This time, we were looking for some fun stories around how students saved or earned money. Some of us are more creative than others and we definitely had to laugh reading through a few of them. As always the stories were opened for public vote and we now proudly present our top 3 🙂

Winner: Mohamed Fadil, University of Manchester

At one time at the beginning of a month and after paying my rent and bills, I only had £20 to spend on food. Considering the fact that most of my monthly allowance goes into food. I thought to myself that I would save my money that I spend on dinner, the second biggest meal after lunch, so I started drinking a lot of water until my stomach is filled. I also started walking everywhere I wanted to go instead of catching public transport, while convincing myself that I should stay “healthy”, and I started visiting my friend’s houses around dinner time so I could join them for dinner. Also, during that month, I fasted 2 whole weeks from the morning to the night and broke my fast toward the end of the day with some cookies and loads of water and I went straight to sleep after. Also, during that month, I bought a bulk of potatoes (they were cheap and very filling) and started eating potatoes all the time to the level that I started having constipation. I was able to survive that month on only £25 (I got extra £5 after collecting all the coins in the house). This was by far the best month in my life, as I visited all my friends that I had not seen in months and accomplished the achievement of surviving on £25 in a month.

2nd:Farha Dungarwalla, University of West England Bristol

SOTM 2

Being a student I was really desperate for money during one particular year of study. Every week my grandparents would give me and my cousins £10 each as pocket money. Being the eldest of these cousins they always trusted my judgement so I decided to tell three of them that were aged between 5-7 that a 2p coin was worth more then a £10. I then convinced them to swap their £10 notes for my 2p coins. I ended up with an extra £30 per week for three months as opposed to the 2 pence pocket money my little cousins were making. Well that was until my dad caught me red handed and made me pay back each and every penny with interest. Lesson learned, never take advantage of minors.

3rd: Sofia Toncheva, London School of Economics and Political Science

Where to even begin? Being a student is a great experience but financing is definitely an issue. Over the years, I’ve been between jobs and my income has not always been secure. As a result, I have to come up with some solutions which would help me save money while maintaining a happy and balanced life. To begin with, the laundry service in my university is paid, so some clothes just get washed with me in the shower. It is essentially a make your own laundry machine. Moreover, I have had some bizarre eating habits. Anything from eating jam for three days to eating rice for a week. After eating rice for a week, rice no longer has the same taste for me. However, it is quite cheap to do it. Furthermore, at the very beginning, while I was still disoriented about university life, I was not sure about medications, so when I got the flu I just ate 3 raw heads of garlic and then spent the day under the blanket. It was a very desperate attempt to cure myself. I am still not sure whether that actually helped or just me believing it will help cured me. In my first year, the Students’ Union organised a referendum as to whether we (the students) want Starbucks on campus. Naturally, there were around 80% of the people who voted yes. Since then Starbucks became extremely popular in the university. With all the hard work, you want to treat yourself every once in a while and Starbucks is definitely the way to do it. However, I have to think about money, so a cup of Starbucks can last three whole days – that’s three whole days of happiness. Finally, who needs to own all kinds of cutlery, pans and dishes. The way I see it, you only really need one fork, one knife, one spoon, a pan, a pot, a baking tray, a glass and a dish. Want to eat cereal – you can use the pan. Want to shred cheese – just cut it in tiny pieces. Want to peal a potato – there is a knife. My university life has been full of ups and downs, and laughter and tears, and success and failure, but I love it all – even when I have to eat chickpeas for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

If you are struggling to make ends meet, check out our loans to help cover tuition fees and living expenses while studying in the UK.