Tag Archives: save money

5 Ways to Save Money When Youíre a Student

Wallet
photo by Jeff Keen

This guest post is by Heidi Taylor from Graduate degree online.

Itís not something most students are programmed to do, but itís something that makes really good sense. The habit of saving for a rainy day is an aberration for the young, what with their tendency to live for today and take tomorrow as it comes. But the cost of university is high, and if you donít realize that today, youíre going to end up with a huge debt and no way of repaying it when you graduate, especially because of the way the economy is and because jobs are hard to come by. If youíre looking for ways to save money while at university, here are a few tips to help you along:

  • Donít use your credit card: Weíve all heard that a penny saved is a penny earned; in the case of credit cards, a penny not spent is more than penny saved when you calculate the amount of interest youíre saving. Donít get into the habit of charging things to your card. Remember, youíre spending money that you do not have but which is borrowed, and on which you will owe interest if you donít repay it within a certain time. Continue reading 5 Ways to Save Money When Youíre a Student

Go by Train, 5 Ways to Save Tons of Money on Tickets

Cheap Train Tickets
photo by JasonRogers

Cheap train tickets anyone? A month doesn’t seem to go past without another, “Train ticket prices set to rise by [insert inflation busting value here]%”. True, UK train ticket prices are generally rising, but as with flying there are some bargain offers to be had.

Here’s my top 5 tips:

1.) Buy Early

Cheap tickets are available on most journeys and routes. But as with airlines, these tickets are often loss leaders to the train operating company. Therefore always aim to book your tickets at least 3 weeks if not 4/5 weeks in advance, as these seats are limited per train. Remembering peak time tickets are most sought after by bargain hunters/experienced rail travellers.

2.) Split Your Journey

Experiment online, often there are silly things when buying your ticket. For instance a ticket booked for a train between Cardiff and London can cost a lot more than a ticket between Cardiff and Bristol, then Bristol and London. Even though you may stay on the same train all the way through! Just remember booking a ticket which starts or ends beyond where you are getting off is against the terms of travel, so even if it is cheaper, don’t do it! I will give you an example I just looked at. A ticket booked from Cardiff to London costs £19 but splitting the tickets on the same train costs £3 Cardiff – Bristol and £10 Bristol to London. In total £13 a saving of £6! Without even having to change train!

3.) Don’t Book For Peak Times

May sound obvious, but it’s worth remembering. If you have to catch a train during peak time, split your ticket as in tip 2.). So that you only pay peak prices when you are doing the section of your journey that is at peak time.

4.) Get a Railcard

With up to a 1/3 off on many journeys a young persons railcard (student railcard), will save you a fortune or at least the cost of it. That assumes you travel often by train or travel large distances.

5.) Travel For Only £1

You may have heard of MegaBus, well there’s MegaTrain as well who offer tickets from as little as £1. As in tip 1.) the tickets are limited, but if you book early, you could find some astonishingly cheap tickets.

As long as you plan head and are willing to put a little time into experimenting on National Rail Enquiries website. You to could be sitting on a train smugly thinking the person opposite you may have paid twice as much for the same journey!

Happy travelling,

Martyn.

Call the World for Free, Why aren’t You Using Skype?

Skype kills the phoneSkype is simple, useful and free.

Well OK not strictly free. But it proved it’s worth in the first year I was at uni. My dilemma was simple, “how could I phone home cheaply and easily without a landline”. Firstly the mobile phone was ruled out, without doubt it is useful but it won’t be cheap, even making calls to a landline. The alternative was (without trying to sound like a geek!) voice over internet protocol or VoIP, for those who haven’t heard of or understand what this is, basicly it involves routing phone calls through the internet, or for more detail see the wikipedia article.

So how is this cheaper, firstly if you are talking to other users of VoIP then your call is completely free, secondly calls to landlines are often cheaper than making normal landline calls and certainly cheaper than payphones. Another positive is calls to international numbers are likely to be cheaper.

The drawbacks, well, people cannot phone you unless you pay for a number and then you have to be online to receive calls. Although if you are using an internet connection in a halls of residence you are unlikely to be paying costs equivalent to line rental. But call quality’s is not always as good as landline services. Also you need to have a microphone and headphones, but you could also use a webcam if you want.

But overall I was really pleased with the service I used, Skype, which is probably one off the most established VoIP operators. It allowed me to phone people cheaply without having to leave my computer, allowing me to do work at the same time! All you need to do is download the free software to your computer and follow their instructions. One last point if you are using university provided internet connection, check to see if Skype will work over it, for me it did but there is no guarantee as you are going over a network connection too. But if it does you should find Skype will help you save money whilst keeping in touch with family and friend!

Martyn.

image: www.freeimages.co.uk