One of the largest train booking companies in the UK have put together a student help guide for every occasion.
Their information has been gathered for students to benefit from and Grand Central have combined the main things all students may find hard to adjust or do whilst at uni – a money saving guide that will help you save that little bit more.
The ‘money saving guide’ advises students about how to make the most of uni life with top tips that will ensure you have a positive university experience and spare change left in your pocket by the end of it:
- “Do you do discount?” – You’re a student now and this opens up an amazing world of discounts that you’ve never had access to before. You can use your NUS extra card. There is no harm in asking wherever you go, you can only save money.
- Get organised and save money - Book your train tickets home for Christmas in the first week of term. We all know that buying travel tickets in advance means saving precious pennies and this includes at Easter and Summer.
- Shop in groups- Shopping for food in groups and cooking together will certainly make your money go further.
- Use the promotions – In your first few weeks of university you’ll be bombarded with freebies and discounts for almost everything you need to survive student life. Keep hold of these vouchers as at some point they will all come in handy.
- Your wallet / purse is destined to fill up with loyalty cards – Free loyalty cards can prove to be a real money saver. Whether it’s to build up points that get translated into pounds or stamps to get your fifth visit for free, these cards can give you instant money off.
- Do group washes of clothes – It’s not exciting but it is important. Your average wash and dry using student machines will cost around £3.50 per time.
- Get someone else’s books – Students in years above may have the books you need and no longer require them, so you could nab a bargain..
- Hit the markets – Supermarkets are extremely convenient but to get the best deals on meat, fish and veg, it’s worth paying a visit to the market.
- Stock up on essentials – keep your eyes peeled for deals on basics such as washing up liquid, toothpaste and toilet roll and stock up when they are on offer.
- Keep your change – It’s tempting to discard random two and one pence pieces that are weighing your purse/wallet down. But keeping and collecting small change can accumulate into very useful washing funds or beverage allowance.
- Get rich quick (or at least make a few quid) – find non-time-consuming ways to make some extra cash. From casual bar work, to leaflet drops, to mystery shopping, there are lots of ways to make a little extra cash that won’t eat into your study time.
- Shop around – more than ever before, students have the ability to find the best deals and discounts just by doing a bit of research. Shop around for the best price on everything – from travel tickets, to cinema passes.
- A little help from the web – ensure you are signed up for e-alerts on sites that will get you offers in your area. NUS, Living Social, Groupon and Travel Zoo are just a few of the many sites designed to help you get the best deals and bargains.
- Ditch the wheels – if you’re thinking of taking your car for your first semester, then think again. Most universities and halls of residence have very few legal parking spaces with strict fines and regular warden patrols for those who park in prohibited areas. Not only that, but by the time you have paid petrol and the higher costs for insurance in student living areas, it is much cheaper to spend those limited pennies on public transport. Invest in a season ticket up front if possible to keep spends to a minimum.
- Don’t go crazy – there is a temptation as you take your first steps into independence and freedom to go wild and spend your student loan in the first week. Remember that the loan needs to last all semester and (cruelly) Christmas falls right at the end of that first term. Put some money aside into a separate account for Christmas presents and celebrations and set yourself a weekly limit. Prioritise spends into essential, nice to have and unnecessary so that you can keep a handle on your budget.
- Avoid 3G – most communal student areas have Wi-Fi these days, but when you’re out and about, try to connect to free Wi-Fi wherever possible to keep your phone bills to a minimum. Many coffee shops, restaurants and shopping centres have Cloud Wi-Fi which is easy to log into and some companies include Wi-Fi as part of a ticket fee, for example cinemas and train providers such as Grand Central.
Grand Central offers a 10% discount for students with an NUS card along with a 16-25 railcard. For more information visit: http://www.grandcentralrail.com/