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Throughout your time at university, you’ll learn a lot on your chosen course, and there will also be many valuable skills you will gain as a student. One key skill will be how to effectively budget and manage your finances. While it might seem like a great idea to splash the cash when your student loan comes in, you should keep your eyes open for money-saving opportunities and grab a bargain where you can. Here are 7 ways you can make a saving:

1. Get a travel card
If you’re travelling around the country visiting friends and family, or simply jumping on the train to visit the local hotspots, save up to 1/3 off your rail fare for the year by purchasing a 16-25 railcard. You can also apply for a Student Oyster photocard and save when travelling in and around London.

2. Join NUS Extra
For just £12 a year – or £32 for 3 years, having an NUS Extra card will give you big discounts across a whole range of top clothes brands, entertainment venues, food outlets and much more. So, whether it’s pizza or cinema tickets, make huge savings doing (and eating) the things you love.

3. Check for coupons
If you have a smartphone, be sure to download popular coupon apps such as VoucherCodes, Groupon and Vouchercloud. Having these apps handy on your phone, will allow you to check out what deals and discounts are available in the area, no matter where you are.

4. Purchase second-hand books
For each course and year of study, you will likely be given a list as long as your arm with the recommended books for reading. But before you go breaking the bank, why not have a look online (e.g. Gumtree or EBay), or search the university notice boards for anyone who is selling second-hand books? Though they won’t be this year’s publication, most of the content from recent years won’t have changed – and the price will be much cheaper.

5. Shop at the end of the day
If you’re planning on taking a trip to the supermarket then you might want to hold off until the end of the day. Most supermarkets heavily discount food items which are due to go out of date just before they close. So get yourself a cheap dinner and fill up the freezer with food for the week!

6. Take advantage of happy hour
If you’re strapped for cash but still want to go out, then get down to the local pubs, bars and restaurants early. Many places run offers such as 2 for 1s, or 50% off drinks (and even food) on particular days of the week (Mon-Thurs) and before a certain time (9pm).

7. Cook at home
As tasty and convenient as they might be, the cost of takeaways and meals out can soon add up. So instead, why not bulk buy ingredients from the supermarket and cook at home? Ingredients for a spaghetti bolognaise will cost you less than a fiver and serve four – compared to costing £10 in a restaurant, for just one person.

Here at The Hub all of our rooms have a purpose built study area as standard and our students are able to take advantage of our clean and airy communal study areas. To find out how you can join our thriving student community, please contact us today on 020 3770 9120 to arrange a viewing.