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Managing Your Money

Starting a new life in a new country can be expensive, but we have tips on managing your money and making your budget go further while you live in the UK.


Here are some ways you can save money in the UK and still have a great time.

  1. Buy used textbooks and furniture – a great way to save.
  2. Buy shop-brand food – these brands are often high quality, and you wouldn’t know the difference in taste.
  3. Drink tap water – having water during the day instead of buying drinks will save you money and is also a healthier option.
  4. Create a Budget Planner – visit Money Saving Expert for budgeting advice. You can also download a FREE template to help you plan your finances.
  5. Get creative in the kitchen – plan your lunch and dinner rather than buying food every day.
  6. Set up direct debit bills – ensure you always have the correct amount in your account, otherwise you could be charged an overdrawn fee.
  7. Research your transport options – look into which transport is the most convenient (and cheapest) and make sure you use concession ticketing. If driving, see if anyone wants to carpool, and share the costs of fuel and parking.
  8. Buy a British SIM card for your phone – a UK SIM will help to save a lot of money when you text and make phone calls within the UK. For international calls, it is a good idea to look at free online chat tools like Skype or WhatsApp.
  9. Finally, student discounts – these will make it more affordable for you when purchasing services and products.

Student Discounts

  • NUS Card can be applied for via the NUS website for student discounts in many major high street stores.
  • You can apply for a rail card or coaches card for discounted travel tickets.
  • By entering your university login details on the Unidays website, you are able to unlock a multitude of discount codes for retail stores.
  • Similar to Unidays, Student Beans offers discount codes after logging into your university portal via their website.
  • Many supermarkets (Tesco, ASDA, Sainsbury’s and Co-op) offer loyalty cards which give you access to discounts and special deals when shopping in-store.

Working Out the World of Work

As a student in the UK, you are allowed to work up to 20 hours a week, usually at the national minimum wage. Any income earned from part-time jobs is a supplement to your planned sources of funding – and not to cover those expenses.

Everyone who works in the UK pays National Insurance (NI) contributions via their NI Number. Please contact Student Services for further information on how to apply for an NI number once you arrive at UPIC.

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