How to save money as a student

By Charlotte Yau

Find oodles of deals, offers & discounts, along with tips on how to save money in halls, class & while you shop

Wondering how to save money as a student? From where you live to how you live, small changes can make a big difference. There are also dozens of offers, deals and discounts out there for students, so you might as well take advantage of as many as possible while you can!


First up, let’s take a look at 10 ways to save money as a student by adjusting your lifestyle a tad.

- Walk, use public transportation or ride a bike instead of having a car.

- Downgrade your TV, internet and phone packages to ones that are more affordable.

- Spend free time doing free stuff. Take advantage of what your campus has to offer in terms of activities, rather than spending money on going out.

- Instead of spending money in your spare time, earn money! Find a temporary job; a great way to make money as a student!

- When looking at things to do during breaks and the summer holidays, skip expensive trips and look into volunteering opportunities.

- Utilise student discounts when shopping for clothes and toiletries (more on how you can do this below!)

- Don’t get a pet! It’s not just another mouth to feed, but veterinary bills can soon rack up. If you love animals, there are many shelters you can volunteer your time to.

- Compare gyms that are part of your university campus with those in the local area. Many universities offer free or discounted memberships for their students.

- Go to class. You’re paying for it and skipping is like throwing money out the window!

- Sign up for the following student discount schemes…

Discounts schemes and student offers

16-25/Mature student railcards

A third off rail travel at off-peak times for £30 a year


Student beans and Unidays

Discounts, offers and codes for students


NUS extra

Discounts from the official student body the National Union of Students (NUS)


Shopping centre lock-ins

Annual events around the country at big-name shopping centres


Amazon Prime Student

Get a free six month trial of Amazon Prime for students

Accommodation, halls and houses

Apply for council tax exemption

Students don’t have to pay council tax. Be sure to let your local council know of your student status and enjoy exemption!


Always pay bills on time to avoid late fees

Bills are irritating and no fun at all, but they’re even less fun when they’re topped up with late fines and fees.


Live with friends

Living with a couple of friends (and ideally more) means you can split the cost of bills, the TV license, the cooking, shopping, driving – just about everything.


Consider returning to Halls

If you want some peace and quiet for your final year, consider returning to university accommodation. Some universities reserve places for final year students, which may be cheaper than a house and you won’t have to worry about sorting out your bills each month.

Find even more tips and tricks to saving money around your home here (Link to Money-saving tips around the house)

University resources

Be book smart

Books for class can be expensive and, in some cases, you’ll no longer need to keep them after your classes have finished. Buy or rent used textbooks and sell anything you have left over from the previous semester. Also, check your library for which textbooks they have available to avoid purchasing something you will only need for a short time.


Do you really need 20 folders and 10 notebooks?

It’s easy to get carried away stocking up on stationery and notebooks before term begins, but are you really going to use them all? Especially, if you take your laptop or tablet to class. Buy one big notebook with dividers for each of your classes and walk away from temptation!


Utilise University funding and bursaries

All universities have bursaries, scholarships and funding in place for students who need them. Find out what student money help you’re eligible for and then start submitting your applications.


Use free minibus services

Rather than getting pricey taxis home from events and nights out on campus, see if there is a free minibus service. Even if it’s not free, it’s probably heavily subsidised and will drop you right off at your door. Driving the minibus could actually be a great way to make money as a student!


Download free University software and subscription

Your university may well have some pretty handy software you can download or subscription services you can access for free, such as newspapers that usually have a paywall in place.

Food and drink

Never go food shopping when you’re hungry.

Rule number one of the food shop; don’t go on an empty stomach! Shopping when you’re hungry leads to you buying with your belly, not your brain, which is bad news for your bank balance.


Have a fresh start and eliminate your vices

University is the perfect time to reinvent yourself. Give up your vices like smoking, drinking or gambling. You’ll be healthier as a result and save lots of money.


We also have loads more ways you can save money on food here. 

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