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The list below includes a series of practical money saving tips, many of which you’ll do already, but some you may not have considered and may want to try!
Don’t buy ‘new’
Books, they become stacked in corners everywhere, from attics to bookcases to boxes and no one ever reads them again.
You will have enough books as part of your medical degree that really if you’ve got time to read another book at all, use the BMA Library and they will send you your book for free. You won’t have to step outside the house! Then sell any of your unwanted books, from old textbooks to fictional books that you have lying around from various birthdays and Christmas. One book won’t fetch you much, but 20 books will at least pay for a few night’s out in the student union.
Look for easy savings
There are lots of things you can do to save money without having to make cuts to your lifestyle. Search for promotional and discount codes for cheaper shopping, cancel any unused subscriptions, switch your utilities supplier, transfer your credit card balance, small changes can bring big savings.
Generate extra cash
You might not feel that you have time to get a job, perhaps there aren’t any jobs going. If you could use some extra cash, an option is to join the NHS professionals job bank. It is a great way to earn money and get vital hospital experience.
Other options include working for marketing survey companies, where you fill out surveys relating to a product or service and you get paid for each survey that you carry out. There are also opportunities as a mystery shopper, again where you help businesses gather research on their product or service.
There are also jobs as part of your student union – work behind the bar, serving food, guiding prospective students or helping with admin. You can work when you want and you can generally swap shifts if you have a last minute deadline you need to meet!
Watch out for the tax man
If you’ve got a job during the holidays, double-check that amount of tax you are paying. The best way to do this is to get in touch with the HMRC and visit their website for further information.
Make sure you check how much you’re paying on council tax. Students are exempt from paying, but beware that if you live with a non-student they must still pay their percentage of tax. More information can be found at gov.uk
Be clever with your TV licence
Unfortunately there is no discounted TV licence available to students. You must have one regardless of whether you’re watching TV using an aerial or a catch up platform online. However, you may be eligible for a refund depending on how many months of the year you use it for. Visit here for more information.
Replacing your laptop…economically
Your laptop has broken, you don’t have any money, there are companies out there that run promotions for students on electrical goods, and a couple are:
Apple UK Education pricing for students and educators:
save up to 10% on Mac save up to 5% on iPad save up to 50% on Apple Care save up to 10% on accessories.
If you’ve got an academic email address, then you can get Microsoft office (all programmes) for free!
Rent: know your rights
Protect your deposit: landlords are required by law, to place your deposit in a tenancy deposit protection scheme within 30 days of receipt.
Pay your rent on time and build a credit score. This is known as a rental exchange scheme.
Make sure you’re not taking the fall: keep an eye on your household bills – see if you can negotiate with your provider or leave and move to a cheaper deal elsewhere. Keep track of your bills and ensure that everyone in the house in paying their share and you’re not covering anyone unnecessarily. A good app to use is Splittable.
The fun stuff
The fun stuff can take a back foot while at university. They are often seen as the ‘nice to haves’ rather than ‘must haves’. However, if you’re in desperate need of a Netflix fix or a music streaming service, there are some good deals:
Spotify & Apple Music: if you don’t want to endure the ads, both companies provide a student deal of £4.99 a month to stream unlimited music, which is very useful during exam time, and only the price of two coffees.
Netflix: Although they don’t provide a student discount, you are able to make several profiles on one account with the £8.99 a month version. If you have four people in your house, you can club together and cover the £8.99 a month between each of you. You will then be able to watch Netflix on all your devices without a problem! That also includes a free month’s trial.
Amazon Prime for students: free for 6 months and then 50% off after that, you get unlimited access to:
Book your train tickets for each of its parts i.e. if you’re going from London to Tiverton buy a ticket to each of the stops in between (London to Reading, Reading to Taunton, Taunton to Tiverton), it will generally work out cheaper – but you’ll remain on the same train.
12% off a railcard: Buy the railcard at a discounted rate of £26.40 and then receive a third off train journeys for the year.
National Express young Persons Coachcard: although they take a far sight longer, coaches are the most economical way to travel around the UK, but they’re even cheaper now for students. Save a third off all standard fares. Purchase the card for £10.
For all travel, if you can purchase 12+ weeks in advance, travel will be far cheaper. Also if you can leave at any point in the day, choose an off-peak ticket and you’ll make a considerable saving.
Make up your home for free
Deck out your home with free furniture. Freecycle is a marketplace where you can purchase items for free!
As long as you’ve got a way of collecting the item, you can take it home and do it up yourself or if it’s in good nick, use it straight away.
Supporting your study
Grants and scholarships are available to aid your study. They’re dependent on your circumstances and they are highly competitive.
Two great resources are:
Educational Grants Advisory Service – this resource provides advice on securing funding for education. It is not medicine specific but it is a great resource to have.
Scholarship search - finds the scholarships available across all universities. Simply type in ‘medicine’ and a list of the scholarships and the associated universities will pop up.
If there are further topics you would like financial advice on, please leave a comment below and we’ll look to update the feature.
Ellie Beadel is the lead for medical students on the BMA's Audience Engagement team.
I myself am a student and I can confirm that student life sometimes makes you wonder about how to begin managing your expenses and incomes. You learn what you really need and what you can give up now. I know this myself, because even when I chose an educational institution for myself, I did it myself through the website - https://www.studieren.at/, saving money.
And in General, it seems to me that it is better to program yourself on "how to save", and on "how to earn more". Psychologists advise!
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