2 Mar 2023 | Location: Sheffield, Nottingham

With cost of living drastically affecting people across the UK, it’s necessary to have all the knowledge of how to save money and find ways to earn a bit of extra cash whilst you study.

We’ve put together some ideas to help you along the way. 



The best starting point to save money is to make sure you budget, especially if you receive student finance in a lump sum. Splitting it out across the months will help you see the exact amount you have to spend, up until your next payment.

You can then itemise between necessities and extras. For instance, you want to cover food, rent, bills and travel expenses as necessities and then see what money you have left over as disposable income or money to put away in savings.

This will also help you to see if you’re falling short somewhere and if you need to make a bit of extra income to fill the gap.

You’ll find extra advice and support links on budgeting here .


Don’t rely on overdrafts

An overdraft can seem really useful during difficult times, especially if it’s just a few pounds here and there, however, overdrafts should hopefully be used for emergencies only. And the same goes for credit cards, be wary of interest rates and make sure you understand what you’re agreeing to when using them.

Shop around for a student bank account which will offer you the best deal and overdraft limit. It’s also key to note what happens with this account once you graduate and whether you’ll get the best deal for this too.


Discounts and reward systems

Lots of high street shops and supermarkets now offer reward systems, to help you save a bit of extra money or earn something back.

Here are some of the best ones:

  • Subway: Earn 1 point for every 10p spent in the UK.
  • Costa: Earn one ‘bean’ for every drink you purchase.
  • Boots: Earn 4 points for every £1 spent.
  • Superdrug: Earn 1 point for every £1 spent.
  • Tesco Clubcard: Earn 1 point for every £1, to use on your shop or on days/meals out.
  • Asda: Earn rewards from your shopping by receiving money back into your ‘cashpot’.
  • Nectar card: Can be used at a range of places, including Sainsburys, Argos and Ebay.
  • Nandos: Earn one ‘chilli’ every time you spend £7 or more.
  • Waterstones: Earn one ‘plus stamp’ for every £10 you spend, and every 10 stamps will add £10 to your balance.

There are also plenty of apps out there to help you save a bit of extra cash with discounts or offers. Student Beans, UNiDAYS and TOTUM are the three main ones, but it’s always best to do some research and see if there are any other offers or discounts available to you with your student card.


Buy second hand and sell old items

Buying things second hand not only means you save a bit of money instead of buying it new, but it also helps the environment. Equally, if you need to have a bit of a clear out, then there are some great websites and apps where you can sell items and easily make back a bit of money.

Some great platforms for this are Depop, Vinted, Ebay, Asos marketplace and Facebook marketplace, but there are so many more out there. Just make sure you’re covering the delivery cost if posting and that you’re aware of how much the platform will take from your sale price (if anything).


Part time work

There are some great part time work opportunities around, you just need to look in the right places. Use this as an opportunity to gain some experience in a totally different industry to what you’ve worked in before.

Look at bar service, restaurant work or retail. There might also be some work opportunities with your university or student union.

You’ll find some useful employment support via our support links blog .


Switch it up

You can save money on your food shop by switching from branded items or more expensive items to the cheaper, home brand versions. There are also the reduced sections across supermarkets which sometimes have items that can be frozen to help make them last that little bit longer.

It’s best not to go shopping whilst you’re hungry, as you’ll end up wanting to buy more. But when you are shopping, make sure to go with a list and buy things in bulk where possible, as this will bring the cost down.

When preparing food, try to batch cook or cook things with flatmates as this will again bring the cost down. It’s always good to prepare, so making sure you have a packed lunch rather than needing to buy food whilst you’re out during the day.


Check for extra funding

It’s always a good idea to check with your university as to whether you’re entitled to any extra funding or support. You can check this with the student advice team or any equivalent department, but you can also reach out to the student union for support with this too.


If you have any questions about rent, or if we can do anything to help, then please contact the relevant site who will be happy to chat to you. 

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