Student Life Hacks
19th December 2018
At Housing Hand, we’re always trying to find ways to make students’ lives easier. Whether this is by helping students and working professionals secure the flats and homes with a UK Rent Guarantor, or helping tenants find the best rented properties in the first place with our Free House Finder Service. To take this a step further, we have written a series of ‘help guides’ full of student life hacks. Each set of student life hacks is based on a different topic. Choose your area of interest below or scroll down to go through them all!
Student Life Hack Categories
Student Life Hacks: Holiday Breaks
‘Tis the season for eggnog, mistletoe and blasting your Christmas Spotify playlist on repeat. For university students, the most wonderful time of the year includes some much-needed time off after one last round of exams and a trip home to catch up with friends and family. If you’re heading home from uni this Christmas, take a look at these Student Life Hacks for the Christmas Holiday Edition to make the most of your time off.
Student Life Hacks: Your Last Few Days at Uni
Buy last minute Christmas gifts
Christmas is right around the corner, and hopefully, you’ve managed to tick a few names off of your list. If you haven’t gotten around to it, have no fear. I recommend a quick search on Amazon to avoid the holiday crowds, but if you’re feeling brave, schedule a quick trip to the shopping centre. If you have no idea what to buy, have a peek at some online gift guides for inspiration.
You can practically hear the comforts of home calling you; a fully stocked fridge, your mum’s Christmas Dinner and nights filled with mulled wine and Christmas movie marathons. As nice as it would be to teleport to your parents’ cosy living room, that’s not quite possible yet. Don’t forget to arrange your transport home. Whether you’re taking a plane, train or anything in-between, make sure to take advantage of student travel discounts!
Search for Work
Most uni students are counting down the days until they can go home and power down after a long semester. While naps on the couch and Christmas Dinner leftovers are amazing, you’re bound to go stir-crazy eventually. Before you leave, look into some part-time job options at home. You’ll pocket some extra cash for next semester, and you’ll have a built-in escape hatch when the inevitable questions about “your future” start rolling in from extended family members. It’s a win-win!
Alright, this one should be a no-brainer. You (hopefully) have packed already before heading home but if you haven’t here are a few pointers to make the most of your luggage space.
-Avoid packing all of your dirty laundry
-Bring only the essentials
-Leave some extra luggage space to bring back Spring clothes you left at home.
-Keep it to one or two bags max!
Clean up and Lock up
You’ve finished your last-minute shopping, booked your ticket home and your bags are packed and ready to go and you can practically taste the mince pies waiting for you at home, but don’t step out the door just yet. Before you hit the road, make sure you’ve cleaned up and locked up your dorm or flat. This includes:
-Take out the bins.
-Do your laundry.
-Clean your dishes
-Close the windows.
-Turn off the lights.
-Make sure you’ve locked all doors.
Student Life Hacks: Once you’re Home
Have a Catch-Up Session
Now that you’re home, it’s time to catch up with all of your friends. Whether you’re making plans for New Year’s Eve or swapping stories from the previous semester, don’t take these times for granted. Catching up with your life-long friends is one of the best parts of coming home for the holidays.
Secure Your Housing
As comfy as your bedroom at your parents’ house may be, it sadly isn’t forever, and you’ll be headed back to uni soon. While you’re on break, spend some time researching housing options for the next academic year. Either search for new accommodation or make sure to extend your current lease and consider checking out services such as Housing Hand (LINK) and Only My Share (LINK) to make sure you’re financially protected.
As tempting as it may be to retreat to your room after the festivities begin to wind down, make sure you have some quality time with your family members that you don’t get to see while you’re away at uni. They’ll want to hear all about your student life, and believe it or not, they’ll probably have some real-world advice that will probably come in handy someday soon.
Your housing is secured, you’ve spent time with family and friends and had enough mulled wine to make you wary of it until next Christmas rolls around. Now it’s time to relax, unwind and power down for a little while. Student life is notoriously busy and stressful, so take advantage of your time away from it all. Schedule some time to bask in the glory of doing absolutely nothing, because before you know it, you’ll be right back in the thick of it all!
This article about “Student Life Hacks for the Holidays” was written for Housing Hand – the Award-Winning UK Rent Guarantor Service by Ameena Debboun. For more information on how Housing Hand can help you secure your rented accommodation, visit housinghand.co.uk or call 02072052625.
There’s no way around it. University life is expensive. Luckily, saving money doesn’t mean eating cup-of-noodles seven days a week and ditching your social life. It just takes a few tweaks to stretch your budget and make the most of your money. Check out these five no-nonsense student budget hacks and start saving!
Student Budget Hack #1: Take Advantage of Student Discounts
Most students are perpetually in search of a good discount. Luckily, tons of companies recognise this and offer discounts and rewards programs to better accommodate life on a student budget. I advise taking these discounts with a grain of salt. Some tried and true student rewards programs are well worth it while others veer into “scam” territory where you end up spending much way than you’ll ever save. A few of my favorite brands and companies that offer student discount/rewards programs include: Asos (10% off of any order, anytime), Spotify (50% off of premium subscriptions) and Student Universe (airfare for up to 50% off). The bottom line with student rewards programs: do your research and you’ll save a bomb, but tread carefully as it’s just as easy to accidentally spend a bomb.
