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Student Nursing Times

'Managing your own budget can be scary'

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Get those pennies stretching further with our advice on how to save at university.

Sometimes that student loan just doesn’t seem built to last. However, there are plenty of ways you can make both small and significant savings without having to put in much extra effort. A penny saved is a penny earned and they all add up! 

NUS Extra Card

Forking out £12 for one of these when you’ve already got your university student card may seem pointless but an NUS Extra Card offers a range of unique discounts. Amazon, Virgin Media, STA Travel and National Express are just some of the companies you can bag reductions from and often student unions give exclusive offers to students that have them.  

Group On/Living Social Deals

No matter how strapped for cash you are, a haircut or a meal out is sometimes a necessity rather than luxury. These companies give you daily email offers, available for a limited amount of time, so you can treat yourself to anything from a manicure to a day of paintballing for a fraction of the normal cost.

They’re great for presents too – your best friend will never know that personalised photobook you got her for her 21st was a quarter of its retail price. But be careful– you may think it sounds like an irresistible bargain when it firsts pings into your inbox but if you aren’t going to redeem it you’re not saving anything.  

Young Person’s Rail Card

You can make back the £28 cost of one of these in a single trip. Offering a third off off-peak rail travel they can bag you huge savings on journeys up and down the country. Now there’s no excuse not to visit your friends at other universities.

Shop around

Don’t just head straight to Blackwells with your reading list because it’s down the road from your lecture hall. Try online or second hand from past students. And if you don’t need it right away don’t pay extra for next day delivery.

The new Facebook and Twitter page “Buy my things” is appearing at universities up and down the country and gives the opportunity for students from the same campus to sell and exchange things they no longer want. And that’s without pesky postage costs and the hassle of finding big enough envelopes.

Managing your own budget can be scary when you’re used to parents or a part-time job keeping you afloat. If you feel like you’re losing sense of what you’re spending start a diary (or download an app) to help you keep track. However, if you really start to feel the pinch remember you’re not alone – talk to student support services and advice centres at your university or students’ union. But remember, learning to look after your finances is all part of the fun and change that university life brings!

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