Some people take great pleasure in finding a bargain, but it doesn’t always come naturally.
The good news is that there are a whole host of discounts available to students, as well as plenty of ways to avoid overspending where you don’t have to.
Discounts and freebies
As well as checking which discounts are available with their matriculation card, your child might want to sign up for additional cards or sites, such as NUS Extra or UNiDAYs. Discounts can encourage unnecessary purchases, so weigh up the cost of the card with the value of the discounted products that they would buy anyway.
Ask your son or daughter to consider three things before they make any kind of purchase:
- Do they need it?
- How much does it cost, not how much is it reduced by?
- Would they normally buy it?
Don’t forget that:
- Full-time students in Scotland, England and Wales do not have to pay council tax
- Prescriptions are free to residents of Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, but not England*
*If your son or daughter is 16-18 and in full-time education they do not have to pay for prescriptions in England. Once they are 19 they can apply to the NHS Low Income Scheme to get free prescriptions, dental treatments and eye tests.
Your son or daughter may be used to premium supermarket products at home, but a blind taste test could reveal where they’ll notice the difference in price but not taste. Shopping in the afternoon can also be a good time to pick up discounted produce to eat that day.
According to the National Association of Student Money Advisers (PDF), taking a flask of coffee with them could save students £40 a week and making a packed lunch could cut £260 from their outgoings.