The top 5 student saver apps

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Being a student means living off a student loan, or maybe a small amount of cash from part-time work whilst you’re studying. This means being careful with your money and budgeting where possible. Therefore, students are forever trying to find deals, money off here, free items there…but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself and be able to buy yourself those shoes you’ve been dreaming of or have the money to be able to purchase a present for somebody on their birthday.

So…I have done some research into the top 5 apps which I think could help students save money. These apps also helped me when I was at university, and I am still using them now as a new graduate! You don’t have to be rich to treat yourself every now and again and can still enjoy being able to buy your most wanted items without breaking the bank as well as having the knowledge of controlling your money.

Vinted – This app is great for finding those second hand bargains. I know a few people out there who are either embarrassed to say they shop in charity shops or are even too sceptical about entering one! But fear no longer. With Vinted you have a charity shop at your finger tips (minus the old people’s clothes). Not only can you find great items from all the top high street stores, you can even find items that haven’t been worn for half the price. Vinted does a range of clothing, shoes and accessories for women, men and even babies/children which is great if you are shopping for someone else. If there is something I have needed in the past I have gone straight to Vinted rather than hit the high street shops first because guaranteed I can get it for cheaper and sometimes not even worn! The app itself protects you just like eBay so you have no worries about someone scamming you and wandering off with your money as Vinted do a job at making sure your money is safe until you say that you’ve received your item. You can leave feedback and even become a ‘Vintie’ and sell items yourself making yourself extra cash for those clothes that you just don’t want anymore.

Unidays – Just like the NUS student card, Unidays offers you great discounts on all your favourite high street stores. In fact H&M are just one of the shops that don’t allow NUS student cards but every now and again they allow you to provide them with your Unidays ID straight from your phone to receive a nifty 20% off your items in store. You can shop online for online stores such as ASOS and Boohoo using Unidays which usually saves you 10% or even 20% for those limited time only offers. It’s a great saver and the best part is that it is FREE, which means you aren’t forking out £20 just to save yourself the money in the first place!

Just Eat, Hungry House and Domino’s – I know, I know, these are three different apps but as a student we are all known for our love of those naughty take aways right?! But why not check out what deals you can blag first. Just Eat and Hungry House usually offer 20% discounts at weekends (when you are more than likely to have those duvet days). So why not save yourself the money and see what you can find first. If you have Twitter, they are usually likely to post what discounts they have on there first so make sure you check regularly to see what you can find. Domino’s also does great deals if you are ordering for more than 1 person and their app is a great way to see what sort of deals they have going first before you order one standard pizza.

Your personal bank app – It goes without saying to have your personal bank’s (such as Natwest or Santander) app on your phone. It’s a very quick and easy way to keep track of your own spending as a student as well as being able to transfer money easily to another account or somebody else. At university I was forever checking my account to make sure I was sticking to my budget and even managed to set up a little savings account online which helped me to transfer my weekly allowance to my main account to prevent me from over spending on my card. You can keep track of your money without having to head to a cash point on the street where others could be prying over your shoulder. With it all being protected and safe with your own unique pin you shouldn’t have problems with anybody else accessing your account either.

Vouchercloud – This app gets a lot of praise and after downloading it half way through my 1st year at uni I started to understand what all the hype was about. The sheer simplicity of the app was a real selling point to me (although it is free to download!). You can search for deals via your location so you can see which shops or restaurants around you will save you the most money and I can honestly say it’s saved me a lot with eating out! I still use it now as a recent graduate as you don’t necessarily have to be a student to use this app. Although, I can easily say it’s probably saved me a lot as a student with the ability to eat in some of the fancier restaurants rather than your local fast food joint. It’s a very speedy app right at your finger tips which can save you a lot of money and I highly recommend it to all students!

So there we have it my top 5 student saving apps. There are so many that I could recommend to help students save but these are 5 which I feel have saved me the most hassle at university with the ability to budget, save and be able to treat yourself too.

