The January sales are over, we're almost out of February and you can stop worrying about buying gifts, splashing out and spending money. So with everyones bank accounts looking a little less healthy than they were in December, it's time for you to take a deep breath, put the wallet or purse away and look at the 5 things postgrads can give up to save money.
Give up the drinking As a source of stress relief, few other pastimes come close to the popularity and appeal of alcohol in its many forms. Now, everybody indulges at Christmas, and that's allowed. It's a festive pass card and for lots of students, it wouldn't be Christmas if they couldn't get merry. Sadly, alcohol is, almost universally, expensive. Why not ditch the drinking, save money and be a bit healthier all at the same time? You can always pick it up again when exams are over. There are tons of booze-free alternatives , so give it a go!
Give up the labels Yes, they might look great. Yes, you can show them off to your friends. Yes, they might come with a huge brand name across the front so no one is in any doubt as to what you're wearing. Unfortunately, designer clothes and brand labels come with hefty price tags and, much as you can try and convince yourself that you could afford those two hundred pound jeans, you probably can't. Instead, shop smart. Pay for the clothes, not for the label.
Give up the gym (it's not what you think) Maybe you work out, maybe you visit the gym regularly, maybe you have a routine and you stick to it. If that's the case, this is not for you. This is for those of us that like the idea of the gym, pay the extortionate prices for a three month contract and then only go twice. If you're even a tiny bit hesitant, spend a fraction of the money on a set of weights, a headband and some running shoes instead.
Give up the television (it's not what you think, part two!) There is nothing wrong with relaxing, throwing yourself down on the sofa after a day of lectures and gorging on evening tv. It's just that tv licenses are expensive. Currently at £145.50 and that's without any packages, it can be too easy to just pay it, thinking there are no alternatives. But there are. Netflix, Hulu Plus and Amazon Prime to name just three. With these and the many more like them, know that for a fraction of the price of a tv license you can watch great shows, series and films on your laptop instead.
Give up the fast food (it's exactly what you think) It tastes good, it's easy and you can't beat it on a night out. At the same time, it's fairly well established that it is bad for you, as well as being a drain on your finances. Give up the McDonalds, it will cost you less in the long run. And when you do splurge every once in a while, it will taste that much better for it. Everything in moderation, right? And the best bit - eating better can make you work better (no, really!) Useful Links How to save your postgrad cash starting right now
Credit cards and keeping your student debt managable
Saving money in student specific ways Dealing with a financial crisis - student style!
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