Become a Student for a Year of Discounts

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student discount cardA lot of places offer student discounts, ranging from online stores to supermarkets to tourist attractions. These can be a great way to save money, but the problem is if you don’t happen to be a student then you aren’t eligible for the discount.

But there is a way to become a “student” for a year and access most or all of the student discounts you would get. This is entirely legal at time of writing, and though it has become quite a popular trick there are no signs of a rule change. And if you’re wondering, it does not require you to hand over £9,000 for a year’s tuition fees.

Becoming a Student

The key point to consider is that many student discounts are, more specifically, special offers available to people who hold a National Union of Students or NUS Student Discount Card. Fortunately for the frugal, you do not have to be attending university in order to qualify for the card. They are available for £12 for a one-year card to people studying just about any course at a wide range of institutions, including most online learning providers. Even if your course only lasts a few weeks, you will be able to keep using the card to get disocunts until it expires at the end of the year. So to become a student and be eligible for the card, all you need to do is sign up for a cheap online course from a provider. Usually, these courses are advertised at around £200 each but are frequently made available on special offer or through daily deal sites like Groupon and Wowcher for a fraction of the price. For a course that could cost as little as £9 plus the price of the card, for a total expense starting at £21, you could get a whole year’s access to some quite significant discounts. To double check whether a course will qualify you, you can start the process of ordering a card and see if the provider comes up on the list.

Do I Have to Study the Course?

With the kind of online course providers that usually offer their courses at these prices, you don’t strictly need to even study the course. There should not be any negative consequences for never attending the virtual lectures, reading course materials, or completing the assignments apart from the fact you will not get your certificate at the end. That being said, it seems sensible to try to pick a course you might actually be interested in so that you can get your money’s worth by actually studying it, but of course that is up to you.

Is it Worth It?

Some of the discounts you get with an NUS card can be quite generous, so it is entirely possible to save much more than you spend on the course and the card itself before the year is through. You might want to take a look at what discounts are actually available, though, as this will help you assess how many of the offers you are likely to take advantage of and get an idea of how much you could save.


How Your Mobile Could Save you Money

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smartphonesIt’s not that long ago that mobile phones made texts, received calls, played basic games and browsed the internet at the speed of a heavily-laden snail. Then the first smartphones hit the market and everything changed. Now, many of us have phones that are really complete miniature, portable computers. However, a lot of people don’t realise quite how many ways there are to save money with their phones.

Turn it Into a Sat Nav

If you’re in need of a sat nav, you could just use your phone. Perhaps you’ve tried the in-built navigation app and found it pretty rubbish, but that’s not your only option. There are several excellent free and paid-for sat nav apps available in app stores. This includes apps from some of the major sat nav brands such as TomTom which, though they cost money, are much cheaper than buying an actual sat nav from that brand. With the right app, there is little or nothing your smart phone can’t do that a sat nav can. You will need to buy some sort of holder or cradle for your phone and ideally an in-car charger (sat nav functionality can be a big drain on the battery), but this will only set you back a few pounds.

Showrooming

Most people have been in this situation at one point or another: you’re in a shop looking at something you want and the price seems good. You think you could still probably get it cheaper online, but you’re not completely sure and you’re worried about missing out. Instead of just heading to the checkouts and hoping for the best, you should take out your phone and indulge in an increasingly popular practice called “showrooming.” This is as simple as using your phone’s internet browser to check prices online and see if you really are getting a good deal. If you don’t do this because you’re simply shy about whipping out your phone in a shop in case staff guess what you are up to (naturally, shops aren’t keen on this practice), then just leave for a wander around some other shops and come back if you do decide to buy.

Special Offers

It’s not uncommon for companies to offer incentives such as vouchers or discounts in order to get people to download their latest app. Assuming the app is free, or worth less than the incentive on offer, then this is definitely something to keep an eye out for. Unless the app is a genuinely useful one (often it is just an easy shopping utility for the company offering the incentive), there is no reason to keep it cluttering up your phone when you’re done. But when it would probably take a couple of minutes to install it and claim your reward, neither is there any reason not to get that free item or a voucher for 10% off your next purchase.