Be a savvy student this summer with these top saving tips from our intern Becky O. With summer fast approaching, the wave of relief that accompanies leaving the exam hall for the final time can make it all too easy to overspend. It is so much fun to cram a newly revision free schedule full of festivals, meals out and shopping sprees but unfortunately all these exciting activities can add up to be extortionately expensive. I have definitely been guilty of neglecting my finances and ending the summer completely broke, so I’m sharing some of the easiest ways for a student to make those precious summer funds stretch that bit further.
Student Discount– Student discount cards are quick to obtain, easy to use and can help you save loads of money! Me and my friends favour the NUS Extra card, which only costs £1 per month for a year’s subscription. This provides 170 top brand discounts, which have saved me money on everything from meals out to theme park excursions. This card has pulled me back from the precipice of bankruptcy more times than I can count. Other options for making the most of student discounts are also available, including the UCAS card, which is free and available for anyone applying for higher education through UCAS, providing discounts in high street shops such as TopShop. Don’t forget to bring a form of ID to secure your discount! Budgeting– While a budget can seem boring and time-consuming, it is undeniably a highly effective way of stopping your money from being gradually whittled away through small and unnecessary impulse purchases. Add up your income, which is the sum of all the money you have coming in, including pocket money, salary from a part time job and birthday money, and from there work out how much you can afford to spend per week or per month. Your budget doesn’t have to be complicated, as long as you stick to the golden rule: NEVER spend more than your income! Income Tax- Tax is confusing and I admit that I struggle to get my head around it, but if you earn less than £10,000 a year you shouldn’t be paying tax! If you have been taxed on an income below this amount, you can apply for a refund on the HMRC website at the end of the year (note that the tax year ends in April). Making the most of your salary can help you maximise your summer funds, so don’t lose out on money. If you don’t understand, ask your parents to help you, I know I have to!
Selling– Why not kill two birds with one stone by selling old gadgets online? A multitude of sites offer to buy your old phones, games and consoles, both allowing you to earn some extra cash and to get rid of clutter you’ll never use again. It might also be worth selling off old revision guides and textbooks, for example on eBay- while these are now useless to you, there is definitely a market for them and they may prove invaluable to those younger than you. Save on Essentials– Making the most of available deals when stocking up on festival necessities leaves you with more money to spend on enjoying the actual event! Use mySupermarket.co.uk to compare the price of essentials such as baby wipes, hand sanitizer and cosmetics at a range of shops before choosing where to buy them. This takes no time at all and can help you decipher the confusing special offers and low price claims that are constantly fired at us from shops to find out which is really cheapest. These tips are so quick and easy, what excuse do you have for not maximising your money and fun this summer?