There’s no substitute for managing your finances responsibly – and we strongly recommend that you learn how to budget before setting off to college or university.
That said, taking advantage of all the discounts that are available to students will really help your money go further. There’s also a lot free stuff that you can get your hands on!
Read our top ten tips for saving money and become a savvy student shopper in no time.
1. Free software
Almost all students and staff with a university or college email address can download the entire Microsoft Office suite of programs for free. There’s loads of other free software out there too! Check out Gimp if you’re into graphic design, and Audacity for audio editing.
2. Amazon Prime Student
With a valid student email address, you can access Amazon Prime Student free for 6 months. After the trial, you can either cancel your subscription, or continue with it at just £3.99 per month. You’ll get access to ad-free music streaming, HD movies, free one-day deliveries and much more!
3. 20% off EE mobile contracts
If you’re near the end of your mobile phone contract, EE offer students 20% off their plans. You might be able to haggle with them a little to get an even better deal. Mobile contracts aren’t just limited to EE, though. Other providers have their own deals for students.
4. Discounts galore
UniDays have loads of discounts on offer, from Dominoes pizzas, clothes, Apple products and everything in between. These deals are not just for college and uni students either; sixth-form students can get them too!
5. TOTUM Card (formerly known as an NUS Extra Card)
With the cost of a TOTUM Card beginning at £14.99 for 12 months, you might wonder if it’s worth it. But, with access to over 250 student discounts, it’s definitely worth the investment. What’s more, the card serves as official ID. Pretty useful if you don’t have a driving license.
6. Free academic reading material
You’ll be able to get most of your reading material from your uni or college library, but if you want to go that little bit further, Google Scholar and Google Books can be really useful. You might not always get access to a whole book, but often you’ll find just what you need. The library staff will also be able to direct you towards free resources, so use them to your advantage!
7. Everything for £5
At everything5pounds.com guess what everything costs? Yep, you guess it! You can get all sorts of clothes and homeware on there, and much of it is quality stuff that you’d see on the high street. They buy leftover stock in bulk which is why they can offer such discounts. You can even buy a coral mermaid knit blanket if that’s your thing!
8. Student bank accounts
As a student in higher education, you’ll be able to open a bank account that has features such as an interest-free overdraft. Bank also offer students all sorts of freebies. MoneySavingExpert is a good place to start finding out about what deals are on offer. Always remember, though, interest-free overdrafts revert to not being free once you graduate.
9. 16-25 Railcard
Railcards are great for students who study away from their hometown (and those who enjoy exploring) as they offer a third off rail travel. Full-time mature students are also eligible. On average, students with railcards save around £199 each year. There are other benefits too, such as discounts at a range of top restaurants.
10. Credit Cards – Don’t be fooled!
Although credit cards can be good for building up your credit score, they can also lead to your finances spiraling out of control. Minimum monthly payments make look manageable, but they barely knock anything off your debt. If you were to borrow £3000 at the age of 21 and made the minimum payments, you’d be at least 50 by the time it was cleared. Think about that.
Learning to manage your money is probably the most important tip we can give you. Have fun as a student, but live within your means.
Bonus tip: Visit SavetheStudent.org to find out how you can get a BigMac & fries for £1.99 forever!
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