10 Easy But Amazing Tips Guaranteed To Save You Money At University
Posted on 01/02/18
Is it just us, or did January feel longer than all of 2017?
Christmas is now long gone, your last student loan payment has faded into a distant memory in the space of a few weeks and if you're anything like we were at uni you're probably already feeling the financial squeeze.
Sure, that might be partly self-inflicted, but isn't everything just so expensive these days? Fear not, as we're here to help see you through until next payday with these simple but effective tips for saving you money!
Make Full Use Of Your Student Discount
One of the best things about being a student is how much money you can get off virtually everything; you likely won't see that level of discount again until you're retired, so why not take full advantage of it while you can?
The NUS Extra card is probably your best bet, and while it does cost a bit to get - £12 for a year, £22 for two years or £32 for three - the old adage that you have to spend money to make money has never been truer in this case.
For that, you'll get mad discounts like 50% off Spotify subscriptions, up to 20% off loads of high street stores and even up to 50% off tickets to theme parks like Thorpe Park plus much more! Here's a list of just some of the stuff the NUS card can help you with!
Really strapped for cash? No worries, just flash your student ID card to get discount off all in sorts of places, from shops to clubs, cinemas, restaurants and more.
Earn Extra Money Using Your Student Loan
This one's a bit more of an advanced tip and one you should only attempt if you know you can pull it off, but if you've got a big lump sum of cash left over from your loan that you don't need right now, you could tuck it away in a high-interest cash ISA.
That way you'll earn tax-free interest on whatever amount you put in, and the longer you leave it the more savings you can accumulate. You likely won't make enough to pay off your loan or buy a house or anything, but every little helps!
Cancel Your Subscriptions, Or At Least Pretend To...
Paying too much for your phone bill, broadband or other subscriptions? You'll be surprised how much companies will be willing to slash your costs in order to keep you as a customer!
The reason is that it's often much cheaper to keep people on rather than try to attract new customers, so if you ring up and say you want to cancel your contract you'll usually find you'll be directed to the company's loyalty team who have the power to offer you significant savings.
It's a bit sneaky, but the trick is to not give away the fact you're clearly doing it just to get money off. Poker faces at the ready...!
Buy Everything You Want For Just £5
What if we told you that all the clothes, accessories and homeware you'll ever need could be bought for just a fiver apiece? You'd probably be thinking about some mouldy old hand-me-downs from the second-hand shop, right?
Well, think again! Everything5Pounds.com literally sells every for - you've guessed it - just five pounds. It's often all high-street quality too, so it's more than worth a look if you're wanting to stock up your wardrobe, living room or kitchen for less.
Get Yourself Some Gadget Insurance
Did you know that it's estimated that two-thirds of uni students will break their phone while living at university? Not only that, but phone theft is rampant particularly when you're out at night.
Gadget insurance can save you the considerable expense of having to pay for your phone to be repaired or replaced, which is particularly handy if you've got a pricey new phone. You can also get it to cover things like digital cameras and games consoles, and it often costs relatively very little!
Get Your Gordon On And Save Money On Lunches
Say you spend around a fiver getting lunch every time you're in for a lecture, you could end up spending close to £1,000 over the course of the academic year on eats alone - more if you include the occasional snack or coffee.
One of the easiest and most sure-fire way to save a few pounds is to make like Gordon Ramsay and make your own lunches. It doesn't have to mean extra effort, either - if you're making dinner, just cook a little extra and take the leftovers with you the next day.
Save On Postage With Amazon Prime
Amazon Prime offers a six-month free trial period for students, which allows you to order same-day delivery completely for free with no minimum spend. If you order a lot of things online and find you're paying out the nose for postage, this can be a godsend!
You'll also get access to Amazon Prime's entire online streaming service to keep yourself and your mates entertained, and once the six-month trial is up students can get a 50% discount on the normal yearly membership fee. Handy!
Leave That Debit Card At Home!
This tip is an oldie but a goodie, and is particularly handy when you're on a night out and find yourself tempted to go and get a wad of extra cash out for quad vods and kebabs.
By leaving your debit card at home and only taking a set amount of cash, it'll be impossible for you to go over-budget when the booze gets the better of you. Just make sure you have enough emergency funds to get a taxi home!
Don't Buy Books (Unless You Have To!)
One of everyone's biggest regrets at university was showing up on the first day having spent hundreds of pounds of textbooks, only to find that they're literally all there in the library and available to read for free...
That's not to say you shouldn't buy any books as not every library will have everything and particularly around deadline time you'll find they're constantly being borrowed. But some will be used more than others, so if you can get away with it then why not!
Another great tip for textbooks is that when you finish your course, you can sell your books on second-hand. You'll make some of your money back and be doing a good deed by saving some other poor soul from paying over the odds for their books!
Live At Home And Drive To Uni
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Naturally, this tip won't work for everyone but it's an increasingly popular option among students who go to a university that's not too far away from where they live. One of the biggest expenditures you'll face at uni is the cost of rent and living.
By shacking up with your parents and instead taking the car to university, you could save thousands of pounds a year and drastically reduce the amount of money you'll owe to the Student Loans Company once you've graduated.
Driving doesn't have to be as expensive as you might think either, particularly if you go for a telematics insurance policy like ChilliDrive which can save you up to £1,500 off the cost of your insurance up front. Of course, you'll likely miss out on some of the craic by opting to live at home, but just think of all the money you'll be saving!