5 Easy Ways to Save Money as a Student

Sticking to a budget is easier said than done, but there are ways to keep costs down at university. Here are 5 easy tips to help you save money as a student.

1. Get to Know Your Discounts. 

A massive perk of being a student is the number of discounts that are available at various retailers. Getting to know which stores offer student discounts could save you a fortune!

The first thing you’ll want to do is invest in a TOTUM card. (Previously known as NUS) TOTUM is a student discount card that gives you access to big discounts at hundreds of stores and online retailers. Not only that, but this card also doubles as an accredited proof of age ID. Perfect for a night out!

Save money as a student

2. Learn How to Budget.

It’s hard not to go crazy when you first get your student loan. However, nobody can afford to get takeaways and go clubbing every night. Sorting out your budget should be a priority.

You’ll get your loan in instalments at the start of each term, so although it might seem like you have lots of cash, that money has to last a few months. Don’t blow it all at once. 

Start by working out how much money you have for the term and your expenses. Make a list of your essentials, accommodation, bills, food, and course fees. Break it down into a weekly budget and try to stick to it. If you use mobile banking, check your statements regularly, so you always know how much money is in your account.

3. Know Your Local Transport.

Yes, it’s way too easy to grab an Uber, but that can take a chunk out of your student loan pretty quickly. Try to walk or cycle if you can. It’s an easy way to save money and reduce your carbon footprint.

Best of all, if you’re a Cardiff University student, you can get free access to the OVO Bike scheme. These are rentable bikes that are found all over the city. Students currently have access to a free annual membership and unlimited 30-minute rentals.

If that’s not your thing, no worries! The Cardiff Bus app offers discounts to 16-21-year-olds, and a 16-25 railcard can get you a third off rail travel across the UK!

4. Take Advantage of Discounted Software.

A range of companies offer discounted software to students, so make sure you search around! Here are a few to get you started 🙂

  • Students with an academic email address can sign up for Office 365 Education for free. This gives you free access to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Microsoft Teams! 
  •  You can also grab a six-month trial of Amazon Prime, which includes One-Day Delivery, Prime Video, and Prime Music.

Save money as a student

5. Food Shopping as a Student.

Expensive restaurants and takeaways can add up quickly. Keeping your wits when food shopping and preparing your own meals are great ways to save money as a student.

Never go shopping when you’re hungry to avoid impulse buys. It’s always wise to plan ahead and make a list before heading to the shops. Try to do a big shop at the start of the week and take packed lunches to uni with you. Trust me, it will be a lot cheaper than buying meal deals every day!

It’s also worth checking out the independent food stores in your area. Buying produce from a local greengrocer is way cheaper than the supermarket and great for the local economy too!

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