IT’S IMPORTANT as a student to seek out every possible freebie and discount during your three years of study, to try and avoid spending weeks between loan payments eating value range ready meals and putting off buying expensive toilet paper until the very last scary moment.I’m going to illustrate one of the discounts you’re likely to encounter, a free cheeseburger with every meal at MacDonald’s with an NUS card, which is a vital item to acquire in your first week at University (the card).
The offers go beyond free fast food; there are massive discounts at Amazon.co.uk, Lloyds TSB, Endsleigh insurance and many other organisations spanning a wide range of items and services. It’s worth asking everywhere you if they accept NUS extra, there are 10% discounts at the larger high street chains such as TopShop and The Body Shop but other small independent stores offer student discounts.
For travellers a 16-25 student railcard is essential, particularly for anyone living a long way from home. Spending £20 for a year of discounted tickets, which can cut around 1/3 off tickets, is great value. There are also a variety of banks including Natwest who will give you a free railcard when you sign up for a student account.
Like with choosing a student bank account choosing a mobile provider with special student offers is important, as we spend a surprising amount on contracts and top ups without exploring the options. Orange offer monthly contracts with 1000 free text messages and 50% off calls within the UK with a valid NUS card and most service providers will offer similar tariffs.
Laptops are now a vital part of being a student and there are plenty of offers and discounts for students in need. Apple offer free IPod Touch for students who buy a Mac. PCWorld also have laptop deals for students and have deals on antivirus software.
For nights out you’ll have no problem finding student nights and drinks offer to entice you but for quieter nights there are several cheap alternatives. At this point most people are aware of the Orange Wednesday offer of buy one get one free cinema tickets, it may sound obvious but there are savings to be made there and with the various dominoes pizza student offers you’ve got yourself a nice evening in.
There are plenty of discounts but you can be your own worst nightmare and undo all those savings. Here’s a few tips; don’t use ATM with a service charge, buy in bulk it may seem expensive at the time but it makes sense, when you have to pay energy bills try and keep them low or beware of the shock at that first bill, make sure you buy a TV license don’t get caught with a fine, buy used textbooks because you may only use them for a year and its not worth the new smell.
Finally insure your contents there are lots of cheap insurance deals for students and replacing your laptop and TV by yourself isn’t a nice experience. For further financial and general student advice there are a number of student forums including thestudentroom.com and moneysavingexpert.com both with helpful tips for students new and old.
If you are having a student loan sadly however you play it you’re going to face a mountain of debt after your study but there are plenty of ways to get through University without living solely on canned goods.