Unless you’re one of the fortunate few, money is probably going to be one of your biggest concerns when living at uni. Here are a few student tips to help you save:
- Aldi and Lidl (and sometimes even pound shops) are your best friends. If you do want to splash out on more expensive supermarkets, try ordering your shop online with a friend to share the delivery fee.
- Make and pack your lunch ahead of time so you’re not led astray by Subway, Greggs, and other tempting on-campus outlets.
- Most societies survive through their £5-£10 membership fees. They’ll ask for this at the fair, but you can get away with turning up to the first few sessions and making sure it’s something you really enjoy first.
- Watch out for openings in roles such as campus tour guides and waitresses, bartenders and ushers at one-day local events for quick cash and useful experience.
- If you’re moving miles away and don’t have the option of a lift home, invest in a 16-25 railcard from National Rail for ⅓ off most fares.
- If Stagecoach buses run in your town or city, it might be worth spending some of your savings on a Unirider pass. The price varies depending on your area, but it will definitely save you money in the long run on the journey to uni and on nights out.
- Create a student bank account, and use Moneysavingexpert’s guide to see the benefits of different providers: whether it’s a 0% overdraft, free NUS card or third-off railcard, make sure to pick the one that works best for your needs.
- Use online banking (on your browser or an app) to keep regular track of your balance and spending, so you don’t get a nasty shock at the ATM.
- Paypal.me and Pingit let you click a simple link or press a button and send money to your friends, handy when you owe flatmates for bills or taxi fare.
- Try to pay by card as often as you can: drawing out cash leaves you with the temptation to spend the spare change on sweets, treats and booze you don’t really need.
- If you do end up with spare change, why not store it in a money box like these from Pot of Dreams? Dedicate your coppers to a pair of speakers or shoes, or splash out by putting in pound coins. Smash the box when it’s full and you could’ve saved a grand.
- Unidays, Student Beans, and NUS extra cards are well worth signing up to, often offering 10% off at popular stores. Save the Student’s complete list of all shops that offer student discount is well worth checking before you buy anything online.
- Join Amazon student to enjoy unlimited next day delivery and student prices on Prime video and film, Kindle library and Amazon store products. Student membership is free for the first six months, then half price at £39 per year.
- Before you move out, check out how much cash you might get for your childhood/teenage memorabilia. Get on apps like eBay for bits and bobs, Ziffit or We Buy Books for games, books, DVDs and CDs, and Gumtree for what won’t fit in Post Office packaging.
- Advertise last year’s textbooks at discount prices on your uni or course’s Facebook pages to prospective students who’ll have the same reading lists.