My student days may be sadly over, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to give up my frugal, and budget friendly, tips and tools, I picked up along the way. I was very lucky to not have to work through the three years I was at uni but that was in large part to the odd summer jobs I worked here and there that allowed me to save up some cash, a couple of years working full time prior to my studies where I was really able to save and a tonne of ways below that I’m gonna explain to you all to help you save a few pennies alongside your studies.
You can thank me later by helping yourself.
This is by far my favourite one that I check almost daily, there’s constant updates on codes for money off multiple retailers, and the best one for me is the ones that give you Amazon vouchers for spending minimal amounts in retailers such as; McDonalds, Subway, Costa, Pret-A-Manger and a tonne of others. If you’re lucky you’ll get much more for your money such as £5 Amazon vouchers for spending just 99p in one transaction at their chosen retailers.
It takes seconds to sign up to and to link your student email so don’t waste time. And before you purchase anywhere, just see what you can gain from them. The only thing you’ll likely need is your phone and a receipt!
UniDays is the most popular student discount app/site and rightly so, there’s tonnes of ways to save on there, it’s free to register and use and can be re-verified to give you student status for a year after you lose your student email address. You bet I’ll be taking advantage of that.
Whilst I’ve had an NUS/Totum card for the past 8 years or so, I probably prefer UniDays for the fact it’s free and instant on your phone.
I don’t use this one all that often but having a Student (and then a Graduate) bank account with Santander allows cashback on a number of places both in-store & online so long as you use your bank card. Check with your bank and see if they offer anything like this, you may not use it all that much but it’s work checking retail offers to see what you can save on.
TOPCASHBACK / QUIDCO
Another of us most frequented websites is TopCashback because I’m all for earning back money on things I’m going to spend out on anyway. Both TC & Quidco offer really similar percentages and offers, however it may vary a percent or two so check first to see which is most worthwhile per transaction.
TC also offer an annual plus membership for just £5 whichever gives you a boosted cashback, definitely worth it if you plan to use your account a lot. You don’t be surprised by what money you can’t get back from, a few months ago I received £5 back from travel insurance which made it super cheap. Also perfect for all my online Topshop & ASOS purchases.
It always stuns me when I’m out with friends and find out they don’t have age loyalty cards from places they shop in a lot, you’re basically turning away free money or points towards something new. Tesco Clubcard, Nectar, Costa Coffee Club, Caffé Nero and Boots Advantage card are my most commonly used ones because I’m all about working towards free stuff.
Boots is perfect for gaining 4 points per £1 and they so often have offers on that gets you double points or X amount of points when you buy particular items or brands. I’ve very quickly racked up quite a high amount in points from shopping there as normal.
Tesco is super handy at uni, I found my self in Tesco metro about 4/5 times a week sometimes and once my Clubcard vouchers came through I was able to boost them for more than their worth to travel on Megabus. £1 = £3 when spent at a range of retailers. Cheap travel anyone?
I’m pretty new to AR but holy moses, it’s marvellous! I heard about it last year through O2 when I took out my new phone contract and wondered what it was all about. All you have to do is connect your bank card to your AR account and then you can receive cashback from a number of retailers. Some places offer 4%, some offer 8%, and whilst it’s not gonna have you rolling in the dough anytime soon, you can gain back some money for spending what you usually would anyway. For every £10 you gain in cashback, you can then redeem it off the following month’s phone contract bill. Pretty nifty, eh? You can redeem it in £10 increments, or you can let the amount build up and redeem a larger portion off your bill.
This is something I’ve been doing for years and it really helped me out at uni. Everything I sold on eBay built up my PayPal amount and paid for new clothes (the best way to recycle, no?), Facebook Marketplace sales gave me extra cash to save for holiday spends, trips away or anything to give me a break away from uni from time to time, and then other times I’d pop stuff on Shpock for some pennies.
Before selling on eBay, get clued up. Make sure you understand the fees, postage costs etc so you don’t put yourself out of pocket – because what’s the point otherwise? Maximise on the £1 listing fees on items selling for over £10, try auctioning items but also try the Buy It Now option because personally that’s worked the best for me.
Facebook Marketplace has made me so much cash in the past 2 years just from selling off old things I no longer want/need, unwanted presents that I sold for cash to put back into savings, etc.
Get saving and make the most of uni!
S xo[As first seen on Alright Sunshine]