Enjoying free activities at Edinburgh Festival

How to save money as a student in Edinburgh

Many of us are familiar with the “student budget struggle.” For those of you coming from countries with less favourable exchange rates, this post gives some tips on how to spread your money just a little bit further.

1.   Loyalty cards

Tesco, Morrison’s, Waitrose, Marks and Spencer, Nectar… you name it, you should get it! Loyalty cards don’t cost you anything and as you shop you can earn points that, for some places, can be converted into coupons, discounts and even free coffee!

2.    Walk and save bus money

The beauty of living in Edinburgh is that everything is located pretty close together which means you can access most places on foot. Walking around the city gives you the opportunity to take photos and soak up some sunshine. In the touristy areas you will also inevitably hear bagpipes at least once a day. It’s a good opportunity to window shop and stake out some of the quaint coffee shops and unique spots around the city you’d like to visit.

3.    Use your student card

Edinburgh is really student friendly, and many stores offer a student discount – but only if you show them your student card. Most places aren’t likely to ask you for it, especially considering how many young tourists frequent their stores.

4.    Visit free museums

Touristing around Edinburgh doesn’t have to cost you a thing as there are plenty of free museums and galleries to enjoy. The National Museum of Scotland has a stunning rooftop terrace that offers a beautiful view of Edinburgh.  Other free attractions include the Scottish National Gallery, Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, the Scottish Parliament, St Giles’ Cathedral and the Royal Botanic Garden.

5.    Get a railcard

If you plan to do more than 2 train trips in a year, then getting a railcard is a worthwhile investment. Each time you travel, you will be eligible for a 30% discount on certain fares.

6.    Shop at charity shops

Charity shops are a great place to pick up bargains. Sometimes you can find high street branded clothes with the tag still on, reduced to a fraction of the original price. You will find a good selection of charity shops on Nicolson Street, and for  an extensive list of the charity shops in Edinburgh, check out Change Works.

7.    Use a budgeting app

Using an app like Monzo will give you a clear idea of what you are spending your money on and how you could be saving money.

8.    Other cool apps

Some other awesome apps that can help you manage your wallet are Voucher Cloud, Big Oven (tips on how to use up your leftovers) and Foursquare, for dining out discounts.

If you have any other tips I’d love to hear them in the comments below!

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Natasha Ashley

Natasha Lynne Ashley

Natasha is South African and a recipient of the prestigious Skye Scholarship. She is a current MSc International Business and Emerging Markets student at UEBS and a member of the University of Edinburgh Hare and Hounds Running Club. She loves exercise, food and travelling.