Being a student is hard – we get it – you’ve got a limited income and with study costs, rent & bills, and “socialising”, it can be quite tricky to hold onto your money.
But don’t start to fret – as a student you are actually able to take advantage of a load of offers and incentives that make it easy for you to save money. Here are our top 10 tips for students to save money.
1. Shop for student Discount in Stores
Almost every city that has a university will have bars and shops that offer some kind of student discount. Most times you can just use your student card to get this discount but you can buy a NUS Extra Card for about ?12 and you can use it to get discounts in shops and online with more than 150 different outlets. Popular offers you can get with your student card include:
Yo! Sushi offers students 25% off everything from Tue-Fri and on Sundays. To get it, join its Love Club on the Yo! Sushi student offer page.
McDonald’s offers a free McFlurry original, hamburger or cheeseburger when you buy an Extra Value Meal and show valid student ID. There’s one offer per person, per card, per visit though.
Apple has a 14% discount off Macs for Students
Cineworld offers cheaper ticket prices if you show your student card and run a very popular unlimited card at about ?15 which usually means you save money if you see more than 2 films a month; the Odeon offers 25% off with a NUS card and Vue regularly offer 2-4-1 for Students!
2. Council Tax Discount,
If you’re a full-time student living alone or with other students you don’t have to pay council tax. Awesome! See Council Tax Discounts.
3. Save on Student Travel
Get a 16-25 Railcard and cut a third off your train tickets. A huge plus is they’re also valid for full-time students of any age. Cards can be bought from the Railcard website for ?30 a year, or ?70 for three years. Plus if you’ve an NUS Extra card you’ll get an 11% discount! You can also get a student Oyster card if you are a student in London which can get you savings up to 30% on London travel!
4. Get paid to study
Whether you’re studying full or part-time, there may be a grant or a bursaries that can alleviate your financial concerns. They’re dependent on your circumstances so it may not be easy to get one, but there’s certainly no harm in trying. Use search tools like the Scholarship Search and Student Cash Point websites, to find out information on available bursaries, scholarships and award funding for students.
5. The Best Things In Life Are Free(bies)
Saving money doesn’t mean locking yourself in the house and avoiding all the things you enjoy. There’s a mass of goodies available for free at the click of a mouse. The Freebies Directory is a website that lists loads of free stuff which you can use to get revision guides, games, music downloads, tea, cookbooks etc. The Free Festivals guide has full listings of the top gigs nationwide. You’ll also find info on how to get into the big paid festivals for free, including the latest volunteer schemes. Alternatively, most student unions have regular comedy nights or local gigs that can cost under a ?5 to go to, provide a whole evening entertainment and can even make for an unique dating venue for those romantics amongst you.
6. Get Free Software
Microsoft Office is expensive. Luckily if you’re not lucky enough to already have it set up there are loads of different options that you can use for free:
The LibreOffice software suite includes a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation, database and design package.
The Gimp is a powerful tool with free add-ons and is compatible with PC, Mac and Linux
VLC Player can cope with pretty much any music or video
OnTheHub is like a one-stop clearinghouse for these academic software deals. Partnering with both software publishers and universities, the network offers direct download deals as well as links to the participating school web stores. Microsoft, for example, recently announced a new Student Advantage program that gives an Office 365 subscription to students whose schools license it for their faculty and staff.
7. Cut Your Energy Bills
Cutting energy costs is a mix of big and little things. A few small changes will help bring your bill down. Turn down the thermostat and dig out that knitted jumper from your gran. Switch off lights when leaving a room, use energy saving lightbulbs, defrost the fridge and check it isn’t on too high, and don’t leave electricals on standby.
8. Make the most of Free Student Advice The National Association of Student Money Advisers (Nasma) has advisers in many universities who can be a massive help if you’re struggling financially. See the Nasma website to find your nearest, or ask at your student union. Also, many universities offer free student counselling services and Charity Nightline offers a confidential, anonymous listening and info service specifically for students.
9. Don’t pay full price on your text books Shop around, look online, and visit second hand bookshops. Older students often sell back their text books to make money and this means you can get your copy for a lot cheaper! This is also cheaper and greener and what’s even better is you can sell them back on when you’ve finished and make back some money! Textbooks can also be bought on Ebay or by contacting previous year students.
10. Furnish your flat for Free Freecycle allows people to donate unwanted furniture to new homes, completely for free! Most of the stuff on the site are perfectly good items and is a very easy site to use. It’s great to get chairs and tables and other kinds of things. There are so many users it’s never short of supply. Just sign up to your local group and off you go.