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1 Wait to buy books
You may receive a reading list in advance of term starting but don’t buy books before you go.
Lots of students sell last year’s textbooks and you may be able to share with coursemates. If you do need to buy in advance, check bookbrain.co.uk to find the cheapest places.
2 Use an app to pay the bills
There will be lots of times at uni when you are trying to split a bill or create a kitty.
To avoid being a nag, or getting nagged, download an app such as Paym or Payfriendz, where you can transfer money you owe to friends or your parents using just their mobile number. Santander’s new app, KiTTi, allows up to 100 friends to contribute to a kitty, although you get charged 35p per person to do so.
3 Don’t forget council tax
Students do not have to pay council tax but unless you live in halls, which are automatically exempt, you will have to apply for a discount from the local council. If you live with another person who is not a student, you can still claim a 25 per cent discount.
4 Claim back unused TV licences
You can get a discount on the unused months of your TV licence at the end of the year if you move back home for the summer. Visit tvlicensing.co.uk/studentinfo.
5 Use Netflix
Better still, don’t pay for a TV licence, which costs £145.50, and only watch TV shows on catchup, such as BBC iPlayer. If your flatmates want to watch football, suggest they buy a NOW TV day, week or month pass for Sky Sports instead of signing up for a year’s deal. Netflix’s most expensive premium plan is £8.99 a month but you can watch it on up to four devices at any one time, ideal to split between a flatshare.
6 Go to the supermarket at night
India Benjamin, a blogger who graduated in 2014, says her top money saving tip is to visit small supermarkets, such as Tesco Express, at 10pm, when everything is reduced. Bread can go for as little as 1p and keeps in the freezer. Meat, fresh vegetables and sauces are also often reduced. The larger supermarkets run out more quickly, so Benjamin says the best discounts there are to be found in the afternoon.
7 Buy unlimited broadband
It’s not uncommon for student households to have as many as eight people under one roof, all with internet-connected gadgets. Pick a package with unlimited downloads.Ewan Taylor-Gibson, broadband expert at uSwitch.com, says it is best to ignore the nine-month contracts broadband companies flog to students. Often they are not actually as cheap as 12 month contracts, so do the maths first.
8 Shop online for food
Club together with friends and take it in turns to make the most of the first offer discounts at online supermarkets. Most have about £15 to £20 off a £60 order the first time you have something delivered, which allows you to bulk-buy essentials like pasta, washing up liquid and loo rolls. Compare the cheapest supermarkets atmySupermarket.co.uk, which also has a handy app.
9 Apply for cashback
Get in the habit of using sites such as TopCashback.co.uk where you earn a percentage of money back for shopping online. Deals at the moment include £10.50 back on an Asda shop and a 5.25 per cent discount at WH Smith.
10 Make sure you are insured
According to the National Union of Students, the average student burglary will cost £900. Getting insurance cover is a much better, and cheaper idea. Check with your parents first, however, as many insurers will add a student living elsewhere on to their existing policy. If you are in halls, see if any cover is in place atendsleigh.co.uk/personal/home-insurance/review-student-cover.