Top 10 brilliant student money saving tips

 

You're a student, so you're poor: The two go hand-in-hand. And if you will keep spending all your money on booze and fags... You know what? We are worried about you. So worried that we've put together the 10 best money-saving tips for students.

Invest in travel cards

The 16-25 Railcard was designed for young people in full-time education (although full-time students who are over 25 may also be eligible). The card can be purchased for one year or three, and gives you a third off of rail journeys across the UK. The card also gives you access to partnership offers and competitions, including West-End theatre discounts and holiday offers.

As of 2012, a one-year card costs £28, and a three-year card costs £65. Buy it online at: 16-25 railcard.co.uk. And if you can't get hold of a discount card, or if you usually travel in a group, most rail companies have a group money-saving deal - for example, three or four adults can travel for the cost of two adults.

It’s also likely that there will be local bus operators offering travel cards, if not specifically for students, then for local residents. If you use the bus to travel into university every day, then figure out the cost of single journeys, return journeys, and a week-long travel card - it’s almost guaranteed the travel card will work out the cheapest.

Watch TV for free – legally!

The BBC licence fee terms stipulate that you must pay the licence fee if you watch or record the television as it is broadcast . This means you don't need a TV licence for watching on-demand TV over the net. Buy a cable to connect your laptop to your TV, and that’s a lot of free, good-quality viewing with no spend. And if you do happen to have a licence, make sure you claim one quarter back for the three summer months you're probably not in your house.

Cook from scratch and buy in bulk

Cooking from scratch is far cheaper - and more fun! - than simply buying ready-meals off the supermarket shelf. It's a lot more effort and involves a little trial-and-error, but it's much more rewarding, both for your wallet and for your health. Buying in bulk is a no-brainer; staple, non-perishable foods like pasta are great to buy, especially as a household or a flat, as it works out so much cheaper and lasts a long while.

Ask for discounts

Your trusty NUS extra card can stretch your money a long way when you take it out with you, but not every shop is on there. A lot of shops will do discounts but won't actually publicise it. Take your university card out with you when you go shopping, and make sure you always ask if they do student discounts there - you'll be surprised how many stores do give discounts on the quiet. Many students also make use of specialist student money saving and discount sites. You can join the biggest of these, studentbeans.com for free, here.

Work where you shop

If you love shopping at a particular chain, try and get a job there! Staff discounts are usually a brilliant perk to working in retail. Working at any Arcadia Group store, for example - so that's Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridges, and more! - gets you 25% off all Arcadia Group merchandise, and 20% off at BHS. Lucky staff at Republic, New Look, and The Body Shop get up to 50% off purchases.

Buy a printer

An odd one, but you'll be very glad you did it when everyone is panicking about printing their assignment at the last-minute and you rock up having printed it at home. Printing on-campus is usually ridiculously expensive, too - not to mention that printing at home means you don't have to bus or walk in! Having a fully-stocked printer will also make you very popular indeed come third year, when dissertation-panic sets in (you could even be cheeky and charge your fellow students!)

Thankfully a decent-quality printer needn't break the bank these days, and it's an investment that will pay off considerably the earlier you get it.

Get free condoms

There's no need to buy condoms as you can get them free from most GPs and family planning clinics. Convenient, and could save a lot of money! Some family planning clinics are also sexual health (GUM) clinics and can test you (free of charge) for sexually transmitted infections, or give you sexual health advice. To find your nearest family planning clinic, check out the map at the Family Planning Association.

Find things you want cheaper or free!

Car boot sales are a bit hit-and-miss due to the weather, but sometimes you can find some hidden gems. They tend to kick off early so make sure you get there in time to have some fun digging out some good deals. Find a local car boot sale here.

Usually something associated with old people, charity shops are slowly getting more trendy. Sometimes - and it might take a while rummaging through the rails - you can find some really great clothes at super-cheap prices. Or accessories. Or books, DVDs, and CDs. Whew. Most high streets have two or three charity shops, and it's worth going to them every once in a while to see if there's anything good in there - not only are you saving money, you're also supporting a worthwhile cause.

Alternatively, you could join up to a Freecycle group - you can find free laptops, TVs, bicycles and more. Look to 'Freecycle' everywhere in your life: text books, mobiles - ask friends, ask strangers, post on noticeboards. You'll be amazed what people will give you that they don't want anymore.

Don't buy contents insurance

...Or at least check with your parents before you do. The 'contents away from home' section of your parents' household policy might already cover you, or you might be able to get it extended at a small cost. However, make sure the full value of any items you have is covered.

Drink before you leave the house

Even the local student-friendly bars and pubs in town can be quite expensive if you go out to them every night. It's not particularly graceful, but playing drinking games with your housemates at home before a big night out is a surefire way to save money - just think of how much a shot and a mixer is in your local pub, and consider how much a whole bottle of the stuff costs at the off-licence on the corner...

Arts and Entertainment
TVShow's twee, safe facade smashed by ice cream melting scandal
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Lisa Kudrow, Courtney Cox and Jennifer Anniston reunite for a mini Friends sketch on Jimmy Kimmel Live
tv
Life and Style
tech
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Actor, model and now record breaker: Jiff the Pomeranian
Video
News
REX/Eye Candy
science
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates after scoring his first goal for Arsenal in the Champions League qualifier against Besiktas
sportChilean's first goal for the club secures place in draw for Champions League group stages
News
i100
News
Down time: an employee of Google uses the slide to get to the canteen
scienceBosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

Reception Teachers needed for September 2014

£110 - £130 per day + Competitive rates of pay: Randstad Education Reading: Re...

Year 5/6 Teachers needed for supply roles across the region

£110 - £130 per day + Competitive rates of pay: Randstad Education Reading: Ke...

PPA Cover Teachers needed for day to day and long term

£110 - £130 per day + Competitive rates of pay: Randstad Education Reading: PP...

PPA Cover Teachers needed for roles across Berkshire

£110 - £130 per day + Competitive rates of pay: Randstad Education Reading: PP...

Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?