For a variety of reasons, the cost of living is going up. Now more than ever, students are feeling the pinch. But there are ways you can save money to stretch your already tight budget. Here are our best money saving tips for 2021.
Review Your Mobile Contract
While many such articles will tell you to go without a mobile phone, we know that’s impossible. You need it to communicate with family and to help with academic work. Before you do though, you need to look at your typical monthly usage: data, texts, and minutes. Keep this info in mind when searching for a new contract. If you need more data, use a bolt on which typically charges a flat fee for a higher limit.
Alternatively, look at phones that offer cashback. Be warned that cashback is not always automatic. They will often expect you to do something to claim this money.
Switch Bank Accounts
Most banks offer a student account, but no two are the same. Naturally, they will also offer you sign up perks. One advert from a well-known bank in the 00s poked fun at meaningless perks and attempts by banks to patronise young people. Thankfully, things have changed. Compare like for like and go for those offering perks that will best suit your lifestyle. Don’t be tempted by a railcard or Uber voucher that you won’t use if another bank offers a large overdraft facility.
Use Cashback Websites for Stuff
You’re going to buy stuff – books, clothes, entertainment, and the occasional takeaway. There are websites out there that will pay you for buying stuff through their referral link(s). While you won’t get that stuff for free, you can save money by using their discounts. Often all it takes is to log into their site and go to the referral link. It’s as easy as that!
A Word About Credit Cards
The last 20 years have seen some historic low interest rates and perks. However, that is now changing. Credit limits are lower and interest rates higher, especially for young people with little to no credit score. However, some cards offer perks that might be useful to you – cashback (though these are less common now), priority tickets, and discounts.
Ask About Student Discounts in Every Shop
Some shops in your university town / city advertise student discounts. These are usually in the window to entice you through the door and at the checkout, so you don’t forget to wave your NUS card or other student ID. But not all do. Some (like hairdressers) might say “concession price” with no clear definition on who that includes. By all means, ask if the concession price applies to students. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.