This post was written by an external contributor. Katherine Sayer give us her advice on how to save money once you’ve graduated. From theatre to travel, there’s no need to cut out the fun stuff just to save some dosh.
Leaving university can be a daunting prospect; after several years of pretending to be a grown up during your studies, you are thrown into the big wide world of adult work, adult living – and adult finances. Gone are the glory days of your NUS card bringing you 40% off at Pizza Express, and your Unidays account wielding a healthy discount for all your online clothes shopping sprees. But rest assured, all is not lost. As a young person, you can still use your youth to your advantage and save some money with these discount schemes for young people:
It may not quite be student theatre prices, but lots of the big city theatres offer discount schemes for young people that are free to join and make a night out in the West End a viable date night possibility. The RSC Key scheme can get you £5 tickets to sample some Shakespeare in London or Stratford-upon-Avon, while the National Theatre Entry Pass Scheme grants you £5 entry AND lets you bring a friend for £7.50. Both schemes are available to under 25s and are free to join, and for the under 30s, the Almeida Theatre in London will give you £18 off any Monday performance of a show (excluding the final week of its run). Being cultured has never been so thrifty.
In mourning for your Student Oyster Card? Look further afield for an answer to your transport woes. A Young Persons Railcard will save you 1/3 on all rail journeys, including off peak fares, and at £30 for a year (or £70 for 3 years) is certainly worth it for the money you’ll save. While the scheme is officially for 16–25-year-olds, a sneak peek at the small print on the National Rail website will tell you that if you buy a 3-year railcard up until the day before your 24th birthday, you can keep the discount for the duration of the card’s lifetime (so up until the day before your 27th birthday, essentially). There’s never been a better time to plan a city break via train.
If the theatre isn’t really your thing, get excited about these discount cinema tickets for a night out that won’t break the bank. Signing up for a British Film Institute account online (ticking the ‘25 and under’ box) means you can keep up to date with opportunities for young people, including – most importantly – £3 cinema tickets on the door for any film screening at the BFI Southbank. All you need is some proof of age to claim your £3 ticket 45 minutes before the screening starts – and given that nowadays you could pay 3 times that for popcorn, we think this is a steal.
If you fancy a spot of high culture, impress your friends with your operatic knowledge by taking advantage of Glyndebourne’s membership scheme for Under 30s. The scheme is free to join and will get you £30 tickets for certain festival shows, as well as priority booking for Festival and Tour performances. Definitely one to impress your Grandma with.
Student gym memberships may be a thing of the past, but you can still shed the pounds without shedding any pounds at all (if you’ll pardon the pun) by trying out a free exercise scheme. The organisation Parkrun coordinates weekly 5k runs all over the country, which are safe, community-oriented – and free. Alternatively, Sweaty Betty runs free in-store fitness classes that range from Boot Camp to Yoga, and with over 70 classes a week completely free of charge, there’s never been a better time to embrace your inner suburban mum and whip out the lycra.
Finally, if all this talk of adult life has made you want to escape, then fear not – we have a discount for that too. Interrail tickets for under 28s are 25% cheaper than so-called “adult” interrail tickets, with prices starting at £238 for 7 days travel over the course of one month. The obvious answer? Go off to the continent, forget about your student loan, and find yourself. You can always pretend to be an adult next year.