Students, Just Because You’re Given a Discount Doesn’t Mean You Have to Use It!

I had a rare extended lunch break at work earlier this week and seized the opportunity to get some fresh air and go for a walk around my work, which happens to be on one of the busiest streets in the country. There was something clearly obvious, school was back in. In a city of multiple universities and collages on top of the normal elementary and secondary schools, when school is back, it is incredibly obvious.

Aside from the extra 35,000 people descending on the city and increase in foot traffic during my walk, the other obvious sign that students were back in? Student discount offers in every. single. window. Seriously from the electronics store, to the utilities store to the pizza store, all of them were throwing discounts at students and not just suggesting but demanding they use their student discount at their location, as a non student it was overwhelming, I can’t imagine how a student might feel. I can see clearly how it is so easy to spend more money then they need to while pursuing post secondary studies.

Most all of our debt is from my post secondary education, I’d be lying if I didn’t say I spend more than I needed to on offers just like this. The temptation is real and I’m here to tell every student out there, just because you have a student discount, doesn’t mean you have to use it!

Student discounts aren’t always a burden, some of the offers have the potential to save students thousands of dollars throughout their studies. If you use any service at all, from insurance and banking to eating pizza, always ask if they offer a student discount! Just because they don’t publicize one doesn’t mean they don’t offer. At my work, a dental office, though we don’t have a true student discount we would never turn a student away for lack of money and would always offer a discounted price if they asked. It doesn’t hurt to ask, in fact I suggest you call all the services you normally use and capitalize on it.

Where student discounts get detrimental is when you start using it on products or services you don’t need or use. Especially if it encourages you to sign up to a long-term service such as cable. I never had time for TV while I was in school and if I did I’d almost always watch the online version the day after, in between study sessions. You don’t need that student discounted price of $95/month, it is not saving you anything, in fact you’ll end up wasting over $3,000 in the course of a four year degree (with an eight month school year) if you do get that deal that is ”too good to pass up”.

Being a student was one of the best times of my life. I loved the lifestyle, the social life and the fact that, at the time, I could live like the rest of the world didn’t exist simply because I was enthralled with my studies. Life and post secondary finances will get back to you. Use your money wisely, don’t be afraid to not spend your money when friends are and be aware that just because someone else is telling you it is a good deal, doesn’t mean it is.

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  1. That’s a really great tip. It’s so easy to get caught up in the enticement of a deal that you end up over spending. Students really can get some awesome deals and taking advantage of the ones that make good financial sense is the way to go while being prudent and evaluating each thing under a microscope to make sure you aren’t just spending money you don’t need to spend.

    Good luck with your studies this year everyone!

  2. This reminds me of those 10 for $10 deals at the supermarket. Just because they have a deal doesn’t mean you need to buy 10 items… unless you were going to buy them anyways.

  3. “…when you start using it on products or services you don’t need or use.” That is still my hangup to this day…I have to fight it all the time. 🙂 It’s so enticing to know you are getting a break on a product. Truth is 90% of the time I don’t need it.

  4. Great tip! I too ended up being enticed by student discounts. I didn’t fall for it every time, but more often than I’d like to admit…

  5. It’s the same concept as Groupon or Living Social deals if you think about it. They are only great deals or discounts if it’s for something you were planning on buying anyways. Otherwise it’s a bad deal (just slightly less of one…because of the discount)

  6. Such a great point. And, I think it applies to all sales and bargains. If you don’t need it–or wouldn’t normally purchase it–don’t buy it just because it’s on sale!

  7. Great points! I think that the tendency to conform is probably one of the hardest things to overcome in those situations as we’re very much encouraged to ‘follow the crowd’. Even when students might see that buying certain things would be useless to them, I think the desire to fit in plays a very strong part in the process. Especially in university.

  8. Great point. I think it’s common for people to get caught up in thinking they are saving because things are discounted or they have coupons, but if they never needed it in the first place, it’s not a deal!

  9. It’s like that idea that people think they are getting a discount on something and scored a great deal, when in fact they were never planning on buying that item in the first place!

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