Have you tried any of these apps? What do you think? Are there any others you could recommend to students? Comment below!

The best things to do when you start university as a fresher

UniversitySometimes you might wonder what the best things to do are in the week before your lectures start, well here are a few things I would consider as important:

  • Join a sports club or society; this is a wonderful way to meet different people that aren’t in your living halls or on your course; likewise the likely hood is that they are similar people to you if they have an interest in the same hobby.
  • Find out what your uni can offer. My uni gives free off peak gym membership for all students for the local gym in the city. This is a wonderful way to keep busy and have things to do, as well as it being good exercise for the mind and for the body. However if a gym is not your thing then your university may offer other things such as discounted sports team tickets like football, or just being a student gives you the opportunity for discount cards such as NUS and UNIDAYS.
  • One of the most important things to do is to get to know where your local shops are, don’t get caught out with doing big shops in your local ‘Sainsbury’s local’ or ‘Tesco metro’ these smaller shops tend to put their prices up, or only offer the most expensive brands just because of their close convenience. Walk that little bit further and you will end up saving a good amount of money; another really good habit to get into is shopping for the best deals, don’t always go to a specific one because for example ALDI offers its ‘super six’ which might mean you can choose your fruit and veg for the week around this offer, but you may want to get other items from another shop such as Tesco.
  • Make sure you’re planned for your first week, if you’re starting soon you should have found out by now when your induction week is and when your first day of lectures will be. Most people will have gone for an open day or an applicant day before the start of uni, however if you haven’t then don’t worry you aren’t at a disadvantage. Google maps and street view are a life saver when you’re trying to find a specific building, go on a virtual tour and on your first day you’ll know exactly where you are going!
  • Another good thing to do before you arrive at uni is to look on your university’s official social media accounts; around this time of the year there will be lots of nervous freshers looking for their flatmates or other people on their course. This is a really good tool to use, you don’t have to post every day but if you keep your eye out you might find some people to help you during your first few days, I met some of my course mates outside of halls and we all walked to our first lecture together!
  • A really useful tip is to collect the best equipment for starting uni, I’m sure your family will be going round the shops and looking out for the best deals to buy you with all the stuff you need for uni, however there are some things you may find really useful like lunch boxes and flasks, these also help to save lots of money!
  • Make sure you have the equipment for your course, certain degrees may need specific equipment for day to day use, and you should have been told about these before you arrive. However unless you are told you HAVE to buy certain books then refrain until you have started your course. Of course it is useful to do background reading constantly, however it is not essential to buy such books straight away. University libraries are really useful and will have lots of different books for your use, if you find you are getting one specific book out constantly then of course by all means buy that book looking for the best online deals to save some money.
  • A really good tip is to make an effort with the people you hit it off with straight away. These people can develop into friends so making an effort in terms of arranging nights out or games/movie nights will show these people you want to get to know them and the effort won’t go unnoticed. But remember these nights you arrange don’t have to involve spending money or buying alcohol, there is plenty of cheap or free things to do.
  • Get to know your university’s facilities, for example most unis have a wellbeing centre, advice centre or a careers department. These are really useful facilities and are there to be used especially for first year students who may have the most questions of all, so make sure you investigate where these are and how to access them if and when you need them.
  • Set up a student bank account, or move your current account across. This is a free service offered by all banks and they all offer different incentives to go with them, so look for the best option for you. The main drawing point for a student account is the fact they offer interest free overdrafts. It’s never advisable to ever use an overdraft however to have one there in case of emergency or in case of a mix up with your student loan is useful, but remember they need paying back sooner rather than later, otherwise the bank will claim the whole amount back at any time that suits them not you!
  • Lastly don’t worry! University will seem strange and weird when your first there, it’s a big step and you will have never have done anything like it, however you will get used to it and as soon as you’re settled in and feel comfortable with your area you will soon enjoy yourself.