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Question: Apart from large amounts of alcohol consumption, what is the other thing you associate with being a student? What is it that decides if we go out 4 times a week or 4 times a month?

Answer: Money!

If you think you loved deals/offers before, I have to tell you, you don’t know the half of it till you get yourself to university. There is something about a money off voucher that gets you all excited. Somehow the whole day seems to be the best in the week. Unfortunately though, these money off vouchers don’t come in vast numbers everyday of the week. Sometimes, the more you need to pinch in your pockets, the more your expenses are. So I thought I would focus this blog on some cards that you can get whilst at university that will help you save a lot of money and that happen to actually be useful beyond one shopping trip!

1)      Most students in first year choose to live in self-catered accommodations simply because they haven’t a clue what the difference is between a stir fry pan and a normal frying pan. Though this decision helps them during the breakfast and tea rush, it doesn’t go a long way in securing their lunch. The latter is also usually the time one is in uni for lectures or seminars and though spending a few quid once or twice a week doesn’t sound like it’s going to make a big dent in your bank account, it all adds up! So I would suggest the “le card”. It won’t sound like a big deal at first because it’s just like a top up card that you pay with and the money gets swiped off but, and this is the big but, every now and again around campus there are a number of offers you can take benefit of. Like before Easter break, it was 3 for £1 on Creme Eggs! To pass that would be insanity, right?! Hardly a lunch item on its own I know, but it does make for tasty pudding. If you’re looking for more regular deals, I think there is always an offer on in one of the cafes on campus where you get a hot drink and some cake for about £1.50.

2)      On a more serious note, if you are in the library late at night (because you decide to take advantage of the 24 hour opening times during exams say) and realise at midnight or later that you should probably hit the sacks, there’s the safety bus that runs every half hour and that would take you from the students union to your front door. If you try it out a couple of times for £2 a trip and come to realise you could get use to the ride, a whole year of unlimited usage would only add up to £79. Pretty nifty if you happen to be the good student, or, the last one standing after a night seeing as the buses run till bars close.

3)      So, I’ve addressed the food and the safety issues, now moving to health and fitness – there’s the sports card. If you play a sport like basketball, badminton or have eyes on flying to the top as a cheerleader, you need insurance to practice at university. Having thought about this, the university offers a sports card, valid for a year, which covers insurance and allows you to join any society in addition to being able to use the gym on campus and in the student village any number of times for £75.

4)      Lastly, when you come to the university in October, you might notice that the student village is a bit far away to walk into university for a dreaded 9 O’clock start everyday and buying a bus ticket every morning is a bit dear too. So, Arriva has kindly offered to help our pockets buy selling yearly bus passes at £260. This might sound a bit drastic but you need to remember that this card would become valid to use on any Arriva bus, not just the one that shuffles between Oadby and the university campus.

As I said, the above are some of the suggested cards you can buy to fill out your wallets/purses but I wouldn’t be surprised if you managed to find a good handful more. University life may be expensive but there still are some good people around to help you out if you invest the time to dig them from flyers and posters.

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About Samyu

Samyu graduated from University in Summer 2012 and is no longer blogging for this site.

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