Thursday, 30 June 2016

Top 5 Tips On Saving Money As A Student

The Summer holidays are fast approaching and many of you have teenagers who will be moving onto university or college. It's an exciting but also worrying time for parents. You may worry about how your child will manage his or her time. How will they cope with the work load? Will they be able to get to lectures on time? How will they manage financially on a student loan?

My son has just returned from his first year at uni and I had all those thoughts myself. To me it was important to sit down with him at the start of the academic year and talk about how he would manage financially, and look at ways to budget and save money. Some students pick up this knowledge anyway but it was reassuring to talk about it and know that he had some of the skills needed as well as discussing further ways to save with him.

Here are my top 5 tips on saving money as a student.





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1. Work out a budget and stick to it


I know it's not exciting but work out how much money you have coming in, how much your outgoings are and how much you will have left at the end of the month. The Money Advice Service has a great online budget tool if you need help with this.

Money Saving Expert works this out by 'count your student loan and any grant, any cash from parents and any work income, then minus your outgoings and don’t spend more than that.' .

It is worth signing up for a student bank account as many give perks like a 0% interest free overdraft which can help with emergencies.

2. Get the benefits and loans you are entitled to

A student loan is available for tuition fees and living expenses for the majority of students in the UK and it's the lowest cost loan you will ever get. Check out the Student Loans Company for further information.

As a full time student living with other students or on your own you don't need to pay council tax. Make sure you fill in the relevant forms from the local council so you don't have to pay. If you live with a non-student, you still receive a 25 per cent reduction in your council tax. To get your discount, make sure you apply to your local council via www.gov.uk.

If you are a parent, have a low income or a disability there may be benefits you can claim from the government, and financial help and assistance you can get from the college or university, so it's worth checking this out.

If you are predicted to get high grades, there may be scholarships available too, contact the finance department of the college or university to find out.


3. Get an NUS Extra card


The National Union Of Students run a scheme, where for £12 for 12 months students can get an NUS Extra card which gives discounts on eating out, fashion, shopping and much more. Nationwide companies are involved and you can get 5% off on Amazon, 10% off at Co-operative food, and 10% off at Superdrug for example.

4. Sign up for travel cards

As a student and/or a young person you can travel for a lot less with a student bus pass or a 16-25 rail card. The cost of transport can be a big part of a student's budget, especially if they are travelling from home, so any savings here will help a lot.

5. Only pay the TV Licence if you need to

Yes you can legally so this! If you only watch TV on catch up and limit it to you mobile, laptop or computer you don't have to pay the TV licence fee which is £145.50 a year. My son successfully did not pay last year as he doesn't watch live TV. Be sure to check out the TV licence website for up-to-date information on this, and you will have to complete a form online or ring them to speak to them about this and make a declaration.

If you do get a TV license and leave the accommodation in the summer months you can apply for a rebate for that time, which can be up to £40.

For more information check out this guide to student money saving by Money Saving Expert.

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18 comments

  1. Definitely agree with you on the NUS card! I couldn't even begin to imagine the amount of times I used this when I was a student, i'd try use it literally in every shop.

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    1. It is great at saving money, isn't it?

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  2. Great money saving tips. I too had an NUS card only a couple of years back when I was studying at The Open University! x

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  3. You know, we actually don't watch that much live TV in our house, I wonder if I can persuade the kids to watch there T.V shows on catch up (They only watch TWO as it is!) That would save me a fair amount of money!! Also, great tips, the travel card is a great idea for students. :) xx

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    1. You probably could if they only watch two series...

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  4. The NUS card and the travel cards sound great. It's always difficult to keep a record of the expenses as a student, as usually everybody is too busy with other things, so an online calculator must be very helpful.

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    1. As well as the NUS card, travel can be so expensive can't it?

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  5. Great tips. The NUS card is a god send for money off, especially things like the cinema and days out x

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  6. Great tips, I love my NUS card. And I tell everyone about the TV licence, I never watch live TV so that's an extra cost I can avoid. I also find all the freebies are great for saving money, it's amazing how many samples and £1 meal deals are around. x

    http://www.cutepandaa.co.uk

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    1. I find websites like Money Saving Expert great as they have a student section. Save The Student is another brilliant website for saving money too.

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  7. I was so awful at budgeting when I was a student, I wish I had budgeted - friends of mine did this and stuck to it and left Uni much better off than I did! Great tip about the TV licence too, so many student just watch catch up on their laptops these days - that's a nice bit saved! x

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  8. These are some great tips, I totally miss my NUS card - that was always good for helping you to grab a bargain. x

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  9. Great tips - my eldest has just finished her second year and is far too busy partying and enjoying herself to think about budgeting. I do try though! Kaz x

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  10. Some great tips and so true about the TV License, I never had one whilst at Uni x

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  11. I was dreadful with money as a student - I worked all through uni but totally failed to budget and racked up credit card debt going clubbing. I love that you sat down and discussed budgeting together.

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    1. I wasn't sure if I was being over the top discussing budgeting with my son but I am so glad I did now. He hasn't got into debt, hasn't got an overdraft and appears to be living within his means.

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  12. I am terrible at sticking at a budget and to be honest the student loan was the best thing ever because it meant we had money. Now it is a different story x

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