Finding ways to save money as a student might seem difficult. However, there are plenty of options available. While students often have the reputation of being skint because they’ve spent all of their money on alcohol and ready meals, there are a number of ways in which you can save as much money at university so that you can spend it on the things you really want and really need. Here, we’re going to be taking a look at some money-saving tips for university.
Student Discounts – Ways to Save Money as a Student
Lots of high-street shops offer discounts to students, provided that they’ve signed up to discount websites or apps. For this, you usually need to log into the website using your university email address. Then, you’ll be able to access student discount clothes for tech products, clothes, and much more. The discounts aren’t always that substantial (usually 10 per cent maximum), but this can make a significant difference over time.
Students receive discounts in a wide range of stores. Search online to find out which ones offer some kind of student deal, and which ones don’t, before making a purchase. Additionally, some independent shops in student-heavy towns and cities might offer some kind of discount. If in doubt, just ask.
On top of this, students can often get reduced (or even free!) access to places of interest throughout the UK, as well as in EU countries throughout Europe. So long as you have some kind of student ID with you (usually supplied by the university once you’ve started your first year), you should be able to get into many historical sites and other points of interest around Europe for a reduced price – or possibly for free.
Shop Around – Ways to Save Money as a Student
Whether it’s food, clothes, study materials, or anything else, try to look in a number of different places for the best price. When it comes to supermarkets, try to keep an eye out for deals and special offers. For example, if dried pasta is on sale in one, it might be worth buying a few bags if you know you’re going to eat it all. Hopefully, the town or campus where you’re studying will have a number of different supermarkets and shops to choose from, so that you have the greatest chance of finding a deal.
In addition to looking for deals yourself, it might be worth seeing if there’s a network of people at the university who also keep an eye out for goods going cheap. If not, try and communicate with your friends and house-mates so that you’re all taking advantages of good deals that you’ve stumbled upon.
Finally, you don’t necessarily need to buy every single book that’s relevant to your course. Many of them can be found in the library, so take a look there before making a purchase. However, you probably want to buy the primary sources – the books that you’ll be reading almost every day, and referencing often. University books can be incredibly expensive, so try to find them second hand in order to save yourself some money. Some universities have networks for graduating students to sell their books to those in the lower years, so keep an eye out for the books you need through those channels. In turn, you’ll be able to sell all of your old books once you graduate, since you won’t need them anymore!
Student Rail Cards – Ways to Save Money as a Student
If you’re between the ages of 16 and 25, you’re eligible for a 16-25 student rail card. These are sometimes free when opening student bank accounts, so keep an eye out for those offers if you need a new bank account for university.
If you aren’t looking to open a student bank account, you can still get a 16-25 rail card. These can be purchased directly from National Rail. This card will save you 33% on train fares, which can make a huge difference if you plan on using the train to travel home from university (and vice versa) between terms. While you do have to buy the rail card, it usually pays for itself within a few shorter trips. These rail cards usually have to be renewed every year.
If you’re not within the age range of 16 to 25, don’t panic! There are also plans to introduce a 26-30 rail card which will presumably offer the same savings. There are other savings and deals which can be used at any age range.
Conclusion – Ways to Save Money as a Student
You should now have a good idea about ways to save money as a student. If you want more university advice, check out How to Get a First.