Are you a Kingston University student who commutes to campus for lectures? Well, you're not alone - in fact, over 50% of students here at KU either live at home or off campus! Whilst commuting can save you quite a bit in terms of accommodation costs and might help you develop a reliable support network outside of your studies, it can unfortunately be quite expensive at times as well, especially with rising travel costs. So, here's a few quick tips on how to save money as a KU commuter!
1. Pack your own lunch/dinner!
If you're a commuter - specifically, one who wakes up late most mornings and has to rush to catch their train! - it can often feel tempting to just skip the packed lunch and pick up something before your class for a couple of quid. However, those few pounds begin to add up rather quickly - for example, if you spent £7 a day on your lunch and are in class 4 days of the week, that's £112 a month! You can cut this expense significantly by preparing your meals in advance and heating them up whilst you're here: KU campuses will typically have microwaves available in the campus cafeteria or café, and you're free to eat your hot food in any common space.
2. Take Out a Free Laptop Loan!
Lugging your laptop to and from class everyday is a bit of a pain, especially if you're using public transport in-between. Whether you're worried about your laptop getting damaged or are simply more of a desktop sort of person, KU’s free on-campus laptop loans are great if you have to finish off a group project or make some last-minute edits on an assignment. You can borrow a laptop for a maximum of four hours from any of KU libraries and up to 30 minutes before the libraries close.
3. Consider Getting a Railcard or Student Oyster Photocard!
For most students who live at home, travelling to university every day is by far their biggest monthly expense. If you live outside London and travel by train, consider purchasing a 16-25 or 26-30 Railcard, which offers a third of rail travel. Alternatively, if you're situated within one of London’s boroughs, you can apply for an 18+ Student Oyster Photocard, which allows you to receive travel across the TfL network at a discounted rate.
4. Make use of your student discount!
It's no secret that students don't tend to be the richest of individuals. Luckily, a good proportion of UK retail chains tend to offer some form of student discount, usually ranging anywhere from 5-25%, which can make purchasing anything from toiletries to meals out a good bit cheaper than usual. Check out apps such as StudentBeans or UniDays for a more comprehensive list of all the different sorts of discounts available, and remember to alway ask at the till if a student discount is available!
5. Know the campus facilities!
Although it can be a little daunting, especially as a fresher, getting to know your way around your campus and all it offers is key to saving both time and money here and there. For example, Kingston University has fully equipped shower facilities at their Roehampton Vale, Kingston Hill and Penrhyn Road campuses - ideal for when you feel like squeezing a quick workout in before your next lecture.
As always, I hope this was useful to all you commuting students! What are your top tips on saving money?
- Eve (Kingston Rep).