Student’s of the world, let’s be honest with ourselves; being a student is hard. Being student isn’t hard because of the workload, or the fact we’re on our own away from home, or even that our livers are taking a battering from alcohol consumption. Being a student is hard because it’s so flipping expensive! The tuition, housing and booze costs alone are enough to cripple a small country, but it’s everything on top of that which really rubs salt into the wound. There are many ways to counteract the inevitable depletion of funds; getting a job, not going out (yeah right), selling some of your old stuff, money-back cards, but there is two which above all can combine to take your pound further: Freebies and discounts.
If you know this pain of frugality oh too well or if you are soon to be a student and want to get a jump on the game, take a look at the tips below to learn how to get some free stuff (always fun) and get money of your favourite things.
This is one of the best methods of getting freebies, seeing as they notify you when freebies are available. A whole load of companies and brands across the country do giveaways and the sheer number alone will guarantee a few free things a week. To find these little gems sign up to these student specific deals sites: StudentMoneySaver and StudentBeans to nab some goodies.
Bonus: Create a new email account which will be dedicated to these freebies. Not only does this help curate the freebie emails for easier access, but it also allows you to rid yourself of any of the rubbish ones more effectively.
Campus Reps/ Brand Ambassadors:
If you like the idea of food being delivered to your door, then this is the one for you. Brand ambassadors are effectively homing missiles loaded with free stuff and they’re targets are students. Companies like Red Bull and Monster often send Brand Ambassadors in their strange little Mini Coopers, with the weird humungous can on the back, to the areas surrounding libraries to dish out their latest can of caffeinated concentration nectar. When you see them, grab one or two or three (they really don’t care), its free, and free is always better.
Hack: Getting a job as one of these campus reps means you get paid and get even more free stuff.
Fresher’s week is more than just 7 hangovers on the trot and meeting new people, it’s also the time to stock up on all the freebies you could possibly want. The whole week of fresher’s revolves around veterans of the uni and bars to grab naive new students and make them go to their particular club or establishment. To lure you in they offer pizza, toiletries, free drinks at their bar, membership discounts, coupons for shops etc. This sounds awesome right? It is! But it can get a little frustrating, so don’t exchange your email or sign up signature for anything you don’t actually want; it’s not worth getting emails all year about Knitting Soc. if you’re not actually into it.
Bonus: Make sure you go to refreshers in the second term of every year, it won’t be as big as the initial event, but there are still plenty of freebies to be had.
The student discount soon becomes a badge of pride for the further education pupil, asking at every establishment they enter whether they do student discount. If the answer is no, you will often hear a disgruntled grumble from the student who expects, and rightfully so, a perfunctory 10% discount of everything. This is actually the first tip; ask everyone and everything. There are many places which will happily give you a student discount despite them not being on the NUS Extra Card or Uni discount roster.
The NUS Extra Card is the second tip; make sure you sign up and grab an NUS extra card before you get to uni. Grabbing one means you can get between 10 and 50% off your purchase at places like Jack Wills, Amazon, Pizza Hut, Pizza Express and tons more. Paying the little upfront fee of £12 to get hundreds of pounds of discounts is pretty much a no brainer.
Student discounts are your best friend whilst at uni, they save you on food, meals out, booze, clothes, activities, basically everything. They basically get you through the experience without having to sell your organs. To get the most out of your money, plan ahead with discounts and keep in mind what freebies you can get so you don’t end up buying the same thing and wasting your money.