By signing up and creating an account with an app-based bank, you’ll get access to great budgeting tools to help keep your spending on track. The Monzo, Starling and Tandem apps all come with handy auto-savings features too, where you can create a savings pots that round up every payment you make on your card and saves the extra money for you. It works like this: you’re buying a coffee for £2.60, the app will automatically round the payment up to £3 and put 40p in your savings pot. You won’t even notice it’s happening.
Use comparison websites
You don’t need to pay a fortune for boring stuff like insurance, phone contracts and internet if you’re clever about it. Websites like comparethemarket, MoneySupermarket and uSwitch will find you the best deals, plus some give you bonuses for buying through them — like a year of Meerkat Meals and Movies — giving you 2-4-1 on loads of restaurants and cinema tickets.
Get energy efficient
You really don’t need big energy bills to contend with when your student loan is depleting faster than the people at Aldi throw your food through the checkout. There’s some super simple ways you can keep your student house warmer without turning up the heating, like getting a radiator heat reflector (basically glorified tin foil to put behind your radiator), a draft excluder for the bottom of your bedroom door, or put your books on your windowsills (it helps to block drafts from your windows).
It’s not really random, but it does save you money. TOTUM doesn’t just give discounts at the standard Pizza Express, ASOS and Co-op, get yourself along to Hatch on Oxford Road and make the most of 20% off Electrik Box, Seasoned: nothing but fries, Portland Barbers and loads of others.
It’s worth checking if you qualify for free prescriptions, dental treatment and sight checks (including glasses and contact lenses). It’s easy to do, you’ll just need to complete a HC1 form and you will receive a HC2 or HC3 in response. A HC2 gives you full help and a HC3 gives limited help – find out if you qualify.
If you don’t qualify for help with prescriptions you can buy a pre-payment certificate (PPC), which will save you money if you need prescriptions regularly. Head to the NHS website and click on the pre-payment certificates link.