Starting from just £5, they are a brilliant investment, and the perfect way to make a toasted sandwich without jamming up your toaster with melted cheese.

Printer

Printers are unbelievably useful as a student; when you’re working to a deadline it’s a comfort to know that once you’ve finished your work you can print it off easily at home instead of having a race to a computer room and pay to print. Having your cartridges refilled is much cheaper than buying new ones, but if you’re considering buying a printer, check first that you can refill the cartridges, as a few models do not allow this option.

When you’re confident that you’re saving money and time it’s easier to enjoy student life and get the most out of your university experience. None of these things will break the bank, and most will actually save you money eventually, so there’s no reason not to invest.

News
A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
people
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmA cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Arts and Entertainment
Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius
theatreThe Shakespeare play that proved too much for more than 100 people
News
exclusivePunk icon Viv Albertine on Sid Vicious, complacent white men, and why free love led to rape
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Stir crazy: Noel Fielding in 'Luxury Comedy 2: Tales from Painted Hawaii'
comedyAs ‘Luxury Comedy’ returns, Noel Fielding on why mainstream success scares him and what the future holds for 'The Boosh'
Life and Style
Flow chart: Karl Landsteiner discovered blood types in 1900, yet scientists have still not come up with an explanation for their existence
lifeAll of us have one. Yet even now, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Arts and Entertainment
'Weird Al' Yankovic, or Alfred Matthew, at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival Screening of
musicHis latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do our experts think he’s missed out?
Sport
New Real Madrid signing James Rodríguez with club president Florentino Perez
sportColombian World Cup star completes £63m move to Spain
Travel
Hotel Tour d’Auvergne in Paris launches pay-what-you-want
travelIt seems fraught with financial risk, but the policy has its benefits
Arts and Entertainment
booksThe best children's books for this summer
Life and Style
News to me: family events were recorded in the personal columns
techFamily events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped that
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

Graduate Sustainability Professional

Flexible, depending on experience: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: T...

Maths Teacher

£85 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: Randstad Education are curren...

Operations and Maintenance Engineer - Solar

£30000 - £40000 Per Annum plus benefits/bonus package: The Green Recruitment C...

Subsurface Solution Architect

£90000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client, a leader i...

Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn