How to save money as a student

how to save money as a student

I know the pain of the week after that shopping-centre student lock-in, the one where everyone goes and spends probably the entirety of their student loan in Topshop or (as I watched one girl in my first year) Armani Exchange. It leaves you feeling a little bit, um, reckless, nervous, wondering how you’re going to feed yourself for the next 4 months, right? 

All is not lost, though. There are a few pretty ace, totally legit ways you can actually save (and even earn) money as a student. Better still, they’re not exactly asking you to get up at 8am on your one day off, and also don’t require you to put yourself on a spending ban. Sure they’re not as regular as if you were given contracted hours, but an extra Ā£30 here or there, or a random fiver appearing is still quite nice. 

Did I mention they were totally legit?

how to save money as a student


I was so sceptical of these survey sites when they were (they still are, actually) making the rounds on tumblr. All those kids with their ‘earning’ breakdowns, making the equivalent of paid employment in a month – it all just seemed so fishy to me. 

The two survey sites that I use, that I have personally received cash in my paypal account from are: Opinion Outpost and global testmarket

Both sites operate on the same blueprint: you sign up, fill out some profile information, and get matched to surveys. For each survey there are a certain amount of points allocated, and if you complete the survey without getting screened out, you collect those points. Getting screened out is a natural part of a test group, sometimes you just don’t fit the criteria.  Both sites also have ‘redeemable point thresholds’ – you have to have a certain number of points to redeem cash. The points worth differs from site to site though. 

Global Testmarket is the site I have ‘earned’ most from: to day, around Ā£100. The threshold is 1000 points, where 1087 will get you Ā£30 in your paypal account. 182 points is Ā£5.  Points for each survey varies depending on the length, and screening out will land you with multiple entries to their prize draws. 

They also have a referral scheme, where you gain 20 points for each referral, so if you’d like to help me out {beaming_face_emoji}, I can refer you via email šŸ™‚ If not, you can just sign up as normal, I won’t be offended. 

Opinion Outpost  has a lower screen-out rate, I find. It has a lower pay out than GTM, but the threshold is also lower as you can gain points more easily. You are able to cash out at 50 points, which will gain you Ā£2.50, so 1 point is equal to 5p. I think I’ve made around Ā£15 from this site – I tend to get to busy to sit filling out surveys, but when I do have the time I rack up points quite quickly. 

There isn’t a referral scheme for this site, so I won’t bore you with the ‘plz to be helping meeeee’ spiel šŸ˜‰


*these links are referral links, if you don’t want to be signed up via me, I completely understand


My mum actually showed me this website before I started uni this term, bless her. And you know it’s legit when your mum is recommending you things. The way this works is that you spend money at certain affiliated retailers (like Asos, caffe Nero, cineworld, etc.) and you earn a percentage of your spendings back after everything has been verified. It takes a while, but the extra Ā£5 that appears is quite nice. They also have a variety of other features, and a mobile app that lets you get cashback on the go. If you link a debit/credit card, you can also get cashback on food shops! 


The definition of beer money, Qmee is an app you can install on your web browser that gives you cashback for clicking on ad links from google, ebay and amazon. You have to spend a couple of minutes browsing the page the ad is for, but 6p for clicking on a couple of links at most is not bad going. 

Student Discounts:


If you’re at uni and you haven’t heard of myUniDays then you’ve probably been living under a rock. If you have a valid student email address, you can sign up and get majorly fab perks off some pretty spiffy retailers. They’re constantly adding new names to their line up of discounts, so if you haven’t signed up, you really, really should. 

NUS extra card

The official card issued by the National Union of Students. It entitles you to discounts at some stores that may not accept your university card as valid (why, why is that a thing??),  apparently that extra little bit means a lot. It’s a reallllly useful card to have in your purse though, so I’d thoroughly recommend. Also, they do 3 year ones now??? And add-on features??? 

Young Persons’ Railcard (16-25):

If you travel a lot by train, or are going to start travelling a lot by train, then please get yourselves one of these. Please. It slashes the prices by an unimaginable amount sometimes. Ypu can also get a bus card and a hostel card – which I don’t personally have, but hey, discounts. 

I think that’s all the super handy cards and websites I can think of right now, though if I’ve missed any that you personally use, let me know! Mostly so I can sign up for them šŸ˜‰ 


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  1. Hannah L
    October 14, 2015 / 5:24 am

    This is such a great post! Although Iā€™m not a Uni student, I do have a lot of trouble saving my money as I have the worst shopping habit! hahaHannah

  2. Carolin Schroeter
    October 14, 2015 / 11:40 am

    I used to have Qmee but it was very moody and fluctuated. Sometimes it wouldn't come on at all. The most I saved though were Ā£10 after 3 months, which got invested into some clothes šŸ™‚ When I went to uni, I started to sell some of my clothes on swapping platforms such as vinted and depop, so that might be another option for students xCaz | Style Lingua

    • Fii Cridland
      October 15, 2015 / 12:46 am

      Oooh I completely forgot about depop when I was writing this, that's such a great suggestion Caz!xo

  3. Caroline Malone
    October 15, 2015 / 4:37 pm

    unidays literally has been my lifesaver whilst at uni in final year. After my placement year of actually having money, i forgot how horrible and hard it is to be poor again *ouch* – I also just renewed my railcard too because you really do save money in the long run! Great post and blog!

  4. Lauren King
    October 15, 2015 / 7:29 pm

    Great advice! I've actually signed up to lots of these surveys and got a voucher from one once! Student life is a lot harder than people give credit for!

  5. Jessica Edmunds
    October 15, 2015 / 9:29 pm

    I always always forget to use cashback and it bums me out so bad as when I do I make a fair bit back šŸ™ WAH I suck xxx

  6. Carys
    October 18, 2015 / 8:19 pm

    Such a good post, wish I'd had something like this when I started uni! (Just realised how old that makes me sound!)Carysxxxx Freckles&Frocks

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