A recent study published by the UK’s National Union of Students found that one in every three students will be living on less than £50 a month after paying for their rent and bills.
Ahead of the start of the academic year this month, here are some top tips for students wanting to save money while they are studying.
Choose the Best Student Bank Account
It is important to look for a student bank account that best suits your needs, especially one with a generous 0% that will last for the length of your course, whether it is 3 years or five.
Different banks will offer different offers in order to incentivise students to use their student accounts. For instance, Santander offers their customers a free four-year railcard. While this is worth around £90, and can save you a lot on travel, their accounts do not offer the largest interest-free overdrafts in comparison to their competitors. (Source: Limited Company Help)
Alternatively, NatWest offers their customers in first-year a very generous 0% overdraft with a one-year Tastecard membership. Other banks may offer cash incentives so it is worth investigating which account will best benefit your funds and help you to save during your studies.
Consider What Equipment You Will Need
The majority of students will opt for laptops instead of desktops as they can be transported easily and used in lecture halls.
For students studying essay-based subjects, they will only need a laptop in order to research and write their essays on. As such, there is no need to invest in a very high-tech laptop that might have an abundance of unnecessary features.
Furthermore, a number of technology suppliers, such as Lenovo and Apple, offer customers generous student discounts on their goods, says Rosca Technologies. In addition, it may be worth considering buying a second-hand or refurbished laptop too.
Seek Out Additional Support From Your University
Each university is likely to offer additional financial support to their students from lower-income households. These could be in the form of bursaries or scholarships which do not need to be paid back to the university.
Furthermore, charities may also serve as a source for funding to help with tuition fees or living costs.
Purchase Books Second Hand
Typically, students will be required to invest in a number of books to support their research during their studies as part of their course. It is first worth checking how many of thse will be mandatory, and then worth checking if these are available to borrow in the university or local libraries. Further, some chapters may be free to access and download online.
Alternatively, there are a number of online marketplaces which may stock these books second hand too, and are likely to be much cheaper than purchasing them brand new.
Utilise Student Discount Codes
When making an order or shopping in-person, it is always worth checking whether you can save money using your student discount.
Look Out for Freebies
Many companies will offer students freebies so it is definitely worth investigating if any will help you to save money.
For instance, Amazon Prime offers six months free membership to those who sign up to an Amazon Prime Student Trial. Furthermore, students can use Microsoft Office 365 Education for free when registering an account with their university email address.
Make Savings on Transport
There are a number of ways in which students can save on transport. The 16-25 railcard is a popular way of doing so, offering students a third off their rail journeys for £30 annually.
National Express additionally offers students a Young Persons Coachcard for £15 which takes off a third off their journeys too.
Alternative ways in which students can save money include using their university’s bicycle loan schemes if this is offered.