How to save money as a commuter student

Living at home during uni can often be a lot cheaper than living in student halls, but the costs of commuting can still add up. We’ve got four ways to keep your budget in check whilst you’re at uni.

Students walking to campus

1. Save on travel

Travel is probably going to be one of your biggest costs at uni, but there are ways to get the cost down. If you’re travelling by train, invest in a Railcard. A Railcard usually costs about £30 per year but if you have your card, you can get 1/3 off train tickets, so you’ll make your money back in no time. If you open a student bank account with Santander, you can get your Railcard for free!

National Express West Midlands offer a student bus pass if the bus is your chosen mode of transport.

If you drive to uni, consider asking other commuter students if they live nearby and if they’d be happy to carshare. If you find someone doing the same commute as you, you could save a lot on petrol!

2. Pack your lunch

If you’re going to be at uni studying all day, you’ll need a filling lunch and snacks to keep you going. If you can, try to prep your food and drink at home. Prepping a quick lunch can save you £5-10 a day, which really makes a difference! Bring lots of snacks with you and don’t forget your refillable water bottle so you don’t have to buy one.

If you are tempted to get a hot drink, bring your reusable coffee cup. You can often get a small discount at coffee shops by using your own cup.

Of course, sometimes you might want to head out for some food with your uni friends. During the week, you can get great student discounts at lots of restaurants, so make sure you sign up for UNiDAYS and StudentBeans.

3. Hold off on new purchases

Starting uni is an exciting time and it can be tempting to splash out on lots of new stuff for when you start, but it’s smarter to wait until you’ve settled in a little so you know what’s necessary. If your course has a list of textbooks you’ll be required to read, don’t buy all of these straight away as you might be able to loan these for free once you join the university library.

You might also be tempted to buy lots of stationary, tech or even new clothes but until you get into the rhythm of things you won’t know what you need, how you prefer to study or what you prefer to wear to campus so hold off on buying lots of new stuff if you can.

4. Get a part-time job

As a commuter student, you’ll probably be spoilt for choice when it comes to finding a part-time job, as you can choose a job closer to home or closer to campus. There are so many jobs that are perfect for students, such as roles in retail, hospitality and jobs at university.

Having that little bit of extra cash can really help with the cost of living as a student and give you some extra spending money to socialise.


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