Thursday, 25 August 2011

Five ways to save and make money in your first year of uni

International Money Pile in Cash and CoinsImage by via FlickrOne of the biggest fears students tend to have when leaving for university, is how they'll cope with money. For many, it's the first time they've had full financial independence. It doesn't need to be scary though. A little forward thinking can help you avoid dipping into your overdraft, while enjoying a social life and varied diet!

Here are five ways to save money and make money while at university.

NUS Extra card
The NUS Extra card is packed full of deals for you to save money in all areas of life. It costs just £11, and the average student saves £500 with theirs. For example, you can:
  • Save 10% off toiletries at Superdrug
  • Save 10% on your sports gear at JJB sports
  • Get 40% off a haircut at Nicky Clarke 
  • Get half price driving lessons with the AA
  • 11% off a 16-25 Railcard. Talking of which...

16-25 Railcard
If you're going to travel anywhere this year, whether it's a trip home or a day trip to London, a 16-25 railcard will save you a lot of money. You'll usually save around a third on your ticket, unless you go at peak time. Book ahead on sites like TheTrainLine, and you'll save even more with their early booking rates! You'll usually make your money back on the railcard purchase within just a couple of journeys.

Get together!
The best way to save money is a bit of teamwork. It's far cheaper to cook a meal between five people, than to cook for just one. You'll save money on food, electricity and washing up, plus enjoy a nice meal together with your housemates.

Work for the union
If you're looking to earn while you learn, the union has a number of roles available. You could help behind the bar, work in the catering department, drive the safety bus or help out at the Freshers' Fayre among other roles. Shifts are flexible, so you can fit it around your studies. Have a look at our student job vacancies to see what we're currently looking for.

Quidco - Cashback
Quidco is a great service that lets you earn a small amount of cashback every time you buy something from one of their participating stores. You can use your NUS card alongside the Quidco cashback scheme when you buy in store. So, in theory, you can could buy a laptop in Comet, where you'll get 5% off, and then an additional 2.5% cashback. It might not sound like a lot, but it'll stack up throughout the year.

How do you save and make money at university?

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