There is no denying that university is an expensive time. For many people, it is the first time in their lives that they have had to be financially dependent or they may be taking a career break to get their degree. And don’t even get me started on university fees themselves… Whichever way you look at it, many students are looking to save some money and so I thought I would share some of my top tips for doing just that today.
One of the main things I have found myself missing since I graduated is my student discount. Seriously. I hadn’t realised how heavily I relied on it until I no longer had it. In many places, it was enough just to show the student card that I got when I enrolled at university but I was also signed up to unidays. This let me use my discount online and in a lot more stores. You simply sign up online and there’s loads of new discounts all the time. I think there’s also an app, but I don’t think I ever really used it so you’ll have to make your own mind up on that one! When it comes to in store discounts, don’t be afraid to ask if there is a student discount; shy bairns get nowt after all.
I was also signed up to quite a few loyalty cards which were a life saver when it came to Christmas. I couldn’t commit to putting money aside each week to prepare for presents but I could collect points for my regular shopping. They quickly add up and mean that you can get some money off when times are a little tough. Like I said, I save most of my points for Christmas but you could also use them to help with bigger purchases. You also don’t need to be a student for these so you can keep using them when you graduate and are still skint. My favourites are Superdrug, Boots, Costa and Paperchase (you also get bonuses near your birthday with Paperchase). Most of these work really simply: you get points when you shop which you can then redeem in store. You can also use sign up for supermarket cards like Nectar but I find that I don’t rack up quite as many points with those, especially now that you can no longer get Nectar points when you buy train tickets online.
I also have a few stamp cards, mainly for cafes because I figure my caffeine dependence should have some perks. I’ll save them up for when I’m pretty penniless but fancy a pick me up – a guilt free latte is quite the treat!
You do have to pay for my next two suggestions but they are so worthwhile I don’t mind that too much. First up, I would 110% recommend getting a 16-25 railcard if you are eligible. It costs around £30 for a year’s membership but I usually make that back in a couple of train journeys. If, like me, travelling between university and home takes at least a train journey, this keeps that cost considerably lower. It also makes it possible for me to travel first class if I book far enough in advance, which means that I spend far less on coffee and snacks for the train. It’s brilliant and I’m already dreading the moment that I’m no longer eligible for it. If you don’t fall under the 16-25 age bracket, there are various other schemes, which you can find out about here.
My final recommendation would be to sign up to Amazon Student. You get a free trial and then it’s discounted every year after that (until you graduate). You get Prime delivery, video, music and a whole heap of exclusive discounts. It saved me so much money while I was at university! It might seem a bit counter intuitive to spend money to save money but it works! In fact, when I asked my friends for their recommendations for this post, Amazon student was strongly and repeatedly suggested. If you want to find out a little more about it, you can find the T&C’s here and can sign up here. Plus, if you sign up using my link, we both get some added perks for me referring you! Bonus!
This isn’t an exhaustive list but hopefully it will help you save some money at university. If you have any tips of your own, please do share them in the comments for everyone to see.