The Ultimate UK Student Lifehack Guide

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Category Columnists, Education, Town
Date September 30 2023
Reading Time 3 min.

The Ultimate UK Student Lifehack Guide

Being a student in the UK might seem like a good idea until you see the prices. Especially in London. And especially during the great time that we live in, summarised as “the cost of living crisis” (infamously known as “Cozzy Livs”). However, there is no reason to get upset because there are plenty of student life hacks that will get any struggling student through their financial hardships during their time at university. The key is to always remember that many companies offer loads of assistance, discounts and other little perks to the most bustling demographic of the UK population.

Lifehack Number 1: Student 10% Discount  

This is the most well-known and obvious student lifehack. Any student can receive 10% discount off their purchase in in the majority of shops in the UK. The only condition is that the said student has to prove that they are a student by showing their student ID card when making that purchase. This student discount is available at a variety of places, including bookstores like Waterstones, clothing brands like Zara and H&M, chains that sell coffee and tea like Whittard of Chelsea, and many others. Besides this, many small coffee chains and cafes often have this discount on offer, especially if they are situated in a close proximity to a university, making students their target customers.

Lifehack Number 2: UNiDAYS

UNiDAYS is a a discount website founded in 2011, which since then has gained a world-wide recognition and is used in many other Western countries besides the UK. Unlike the previous lifehack, using this website as a student offers major discounts when buying from companies like ASOS, Apple, Microsoft and many more. The perks of registering with UNiDAYS are having access to student discounts bigger than just 10% off, while being able to buy such obligatory student appliances as laptops, beauty products, gym memberships and even TVs and gaming equipment. Becoming a member with UNiDAYS also allows to receive discounts when eating out at selected restaurants, getting cashbacks from various purchases and recommendations on how to make extra money on the side while studying full time.

Lifehack Number 3: Travel For Cheaper

Public transport and rail tickets can be quiet expensive in the UK, especially if it is a long journey, like going from one side of town to another or travelling between cities. However, university students are entitled to a 18-25 railcard, which gives a 33% discount off their railway tickets. Besides this, there is a student Oyster card, for which students based in London need to apply separately using the official TfL website. This card allows student to travel around London fro 30% cheaper than the normal adult Oyster.

Lifehack Number 4: Under 25 Memberships

Its quite bold to assume that everyone who studies at university is under 25, however most of the students are, which is why this lifehack is perfect. Under 25 memberships are available at cinemas, museums, theatres and many other cultural establishments. Although the prices that this membership gives to young people vary from place to place, here are some examples of the discounts it offers. At the BFI the free under 25 membership allows young people to watch films for only £3, while at the Barbican the membership offers £5 tickets in the cinema and cheaper theatre tickets without the booking fee, and the Royal Academy of Artsunder 25 membership offers a 50% off tickets to all exhibitions. There are many other places that offer a similar discount, which young people can receive upon registering on their websites and providing evidence of their age.

Lifehack Number 5: Staying In Style

The real struggle when starting university is often to stay well-dressed and stylish. Once leaving their parents, young people come to a realisation that buying trendy clothes for themselves often comes at a price and can very much ruin ones banking history. The hilarious stories of first year students receiving their first student loan and spending it all in one day by buying new and expensive clothes never get old, even though a situation like this is easily avoidable when shopping smart. It is no secret that charity shops often sell beautiful, timeless pieces in good condition and for extremely cheap. Besides charity shops there are many other places, where students can fill their wardrobe with new clothes, such as flea markets, vintage kilo-sales and car boot sales, all of which take place as often as every weekend. Flea markets and car boots sales are also quite good for getting cheap furniture and kitchen utensils when moving to a new student house.

Lifehack Number 6: Student Bank Account

Many banks in the UK invite students to open an account with them by offering different benefits, as well as a £100 bonus when doing so. For example, HSBC Student Account offers the said £100 in cash and 1 year of free Headspace subscription, which is a great app for meditation and can be very helpful with managing stress from university. Natwest Student Account also offers £100 cash for opening an account, which additionally comes with a free 4-year deal with Tastecard that allows students to have a 25% on meals in many popular restaurants. On the other hand, Santander Student Account gives students 4 years of using 16-25 railcard for free, which is a great way to save money on travel. There are many other banks that have similar offers for students and to find out more you just need to check the website of a bank that interests you.

Lifehack Number 7: Microsoft Office

Microsoft Office is free for all university students, which comes quite handy when wiring an essay or preparing a presentation as a university assignment. The package includes Word, Excell, PowerPoint, OneNote and Microsoft Teams. Every student can get access to these programs by simply entering their academic emails address on the Microsoft Office website.