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11 TOP TIPS ON SAVING MONEY AS A STUDENT

University is hard enough without having to worry about abject poverty. Check out these tips on saving money!!

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1. Student Discount Card Is Your Friend

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An NUS Extra card costs £12. It offers you over 170 savings with online and in-store retailers for a year. It includes offers such as 10% off co-op groceries at over 3,200 participating stores. Other discounts vary, but are generally about 10-20% (some are as high as 50%), and include Asos, McDonalds, Odeon, Amazon, 16-25 Railcard, Superdrug and many more. Some universities, however, give NUS Extra cards to their students for free, be sure to check with your university before buying one. You just might save another £12.

2. Got a TV? You’re probably eligible for a refund for the summer

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A colour TV licence is £145.50 for a year (or £49 if you're lucky enough to have a black 'n' white set). But if you've a full three months left on your licence at the end of the academic year and won't use it before it expires, you can get a refund for this which could be around £37.

3. Hunt for hidden student discounts

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Always ask for student discounts when you're out and about. These often aren't advertised, but several places still offer them even if you don't have an NUS Extra card.

You'll usually need to show another form of student ID, so it's worth bringing a card that has your name, date of birth and uni along when you're out.

UNiDAYS is worth having when spotting discounts, be sure to download the app as well.

4. You don’t need a TV Licence for movie streaming

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If you’d rather not fork out for a TV licence, you can watch movies and box sets legally and for free via online film streaming sites – the bonus here is you don’t need a TV licence if these are all you’re watching.

5. Are you a gamer? Great! Trade old games for new ones. No need to buy new CDs

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Several sites let you quickly trade in old CDs, DVDs, computer games and Blu-rays for cash. The sites are easy to use and give instant quotes, so if you've got loads to get rid of, you could speedily make a bit of extra money.

A good site to try is Computer Exchange (cex.co.uk). To do it, type in the barcode, ISBN or product name on the site to get an instant valuation. Each site is different, and some offers more for certain items than others, so always compare a few.

Once you've compared and found the top payer for your items, you simply accept the valuations and send your stuff to them. Postage is usually free, but always check.

6. Get paid for your opinion – There are paying online surveys for students.

takesurveysforcash.com / Via takesurveysforcash.com

It's possible to earn £100s a year to take part in online surveys, which are often short enough to fill in during breaks between lectures. Some universities also conduct paying surveys in-house. Be sure to check with your faculty or student union for such opportunities.

7. Store cards are the devil’s debt! Beware!!

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Most store cards charge a hideous 30% interest or more, and even the best aren't cheaper than bank's credit cards, so don't get sucked in by the sales patter.

They work and feel very much like credit cards, except that while credit cards can be used anywhere, store cards can often only be used in a specific store or group, yet they've exorbitant rates, and are often aimed at the young as stores assume they're an easy target.

8. Get a Railcard – You’ll thank me later!

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Consider a 16-25 Railcard if you spend £90+ a year. These cut a third off off-peak train tickets and tube fares and they're also valid for full-time students of any age – a huge plus.

Cards can be bought from the Railcard website for £30 a year, or £70 for three years. So spend over £90 a year, even in just one trip, and you'll save.

You can get 12% off a one-year railcard if you're registered with Student Beans or have an NUS Extra Card, though check for other railcard deals too as those will often beat this. Alternatively, Santander's student account gives a four-year one for free.

9. Learn to cook – Take out every night will impoverish you!

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There's no need to live off pricey takeaways at uni while longing for a home-cooked meal. Take the time to learn the basics and it'll help to stretch your cash much further, and it's far healthier too.

Food forums are a great place to get tips and ask questions.

10. Use this money mantra before ANY purchase.

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Before spending on anything, use Martin's Money Mantras. If you say 'NO' to any, DON'T BUY!

Do I need it?

Will I use it?

Can I afford it?

Is it worth it?

Have I checked if it’s cheaper anywhere else?

11. And finally, Even when it's all over, Don’t stick with student accounts after Uni

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Don't stick with your student bank account when you graduate. By switching to specialist deals for graduates, you may be able to gain £100s a year.

This is because many offer special terms that are unavailable to other people, such as 0% overdraft deals for up to three years.

Picking the best can save you serious cash on your overdraft.

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