I admit it, I’m a little flummoxed by what to write on this one. When I first got the prompt, I, rather naively, thought ‘Hey I’m a student, I’ve got this!’. After all, its not like my bank account looks even remotely healthy most days and I would like to think that I have got a little better at saving money since I got here in September.
I’ve always been interested in a good old bargain and seriously miss charity-shop-shopping with my friends since I moved to a smaller town. In fact, I don’t shop anywhere near as much as I used to now I don’t live in Darlington.
That may be at least part of the reason why I struggled with this topic. My first thought was to share some of my recent shopping bargains with you but they don’t exist *sobs*. So instead I figured I’d share some of my tips for saving money and spending less when you are a student (or just a little strapped for cash).
(1) My Railcard. Applying for a 16-25 railcard was the best decision I have made. Travelling from Scotland to England and back again can quite quickly rack up. You pay a small fee for the year (normally between £20-30) but I’ve made that back in savings within one or two journeys. (It also makes first class a lot more affordable!)
If you don’t qualify for that one, they have quite the selection, including a 60+, a family card and a railcard for two people who may commonly travel together. Take a look at the website for all the details (and don’t just rely on my slightly dodgy memory).
(2) Discount cards. IF YOU ARE A STUDENT, ALWAYS ASK FOR STUDENT DISCOUNT. Yep, this one is important enough to warrant caps lock. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve received a nice little reduction at the till for presenting a student card (either my actual one from university or one I’ve signed up for like NUS). Not everyone offers it, but you will be surprised by how many do!
(3) Reward Cards and Loyalty Cards
It kinda made sense to put these two together. Countless brands offer some form of loyalty scheme for their customers. My purse is full of coffee cards, just waiting for the last stamp which will finally entitle me to my free drink. When I fill them, I tend to keep them for a while for days when my purse is pretty much empty but I NEED a coffee.
Similarly, certain cards might reward you with points when you spend with them. My most used is probably Boots and I have a nice little safety net of ‘free money’ waiting on there. Personally, I always guilt trip my mum and roommate into using my card when they’re shopping with me so I get extra, but that is cheating…Now though, I can partially redeem them to knock some of my beauty buys down do a more reasonable price, which has been verrry handy.
So there you have it! Some of my tips for bagging bargains and keeping those pennies in your purse for a little while longer. What’s yours?
Don’t forget to check the #bloggersdoitbetter tag on twitter to see what everyone else has done!