Top Tips to make your money go further

WHEN you’re a student you need to make that loan stretch as far as it can and take advantage of the array of discounts on offer.

 

From accessing special offers on meals out, to clubbing together with flatmates to bulk-buy essentials, you can make your money go further.

 

Firstly, an NUS Extra card is a gateway to lots of money-off deals. They are available for both students and apprentices and provide access to more than 200 UK student discounts.

 

For one year you will also have an International Student Identity Card (ISIC) for free, unlocking over 42,000 international discounts. You can choose from a one-year card for £12, a two-year card for £22 or a three-year card for £32.

 

Discounts are available for top brands such as 10 per cent off at the Co-op, 10 per cent off at ASOS, 10 per cent off at Forever 21, up to 40 per cent off at Pizza Express and 25 per cent off Odeon student-priced tickets.

 

If you like going for meals out then you might want to consider getting the Gourmet Society bolt-on. This will enable you to enjoy two-for-one meals or up to 50 per cent off meals at around 7,000 top restaurants including big-name chains such as La Tasca, Bella Italia, Strada, Café Rouge, and Walkabout, plus thousands of local favourites, by showing your NUS Extra Gourmet Society card.

 

It costs £7 for a 12-month membership, £12 for a two-year membership or £15 for a three-year membership. There are many other ways to save cash and keep on top of your finances.

 

It may not sound like the most fun job but careful budgeting will help you to ensure your loan lasts the whole term.

 

Divide your loan by the number of weeks you will need it to last and set yourself a weekly spending limit.

 

When supermarket shopping, there are lots of good deals to be had. Take advantage of ‘value’ brands as these normally don’t taste very different from well-known brands. It’s usually cheaper to buy multi-packs such as a four-can pack of baked beans or 12 toilet rolls.

 

You could always team up with your flatmates and divide the cost between you. Another tip from the NUS is to go to the supermarket at the end of the day. Often they reduce the price on products that are due to go out of date, including bread, which you can take home and freeze. It can be a good way to enjoy food such as fresh fish which you might not normally be able to afford.

 

Planning your meals for the week can also help you save money and ensure you’re not tempted to go for a takeaway because you can’t think of what to cook that night.

 

Textbooks can be a big expense so think carefully before splashing out for new ones. It might be tempting to buy all the books on your reading list, but you might want to wait and see which are essential. Those that you don’t need every day, you can get in the library.

 

Most universities also have second- hand books available. Of course, used textbooks are much cheaper and you’ll probably be able to sell them on again once you’ve finished with them.

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