It’s not getting any easier for students to afford university – the cost of living is going up and 66% of students say their maintenance loan isn’t enough. That’s why every Monday we will be sharing tips and hints to help you manage your money as a student.

In this, the first of our Money Mondays blog, we’ll focus on helping you become a savvy spender with our 3 step process to reducing unnecessary spending.

Before buying something, ponder these 3 questions:

1) Do I WANT it?

If you don’t want it then don’t buy it! It’s common sense, but you’d be surprised how many times you buy something just because you know you can. My biggest regret is those rhinestone cowboy boots I bought because I thought I’d try out line dancing. I never did go…

2) Do I NEED it?

This one is the real deal-breaker. Of course, it’s ok to sometimes buy things you don’t absolutely need, especially as a treat, but if you do it often, that’s when your finances can get a little out of hand.

Think about things you really need, like food, clothes and course materials – compare those to that Dominos you might have every evening or that mojito you bought for your mate on a night out – that should help you determine what’s necessary and what’s not.

3) Can I get it CHEAPER elsewhere

This is where the truly savvy spenders excel! When you realise you want and need something (and sometimes when you just want it) it can be really easy to buy it in the first place you see it – we’ve all done it!

But there are so many ways to shop around nowadays, even simply using google to search for a product you want will demonstrate price points for it in other locations.

Don’t get caught out with impulse buys, on average you can save 15% on the cost of a product just be shopping around – that’s an extra 15% to spend elsewhere, or save for the future!

If you want to find out more, or assess just how spending savvy you are, get involved in our Money Skills project, The Cash Circus, by finding us on shuspace or our blog.

Don’t forget to subscribe to get a weekly top tip on saving or making money every Monday.