Saving money as a student
By Sarah Wood
The cost-of-living crisis affects everyone, and students are no exception. Gloucestershire College has put together some tips to help students make ends meet.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) recently reported that 92% of higher education students said their cost of living had increased over the last year, with 80% saying it had an effect on them.
According to a report from UCAS, many students are cutting back on spending on both food and non-essentials, with almost a third also having their own side-hustle or business to help make ends meet.
Studying closer to home can help save money on things like accommodation and travel, but there are other ways to make your budget go further.
Discounts on council tax
Households where everyone is a full-time student don't have to pay council tax. If there is someone in a student house who isn't a full-time student, the household could still qualify for a discount.
Many areas have discounted travel for students - whether under 18 or over 18.
Staff and students at Gloucestershire College can present their ID on Stagecoach West buses and get a discounted rate of £1.90 within Cheltenham and Gloucester, and approx. £2.40 within Gloucestershire but outside of these areas eg Stroud, Tewkesbury and Forest of Dean. However, this is currently capped at £2 for all services until October 31.
Young people aged 16-17 can apply for a 16-17 Saver which gives them 50% off rail fares. Young people aged 16-25 can also purchase a 16-25 Railcard, regardless of whether they are student, to save 1/3 on journeys. Railcards are available to mature students too, and it's easy to apply online.
Students and staff can apply for a TOTUM Card and app (previously NUS card) which is nationally recognised and accepted for discounts in a huge range of retailers, covering fashion, technology, travel, health, fitness and more.
UNiDAYS and Student Beans are other apps which offer a variety of student discounts available across a range of food, travel, fashion, tech and more.
Just some of the discounts available:
- The Co-op - 10% off food and drink at any Co-op food store.
- McDonalds and Greggs - When purchasing a meal, show student ID to get a free item from a small selection on the menu.
- Apple - Apple has a specific Education Store for students and staff looking for a new laptop or tablet.
- Boots - Show a current student ID at any Boots store and get an automatic 10% discount off everything - this is added to a Boots Advantage Card which is free to sign up to.
- Spotify - get Student Premium for just £5.99 a month.
- Amazon - Amazon Prime Student gives six months of Prime delivery, music and video for free, followed by monthly payments of £4.49 (50% off).
- Microsoft Office - Gloucestershire College students can benefit from free access to Microsoft Office programmes (Word, Outlook, PowerPoint, OneNote, Microsoft Teams, Excel) on their devices.
- Gyms - The Gym at Gloucester Quays and PureGym offer student discounts. Freedom Leisure offers concession memberships to students, with full access to all four gyms across the Forest of Dean.
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