When I arrived at university, one of the first things that I had to do was go and get a student card printed.
This was the bit of plastic that would gain me entry to all of the libraries and student buildings at the university over the next three years, so it was pretty important.
But before we could get these cards, we had to have our picture taken. And when you go with a group of lads you’ve just met who won’t stop pulling faces and shouting obscenities in your direction as you try and sit nicely for the camera, it becomes more of a task.
The result of that was an absolute mugshot of an identification photo, as you can see below. But little did I know at that moment, just how financially handy that would become.
I was, essentially, given a pass for money off. Selected clothes shops? At least 10 percent off. Food and drink? Special student deals. Attractions and things to do abroad? Anywhere along the discount spectrum was a possibility.
And the best part about it all? I was given a student card with no expiry date.
That means that I can unlock discounts on all my travels for as long as I look youthful – and considering I don’t yet look the age I am, that’s 22, I think I’ll be okay for quite some time.
Is that legal? Well, I don’t think it’s illegal. Is it immoral? Perhaps. But let’s face it, it balances out the £40,000 debt quite nicely.
Some aren’t quite so fortunate as to get given a timeless ID, but it may still be worth a gamble. I’m not suggesting that parents dig out their pieces of paper from decades ago, but I’ve found that most people don’t even study the card and just look for the bit that says ‘Univeristy’ before accepting it. This is a great tactic for those whose cards contain an old expiry date.
One of my most recent savings was over £10 on an Oslo Pass (you can read more about it here), thanks to student discount, which was almost a quarter of the total price.
And if you’re with a group of students that have their own discount and you’re the only one without, then you should be able to blag your way to a cheaper fare by saying you forgot yours, or something along those lines.
Another idea for students leaving university whose ID will expire with their departure is a three-year NUS card. A single price can maximise student frivolity beyond your educational years, and unlocks plenty of discount on things at home as well as abroad.
There’s also the opportunity to upgrade to ISIC – which is an international student organisation – for a couple of pounds extra, and is a good idea as some places only accept valid ISIC cards.
It may seem trivial, but getting student discount could save you more than you think.