Liam KingFor National Student Money Week (11th – 15th Feb) Liam King, Advice and Information Manager at Birmingham City University’s Students’ Union, shares his top tips to help students save money whilst studying.

1. Pick the best student bank account – make sure you’re taking advantage of the student bank account with the best interest free overdraft (even if you’re already a student, take a look as you can switch and gain) by checking out Money Saving Expert’s website

2. Work out your budget – keep control of your expenditure and ensure you’re not left without cash. Try the online budget calculator tailored for BCU students

3. Avoid credit and store cards – if you don’t have an income you can’t repay the debts which means the interest will compound and build quickly leaving you owing serious cash. For example, a debt of £1500 on a credit card with a rate of 15.9% over 9 months could mean you having to pay £176 in interest alone

4. Buy a travel pass – If you’re a regular bus or train user it’s likely that you’ll save money if you buy a travel card. A student bus pass can save you over £300 and full time students (of any age) can get 1/3 off train fares with a 16-25 railcard

5. Get help with health costs – students are not automatically exempt from paying for health costs such as prescriptions and dental charges. But you can apply for help on the basis of your low income. To do so you need to fill in a HC1 form. These are available from your Students’ Union and Student Services or you can ring 0845 610 1112 for a copy

6. Buy an NUS Extra card – the student discount card costs £12 and entitles you to exclusive discounts with the likes of Amazon, Pizza Hut and McDonalds. Buy it at your students’ Union reception or online

7. Make sure your tenancy deposit is protected – this may not save you money right now but it could when you come to move out. By law, deposits must be put into a tenancy deposit protection scheme

8. Cut down on your utility bills – click here to find the best value-for-money options

9. Turn the thermostat down – save up to £30 on a £300 annual heating bill just by turning the thermostat down by one degree

10. Take advantage of the Microsoft Student Software deal – Microsoft is offering university students the chance to buy its Office Professional Academic package for £69.99. See Microsoft Student Offer for details

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Liam King

Liam King

Advice and Information Manager at Birmingham City University’s Students’ Union
Liam King

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