How to be a happier, healthier and more sustainable spender

It’s National Student Money Week (3rd-7th Feb) and this year’s theme is ‘Spend Healthy, Live Healthy: Sustainable Money.’ But what does that actually mean?

How we spend our money can impact our health, our communities and the environment, for good or for bad. So, it’s important to create sustainable money habits.

We’ve picked our top 5 favourite tips from the #NSMW20 campaign, but you can check out the full list here

#5 – The reduced aisle is the place to be

Did you know around 260,000 tonnes of food and drink is wasted EVERY year in the UK because it’s not sold by the supermarkets?!

Many supermarkets will reduce the cost of items as they are due to reach their Best Before or Use By date. But if it’s not sold, it goes in the bin. What a waste!

But this food in still perfectly edible! So, check out the reduced section in your supermarket and see what bargains you can pick up. Many of these items can be kept fresh for longer than the dates on the labels too if you freeze them! The best time to pick up a bargain is in the evening when the supermarkets reduce the stock. 

Also why not check out the OLIO app, where you can find and share food with neighbours to save it going to waste!

#4 – Grab a cuppa

Many of us insist we cannot ‘function’ without our morning brew or caffeine fix. The struggle is real. What is also real though, is the amount of waste that comes from buying your favourite hot beverage from a coffee shop! Stirrers, cups, lids, sachets! And on top of that, the mark up for a cuppa from a coffee shop can be up to 300%!

Save your hard-earned cash – make yourself a (Fairtrade) cuppa in the morning and take it with you in a thermoflask if you’re heading out. Don’t think you have time? Whack the kettle on before brushing your teeth, it’ll be ready for you when you’re done 🙂

#3 – Eat More Plants

As well as often being one of the most expensive ingredients, meat costs the planet too. Recent studies show that meat and dairy production produces 60% of agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions and livestock uses up 75% of the planet’s agricultural land!

If you can reduce the amount of meat you have, and replace it with more veg, you can improve your health and help the environment too!

Why not try #MeatFreeMonday? Get recipes and ideas from

#2 – Tech savvy saving

As many people start uni, they take full control of their finances for the first time and this can be a little daunting. Many of you will have a lump sum (student loan) dropped into your bank account in September, and by January you may be into your overdraft. This can be a difficult position to get out of and can cause you stress (not good for that critical Global Goal on Good Health and Wellbeing ;-)). But there are lots of different options out there, to help you manage your money.

Try the Pingit app – keep track of your spending, send and collect money and create money ‘jars’ for saving. If you’re struggling to manage your finances you can also talk to our Money Advice team.

And finally….

#1 – Join community events!

There’s plenty happening in your local community! From events, meet ups, markets, and more! By getting involved you’ll not only meet new people, you’ll also be supporting your local community by spending your money in local places and with local businesses.

There are so many ways to get involved. Websites like Eventbrite and Meetup are a great way to see what’s happening in your area, or check out local Facebook groups!

Or, if you fancy supporting the local community, being in with a chance of winning some EXTRA cash, AND getting some volunteer work under your belt, then sign up to our Live Smart Community Challenge! It’s taking place now and you can get involved with your friends or as a solo mission!

To find out more visit our social pages, see our blog, or email us at

Don’t forget to visit the National Student Money Week website for all the other available hints and tips on spending more sustainably.

Or you can check out our Money Hacks on the University’s Live Smart website here.

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