17th January 2017
Living in shared accommodation can mean you’re susceptible to the spending and lifestyle habits of your housemates. You can always do your bit to save as an individual, but as a household you can do plenty to work together as a team and save on overall costs as well. Here are the hints you need to hack your budget as a group of students in shared accommodation!
Shop in bulk
If you’re up for sharing with your housemates, there’s money to be saved in buying in bulk. This is a really helpful idea if you have a decently sized freezer in the house. Buy your base items in bulk, cook them up (this can be a great communal activity as well!) and freeze in smaller chunks in order to save yourself a lot of time and money. It’s healthier too, if you pick out portions of soups, sauces and more on hand for when you’re too lazy to prepare meals from scratch, instead of reaching for the ready meals. Consider sharing a loyalty card as well to maximise the return on group shopping.
When it does come time to do those groceries, don’t forget to give yourself the best chance at cutting the final check out fee: get couponing to save that extra cash. After all, the more aware of couponing as a group, the better savings you can make. Don’t forget also the power of own-brand labels: you can make huge savings by picking up the own-brand items from your local, instead of the independent brands. Compare own-label to independent brands by checking out Supermarket Own Brand Guide.
Exercise as a household
Instead of spending your money on the gym, consider creating a household exercise regime. After all, you don’t need to spend much money in order to get exercise – going for a cycle, walking, hiking, can all be great ways to explore a new part of town, take in some fresh air and socialise with your housemates, whilst you get fit. If you’d rather work out at home, check out Podcasts or YouTube channels (such as Blogilates for energetic workouts, The Daily Hiit and BeFiT for new workouts daily from a group of qualified fitness trainers). The main thing to keep in mind is that you can keep yourself accountable by having a buddy to work out with, and your housemates are always there as reminders of the importance to get in some exercise! Take advantage of household chores as part of your fitness routine too – it’s a great way to make sure the place is kept clean, without paying extra for a cleaner. Win-win!
If you’ve got a single household subscription to Netflix, it’s a lot cheaper than each signing up. Of course, you might want the convenience of your own service, but grouping entertainment services can be a great way to cut down on the cost of your leisure expenses.
Do your bit to lower the electricity bill
Electricity is often the most expensive utility bill you’ll pay as a household, so it pays to keep these costs down. Make a few house rules to keep this cost down: keep devices unplugged when not in use, use your microwave instead of the oven wherever possible, make use of the kettle to boil water instead of the stove, and if you’re lucky enough to have a dishwasher, go for that instead of hand-washing. You can always replace bulbs with energy-saving options, and consider a smart meter if your abode doesn’t already have one.
Make use of referrals
Lots of service offer discounts if you refer a friend – who better to call upon than your shared accommodation buddies? Sites like Treatwell make it very appealing, for instance, to cash in on friend referrals – you can split the savings and organise activities as a group. Other services you might need at times, like Uber, also offer these kinds of savings, so sign up your housemates together and reap the benefits!
Sharing the load of chores, errands and expenditure in a household can help everyone save in the long run. Be mindful of ways to maximise savings by multiplying across a group – after all, if you have to live together, you can do plenty to make sure your household operates like a money-saving machine!