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We all knew 2009 would bring some difficult news about student loans, but no-one expected it to be quite this bad. No sooner had 50,000 students just got used to the fact they’d have to start their courses without all their loan money; then The Confederation of British Industry recommended students should pay more for their loans.

Of the record 1 million UK students who applied for funding this year, 16% have not yet received any money. So tough times ahead for English students it seems – or maybe not. Some savvy students are taking intelligent steps to ensure they meet the challenge of rising borrowing costs head on. They’re making sure they stretch their budget to the limit and graduate with as little debt as possible. Of the hundreds of tactics students are using to make uni-life easier on their pocket, here are the 10 most popular in no particular order:

Get a part-time job

It may seem obvious but a surprising number of students don’t supplement their loans with a wage. Now, nobody needs to tell you about benefits working in a bar or supermarket can bring to your social life! But it can also stop you from blowing your student loan on those things that make uni-life so much fun such as nights out, takeaways and parties! Getting a part-time job is also a great way to meet local people outside of the traditional uni-scene.

Get your kicks for free

It doesn’t have to cost the earth to enjoy yourself at university. There are plenty of people happy to furnish you with shed-loads of freebies. All you have to do is look for them online.

P** less money up the wall

If going out and partying is your thing, then there are ways to having full measures of fun at a fraction of the price. There are several websites that provide discount vouchers for pubs and clubs such as Jongluers.

Eat out for less

Restaurant bills can leave a nasty taste in your mouth. So, don’t pay the full amount. From Pizza Hut to your local Indian restaurants, there are hundreds of money-off vouchers out there.

Sell books and buy cheaper ones second-hand

The trouble with university textbooks is that once you’ve read them and learnt from them, they just end up on the bookshelf gathering dust. Earn yourself a few extra quid buy selling them to other students. Or save yourself money by buying them second-hand. You can do both by following one of the links at the bottom of this article.

Switch gas, water or electricity supplier

Shopping around for good deals on essentials such as utilities and car insurance can save you hundreds of pounds each year. There are plenty of price comparison websites out there to help you switch providers and one exclusively for students.

Look and smell good for less

The economic times are tough. And from ski wear deals to free fake tans, fashion and health & beauty retailers are offering all sorts of incentives for your business. You can find loads of   discounts  at health & beauty at and fashion by searching for voucher  codes  online.

Reduce the cost of your weekly supermarket shop

The price of a basket of food and drink has never been so high. So, take advantage of all those money-off vouchers supermarkets offer and bring the cost of your weekly food shop down. Supermarkets compete and try to undercut each other all the time. So shop around online for deals before you go out shopping.

Get your high-tech stuff at low prices

If you love gadgets such as iPods and mobile phones or just need to get a laptop to write your assignments on, you can save pounds on electrical goodies. Mobile phone companies, broadband providers and computer manufactures are falling over themselves to get your business. Take a look at the what deals they’ve got to tempt you by going online.

Set yourself an entertainment budget and stick to it

It’s so easy to overspend on that gives us the most pleasure. Restricting how much you spend on fun doesn’t mean having less of it; especially when you look at some of the great ‘nights out and in’ deals available online.

These are just 10 ways to live large and spend small at university. Now it’s over to you to make the most of them and find more ways to stretch your student budget – so you graduate with less debt.

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