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How students can save money

Many of you will be living away from home for the first time – even if you’re in your final years of university, it’s still great to find new ways to save money.  We’re sharing our most useful tips to help you save a few pounds.

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Get Student Council Tax Discounts

Local authorities control council tax support. Each one decides what help to offer it’s residents. Ask your local authority what discounts and benefits are available in your area. However here are some basic guidelines for wherever you’re living:

Only living with students – If you’re a full time student living alone or with other students, you don’t need to pay council tax. Whether if there is two of you living together or 10.

Living with a non- student – Council tax is based on a minimum of two adults living in a home. Some people like students, people on apprentice schemes and carers (see the full list on Gov.uk) – don’t count as adults. This means they’re entitled to a council tax discount.

So if a student lives with a non-student, the student is disregarded. This means the council tax could be reduced as if only a single person lives there, leading to a potential 25% reduction.

Living with more than one non-student – Again, the student is exempt however as there is two non-students in the house, you will have to pay the full amount for your council tax. The student hasn’t been added to the council tax bill but nor has their presence resulted in a discount.

 

Finding the right bank account

Try to find the biggest 0% overdraft deal possible. Most students are very likely to go into their overdraft whilst they are at university. So make sure you aren’t charged for going into it. Aim to get the biggest amount that will last as long as possible. Some providers offer ‘up to £3,000’, but how much you get depends on you and your circumstances.

Never go over your over draft limit. This is one of those life rules! If you go beyond your limit then your charges will shoot up, leaving you in a vicious cycle that’s tough to escape.

Don’t just go for one based on freebies.  Calculate the value of the freebie, and then compare that account’s overdraft with the best on offer. As the freebie may not be worth as much as you think it is.

 

Don’t overpay tax on any jobs you do

If you’re working part time or over the holidays, make sure you’re paying the right amount of income tax.

Students are the same as anyone else. If you are earning less than £11,000 a year, you shouldn’t pay any tax regardless of your age.

 

Use your student card for discounts!

Sign up for NUS Extra and UNIdays. Both unlock more than 200 different student discounts across the UK, both online and in store. We advise signing up for both as you will have access to a bigger range of discounts.

What discounts can you receive?

Don’t forget to ask about student discounts when you’re out and about because there are some hidden ones. For example: Yo! Sushi offers 25% off everything, everyday! McDonalds offers a free item from the savers menu with every visit. New look offer 10% all year round – even online – with special time limited offers of 20% off for students. Make sure you check the terms and conditions for each business.

 

Legally avoid paying TV licence fee.

Rules around the TV licence have recently changed where you need to pay for one even if you’re watching BBC iPlayer. This is in addition to if you’re watching or recording live TV.

However there is a loophole for students which allow them to avoid this. You don’t technically need a TV licence if:

  • Your parents have a TV licence, and
  • You live with them outside term time, and
  • When you’re at university you only watch on a device that isn’t plugged into an aerial or a mains socket at the time.

Even if you’re only watching TV or BBC iPlayer on your laptop, if it’s plugged in at the time, you’ll need one though – see TV Licence Student Loophole for full info.

The best things in life are freebies!

There a mass of goodies available for free at the click of a mouse, if you know where to look for them.

The Freebies Directory list 100s of goodies that you can get for free! From free revision guides, games, music, tea, cookbooks, toiletries and much more!

To find out more advice about how you can save money as a student go to http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/students/student-guide where they have 60 tips!

Also, it’s best to stay protected at university as student thefts and losing personal belongings are quite high. You can stay protected by insuring your possessions as you’re protected for the unexpected. To find out more information, please call 01565 228014 or fill in our contact form and our friendly team will get back to you.

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