How to get the most from your money: saving money

I’m lucky as a student in that money isn’t something that causes me real worry and stress, however I still try and make it last as long as I can and with saving for holidays this summer I’m trying my best to save where I can! Below is my list of the best ways to try and save a little money here and there.

Disclaimer: I definitely don’t scrimp and save every penny I have and definitely shop unnecessarily, for example going shopping “because I’m bored” is not a foreign concept to me. What I’m talking about here is realistic and easy ways to save some money when I am spending and trying to make my money go as far as I can, just fyi!

Get a seperate savings account

This might sound strange, but the first thing I’d say you NEED is a seperate savings account. Without that you have no where safe to store any money you take from your main account to prevent you from spending it. Trust me it makes such a difference!

Take a certain amount of money from your account each month

This one is simple, but so easy and effective. As I’ve been starting to save for my holiday I’ve been taking out about £20 per month so that I just won’t spend it. It has shocked me how easy this has been because even if I have overspent a little that month I’ve never thought “oh if only I had that £20”. It’s such an easy way of saving and I’m definitely going to continue next year.

1p Savings Challenge

The premis is very simple, you take 1p and save it on day one, 2p on day two and so on for 365 days and at the end of that year you manage to save a huge £667.95. I only saw this one very recently but it caught my eye and I started immediately, it sounded so easy and doable that I had to give it a go. The first few weeks are obviously far easier than the latter weeks but even if I don’t manage to make it all the way to the end I’ll still manage to save a little along the way! You can see how it works in more detail here.

Student Discounts

Far and away one of the top perks of being a student is the student discounts which I believe are eligable to those over 16 and in full time education, that includes you sixth form students! They’ve help me save so much money over the past 4 years and most of the websites are free to sign up to. Anyone who tells me they “just don’t use them” blows my mind because they are literally FREE. FREE. FREE and you can get up to 40% at certain restuarants as well at 10% off all year round at places like ASOS, Superdrug, Boots and even discounts from Apple, Hp and Microsoft. If I haven’t convinced you now I don’t know what will, all I can tell you is it will be a sad sad day in the Edmeades house when my student status expires.. it makes me very popular with my parents when I manage to get us money off when we’re eating out!

Some of the best sites that I’ve used include Unidays and Student Beans. Both of these sites are very similar in that you sign up with a personal email address and enter your school/university/college email address to verify that you are a student. After that you simply set up you ID with your name, date of birth and a picture of yourself and you’re good to go. These discounts can be used both online and in store and I never really go anywhere without checking for a discount! You can sign up for Unidays here and Student Beans here.

Another great option is the TOTUM Card which is run by NUS Extra. I used to have one of these when I was at school but unfortunately my university is not associated with NUS and therefore I can’t get one anymore 😦 this one is different because you do have to pay for it but it carries great discounts so the card will pay for itself in no time. I would really recommend signing up to as many sites as possible because whilst some discounts are carried across multiple sites they all offer some slightly different ones and you never know what you’ll need! You can check it out here and see if your institution is eligable.

Other discount websites

As great as student discounts are, the more general websites can also be worht checking out. I am signed up to both VoucherCodes and vouchercloud which I always check especially when I’m eating out. They work very similarly to the two student discount websites I talked about earlier, they’re free to sign up to and give you discounts both in store and online. I always try and look for discounts where I can because its literally only takes a minute and if I don’t find one then its no problem, nothing to lose by having a check! You can check out VoucherCodes here and vouchercloud here.

Railcards

I use the trains a lot and have saved incredible amounts of money by using my 16-25 railcard. There are a range of railcards available and almost everyone will be eligable for at least one of them! Most of them cost around £30 a year (and with a student discount you can get money off buying your 16-25 railcard!) and give you a third off your train fare. These cards pay themselves off so fast, for example everytime I travel to and from Plymouth to see my boyfriend I save about £20, so all I need to do is buy at least two sets of tickets (which I would be doing anyway) and the card has paid for itself. With a bit of quick (and probably slightly dodgy) maths I think I’ve saved about £300 a year since I’ve been at uni, literally ten times the amount it cost me to buy it in the first place. The best thing about this card is that you don’t have to spend extra unnecessary money to make it worthwhile, most people who own these cards use the trains frequently so they genuinely help you save money rather than coaxing you into spending where you otherwise wouldn’t, safe to say I’m a fan! You can see all the railcards available and choose which is right for you here.

Loyalty cards

This one might sound weird in terms of saving you money but hear me out! I tend to sign up for loyalty cards anywhere I know I’ll be a repeat customer because I don’t see any reason not to. They all work differently, but most allow you to build up points which you can then spend to save some money later on. I know there is the idea that they make you spend more money because you think more about the points you gain than the money you spend to get them but honestly I don’t need an excuse to go shopping, I’ll probably just go anyway so might as well take advantage! Some cards also allow you access to student discounts which you can’t use if you don’t have their points card. Some of my favourite and most used cards are Boots’ Advantage Card, Superdrug’s Health and Beauty Card, my Nectar Card, Tesco Clubcard and my Costa Card. All of these let you spend points once you’ve built them up and some give you access to discounts and offers that you wouldn’t otherwise have access to.

If you’re still reading at this point, congrats! Maybe you deserve a treat.. shopping maybe..? And look at all the money you can save now! Sorry thats not very helpful! But really thank you for reading this far I hope it was helpful, I understand that some of these ways of saving are pretty well known but I hope you’ve seen a new way to save, the more you know the better chance you’ve got of finding that discount! If you liked this post then please like, share and subscribe and follow me on instagram to see when I post first. Also let me know of any ways you know to save some money!

Hollie x

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