Written by Lauren Bishop
MSc Public Health
Being a student can be a tough time financially, but the strain is eased by making use of your student discount. Your student card can be used to get discounts from a vast range of shops and services, plus you can get extra discounts by buying an NUS Extra card. Here are my top tips on how to get the best out of this perk of studenthood.
- Look out for one-off and limited offers: some retailers that don’t offer student discount all year round will run special student discount events or offer a discount for a limited time. Keep an eye open for these if your favourite shops don’t generally offer student discount.
- Use it to do stuff: people who spend their money on experiences rather than stuff are generally happier. So why not use your student status to get concessionary prices at cinemas and theatres? This is sure to give you some good evenings out, and may be cheaper (not to mention healthier) than a night out drinking!
- Sign up with UNiDAYS: like NUS Extra, UNiDAYS allows you to access additional discounts that you can’t get with your student card. Better still, unlike NUS Extra, it’s free to join. There’s nothing to lose, so give it a try!
My BU student card and 16-25 Railcard; two of my best friends when it comes to saving money!
- Get a 16-25 Railcard: these cost £30 for one year or £70 for three years and give you 30% off eligible train journeys. Even if you’re over 25, you may be eligible if you’re studying full-time. You can buy a 1-year card any time before you turn 26 or a 3-year card any time before you turn 24, so if you’re clever with your timings you can get a lot of value out of it!
- Don’t be drawn in by offers you don’t need: it’s human nature to be attracted to money off and end up buying things we don’t need. If you’re in a position where you need to be careful with your money, think of your student discount as a tool to do this rather than a reason to go shopping more often!
A pair of boots I got in FatFace while they were offering a limited-time 20% student discount. One of my favourite shops and I wouldn’t have been able to afford them otherwise!
By Lauren Bishop