Looking for easy and practical ways to save money as a student? Then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve tailored our top tips in accordance with the most saved. They’re important given the cost of living situation, as we’re all feeling the pinch. So take a look and start building up your bank today.

1. Halls may not always be the most cost-effective option

student halls type of student accommodation in Nottingham
Source: The University of Nottingham

Uni accommodation isn’t always your cheapest option. If you are looking for something cheap we would recommend filtering areas on Rightmove and looking at private accommodations that may fit your budget.

Alternatively, you could always live at home and save £400+ a month, although this doesn’t always give you the Uni life you are looking for.

Out of the box, ideas are living on a houseboat or camping out to cut costs. Although I wouldn’t recommend the latter unless necessary.

2. Make sure to get student funding

As you may already know there are all sorts of bursaries, scholarships and grants and the trick is to hit as many angles as possible (location, dependants, gender, subject studied). The university you attend will also have some schemes which you should explore with them.

Disabled Students Allowance is worth checking to see if you are eligible (E.G if your dyslexic your uni can help with cash for computers or specialist kit required).

3. Consider going abroad for your studies

year abroad practical ways to save money

Maybe a bit too late now for you to consider but if your reading and are not currently a fresher you could consider going abroad to study. Finland, Norway, Germany and Austria are voted top for free or low-cost study and this applies to international students. It could save you thousands each year. However, you have to consider living costs which can be pricy and you may need to know the local language to get a place with the Uni. So if this is an option ensure to start saving and learn the lingo ahead of time.

4. Stop smoking

I know, easier said than done when it comes to smoking. But we all know the health problems with this now yet people still persist in doing it! Aside from the obvious health benefits, you could save two grand a year or more! Now that has to be a motivator.

There is help available for you if you do decide to quit. Check out the quitting kit (patches, gum, sprays and medication) which costs a lot less from the NHS. You can also try e-cigs if you don’t want to go cold turkey.

Also, have you heard of Allen Carr’s book, lots of smokers swear by it to help them stop smoking for good. Check it out in your library. But it’s not just smoking that costs money, recreational drugs and legal highs are pricy and also extremely risky. It’s not just the drugs you’ll be spending money on, you’ll need to satisfy those munchies too.

5. Try one ‘no spend’ day a week

It probably sounds easier than it actually is. Most people spend money each day, even if it’s in a small snack or travel. Exercise some self-control and try not spending money for one day each week. Instead of paying for transport try walking if you can. It will require some forward planning but is definitely doable and will help towards your funds. Not just that the phycological impact of not spending money should help you in the future.

6. Going on your travels? Look twice for cheap flights!


Do not just book the first flights you see! It’s always wise to search around especially on places like momondo and Skyscanner’s. They will have a host of flights from all airlines – outlining the cheapest and best options for you. Skyscanner even has an everywhere tool so if your not sure where you want to go – just look at this section to give you inspiration.

Also, consider looking at sites like lastminute.com, holiday packages can sometimes work out cheaper!

7. Get student discounts!

The NUS Extra card will be your best friend. It does cost money to acquire but you’ll more than makeup for it during your three years as a student. Some of their deals are 50% off Spotify, 10% off ASOS or even £10 off at Amazon.co.uk.

Another firm favourite with foodies is the tastecard which knocks 50% off thousands of restaurants! You can even get this for as little as a £1 for 3 months! You can of course just use your student ID to get loads of discounts at a range of places and retailers.

Lastly, for those who have already finished uni – check out how you can still get an NUS card after you’ve graduated as well as our deal page for all the latest student discounts.

8. Start making your student loan work for you

High-interest cash ISAs give you some good returns. IF you ever have lump-sum of cash that you don’t need straight away – stick it in one of these a high-interest cash ISA.

If you have income from a job or a student start-up you’ll earn more tax-free interest by leaving your savings to accumulate.

If not, look for ways to cut down on your living costs.

9. Play the cancellation card

practical ways to save money

If you have any subscriptions due for renewal such as phone, broadband or TV, get onto your provider and tell them you’re taking your business elsewhere unless they can beat the cheapest comparables you’ve found.

This works especially well for phone contracts. Try cancelling your contract and you’ll be directed to their loyalty team who have the power to offer discounts to retain customers!

10. Cut costs with your bills 

Spend an evening comparing your gas and leccy and you may save hundreds by moving to a better deal! Switching in most cases is simple and free – just check you’re not tied into a contract and there isn’t an exit fee. Read more here on how to save money on bills in a house share.

You can also check out our guide that helps you find ways to save money on laundry while at uni, eliminating extra costs.

Last Updated on March 17, 2024