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alice-whiteIt’s an unfortunate stereotype that students often live on baked beans, instant noodles and tap water, but it’s often not far from the truth. So it’s a silver lining to hear about all the various wonderful student discounts out there that help to make being a student a little less grubby and a little more glamorous.

The first stop for saving those pennies when you shop should be an NUS Extra card, which gives you savings of around 10% at lots of high street and online shops such as Amazon and New Look, plus some restaurants and grocery stores such as the Co-op. It’ll cost you as little as £12, which will only take a few food shops and a couple of book purchases on Amazon to recoup.

While not strictly a student discount, it’s still worth looking into getting a 16-25 rail card. If you’re 25 and under (or in full-time education if you’re over 25) you can buy one for £30 per year (there’s also an NUS discount!), and it gives you 1/3 off rail fares at off-peak times which – when you consider the ridiculous ticket prices in this country – is a hefty saving.

Unidays and Student Beans are good websites to register with, as they often have exclusive offers and discounts for students. Just hand them over your email address and they’ll ping nice little money saving treats straight into your inbox.

If you’re planning on splashing out on a new computer, phone or laptop, it’s worth checking with companies if they do student discount. Apple offers around 15% off for students on some of their products, so give them a call before you buy – it could save you a lot of money.

On a more practical note, there are student discounts for Council Tax and health care. If you live in a private rental property then the household may be liable to pay Council Tax, but the good news is that students don’t count as ‘real people’, yey! That means that, if one student and one non-student cohabit, the property only has to pay the same amount as a single person occupancy household. Check with your local council for more info.

If you are 19 or under and in full-time education, or of any age on a low income, then you could qualify for free health and dental care. You need to apply for an HC1 form from the government, but it’s well worth doing, as all prescriptions and dental fees will be waived (so if you’re planning on cracking a tooth then save it for when you’ve got your HC1).

So there we have it – lots of little ways that life as a student can be made a little easier on the wallet.

By Alice White

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