Student Budget Hack #2: Get a Part-Time Job
Adding a part-time job to your already packed student schedule might seem like mission. In reality, adding a part-time job can give your university life some much needed structure. Many students find that working helps with time management along with the obvious bonus of earning some extra cash. On-campus jobs are notoriously flexible with scheduling, so start your search there. Also, spend a bit of time researching student-friendly employers as some companies offer help with tuition and others offer work/study programs. Keep it low-stress by starting with just a few hours a week. At the end of the day, your bank account will thank you!
Student Budget Hack #3 Rent Your Books
This hack might not seem like much, but the amount you’ll save when renting textbooks adds up quickly. Textbooks are notoriously expensive, and you’ll rarely use them once you’ve completed a course. My favorite way to rent textbooks is through Amazon. It’s straightforward, easy and they have a huge selection of textbooks. Bonus tip: set aside the amount you save on textbooks each semester and treat yourself at the end of the year!
Student Budget Hack #4: Stick to your Budget
A successful budget goes beyond creating an excel sheet of how you plan to spend each month. While that’s a great place to start, actually sticking to your budget is where most university students run into trouble. Don’t fear. It is possible. First, make sure to leave some wiggle room within your budget. Your life as a student most likely includes some amount of spontaneity, and your budget should reflect that. Prioritise the important things like rent and first and then leave a bit aside for drinks with friends or weekend travel. Plenty of online apps help you track your budget. My personal favorite is the Monzo card. It allows you to track everything you spend, and it categorises each transaction so that you can see where the bulk of your money goes every month.
Student Budget Hack #5: Save for a Rainy Day
Stuff happens. Even if you’ve budgeted within an inch of your life, picked up a part time gig, and protected yourself from rental arrears with a service like (LINK OMS), it’s unlikely you’ll make it through your entire university career without at least a few unforeseen expenses. Be proactive by keeping a bit of cash set aside for when this happens. My favorite way to save is the skimming technique. Simply put, bank skimming means rounding your bank balance down to the nearest whole number and transferring the extra bit that you’ve “skimmed” off the top into a savings account. Find out more about skimming here: (https://skintdad.co.uk/bank-account-skimming-make-savings/)
As a university student, keeping your grades up, having a relentless social life (FOMO) and after all, that, getting more than a couple of hours of sleep per night easily takes up around 99% of your time and attention. Therefore, it’s no surprise that most student rooms quickly fall into disarray. In order to even make it to the final stretch of the semester (including final exams!), use these student room life hacks to make your room (and life!) as organised, efficient and productive as possible without breaking the bank.
If you’ve got it, flaunt it!
All right, this tried and true saying might be referring to something other than organising your student living space, but it still holds true. Refrain from blowing your budget on a total room-overhaul and take a good look at what you already own. Chances are, you’re much closer to an Instagram-worthy living space than you realise. The first and cheapest new-room life hack is to shop in your own closet! If you’re feeling uninspired, check out these clever ways to bring some tired items back to life:
- Double your closet space in minutes with this ingenious hanger-hack!
- Create gorgeous globe lights with some old Ping-Pong balls.
- Turn an old cake pan into a minimalistic shelf for a bit of style and storage with this super-easy hack.
Efficiency over Excess
When in doubt, keep it simple. Student rooms are all about efficiency over excess. As a university student, you’re constantly presented with new challenges while juggling a semester’s worth of coursework. Therefore, one of the most important student life hacks is to inject simplicity and efficiency into your life wherever possible to keep things running smoothly. Stick to the basics with simple furniture (think IKEA!) and decrease clutter wherever you can. Here are some simple life hacks to make your student room as efficient as possible:
- Snag this sleek and simple dry-erase calendar decal for under £15 to keep yourself organized and on track.
- Keep your desk clutter-free with this super-simple DIY desktop organiser.
- Maximise your space with some platform bed storage hacks.
The lower your utility bill, the larger your weekend budget.
Small, everyday decisions make a big impact on your overall financial situation. Not only is it totally possible to organise your student room for cheap (see: the previous paragraph for ideas on how to shop in your own closet!), but keeping your space organised and functional will actually save you money. For example, a desk lamp will save you money on utilities since it stops you from keeping all of the lights on during an all-night study session, and keeping your keys in a bowl by the front door saves you the cost of having a new set made each time you misplace them (always check between the sofa cushions first). Here are a few student room hacks that definitely won’t break the bank:
- Browse local markets for great deals on vintage pieces. Check this list out if you’re living in London!
- Learn how to create a DIY picture-frame key holder in a few minutes here.
- Save each month by monitoring your energy usage with these smartphone apps.
This article about “Recently Moved-in Student Room Life Hacks” was written for Housing Hand – the Award-Winning UK Rent Guarantor Service by Ameena Debboun. For more information on how Housing Hand can help you secure your rented accommodation, visit housinghand.co.uk or call 02072052625.
More space saving student life hacks
Think platforms are just for shoes and train stations? Well, take a look at this helpful guide for DIY platform beds to help you save some space in any student room.