How to Get an NUS Extra Card Even if You're Not a Student

How to Get an NUS Extra Card Even If You’re Not a Student

I saw a great blog post by my fellow money blogger Andy Webb this week that I wanted to share with my own readers.

Andy runs a popular blog called Be Clever With Your Cash. In his latest blog post he reveals a way anyone can quite legitimately get their hands on an NUS Extra card, whether or not they are a student. As far as I know there are no age limits either.

Once you have your NUS Extra card – which if you use the method Andy describes will cost you £13.50 – you will qualify for student discounts on a huge range of products and services. Some of the best discounts mentioned by Andy include:

Apple student discount – If you’re going to buy an iMac, iPad or Macbook then having an NUS card means you can get the Education Discount. It’s worth up to 10% off, and if you buy in August and September Andy says you can usually get some free Beats headphones thrown in.

Spotify student discount – Spotify Premium normally costs £9.99. Students can get it for just £5 a month. Apple Music has a similar deal.

Cinema student discounts – Most cinemas will have a discount for students, but Andy says the best is Odeon, which offers an extra 25% off student prices Monday to Thursday.

Amazon Prime student discount – Students get six-months free with Amazon Prime, then pay just £39 a year for three years. That’s an amazing deal and makes paying £13.50 for an NUS card well worth doing on its own.

STA Travel student flights – Andy says he and his partner have used their ISICs (which now come as standard on one-year NUS cards) to get huge discounts on flights. “This year though I’ve noticed a few additional restrictions. Virgin and British Airways have added an age limit of around 30 or 32 years old. I don’t know about other airlines, but it’s ruled me out! However if you can get these, the savings can be massive.”

The full method is described in Andy’s blog post, which I urge you to click through and read. But briefly it involves signing up for a distance learning course with an NUS-approved institution such as Shaw Academy. The latter offers a wide range of inexpensive courses on subjects ranging from Photo Shop to financial trading. But if you don’t want to pay anything at all, you can cancel before their 30 days’ free-trial period is up. You will still be able to apply for an NUS Extra card, costing £12 a year plus £1.50 post and packing.

A further benefit is that as an NUS member you can get a Gourmet Society card for just £3.99 a year (a considerable discount on the normal price). If you enjoy dining out at restaurants, you could save a lot of money using this card (up to 50% on food and drinks), even if you do get the odd snarky comment about being a bit old to be a student (just tell them you believe in life-long learning!).

Thank you to Andy for a valuable and eye-opening post. If you have any comments or questions about this, as always, please do post them below.

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Matched Betting: Get a Risk-Free Bet or Guaranteed Profit with Football Index

Matched Betting: Get a Risk-Free Bet or Guaranteed Profit with Football Index

I’ve talked about matched betting a few times on this blog. To recap, it’s a way of making risk-free (and tax-free) cash by taking advantage of bookmaker special offers and promotions.

Matched betting is perfectly legal and (done properly) it’s not gambling. You can read my introduction to matched betting here, and why I believe it is such a great money-making sideline for over-sixties in particular here.

Today I want to talk about a method you can use to make either a guaranteed profit of around £33, or have a risk-free bet that could potentially return £500 or more in profit. I haven’t seen this method being discussed on matched betting sites generally.

The website you need to use to take advantage of this opportunity is Football Index (not an affiliate link). This is effectively a stock market for footballers. Traders can buy and sell ‘futures’ in top players. The value of these goes up and down according to how the players perform, and as with any stock market traders aim to buy low and sell high to make a profit. Dividends are also paid to the holders of futures in the best-performing footballers and those generating the most media buzz.

I don’t intend to go into detail about trading on Football Index, though, as that is basically gambling. In this post instead I want to highlight a matched-betting-type opportunity to make a guaranteed profit or have a risk-free bet with the potential to generate a much bigger return.

There is no need for any football knowledge or trading expertise to profit from this opportunity. It simply involves taking advantage of the £73.50 cashback offer from the Top Cashback website and (under certain circumstances) the £500 risk-free trading offer from Football Index. The latter stipulates that if you lose money in your first 7 days of trading, you can claim back your losses in full. The only ‘catch’ to this is that if you claim a refund under the 7-day guarantee, you will no longer be eligible for the cashback.

Joining Via Top Cashback

The first step in this method is to sign up as a new member of Football Index using Top Cashback.

I wrote about cashback sites a while ago in this blog post. Essentially, once you are signed up with one of these sites, if you click through to a merchant via a link on the site, you receive cashback for any purchases you make with the merchant in question.

Top Cashback are currently paying the the highest rates for Football Index. If you sign up via Top Cashback, then deposit £10 and wager £9 (minimum), TCB will give you £31.50 cashback (yes, that’s more than you paid, I know). And if you deposit at least £40 and wager at least £39, you will get a whacking £73.50 in cashback. I therefore highly recommend the latter option if you can afford it.

Here is a link to the sign up page for Football Index on Top Cashback. And yes, it’s an affiliate link, so if you are new to TCB and join up with them I will get a small (£7.50) commission. That is actually a lot less than I could make if I used affiliate links to Football Index directly, but then the method described in this post wouldn’t work. You have to join Football Index via the link on Top Cashback to get the cashback offer.

Before you deposit any money at Football Index, you have a choice to make. I’ll talk about the two main options now.

The Guaranteed Profit Option

If you want to make a guaranteed £33.50 profit (at least), deposit £40 at Football Index and wager at least £39. It doesn’t matter whom you buy futures in, so if you aren’t knowledgeable about football just pick any players you’ve heard about or like the sound of!

This means you will qualify for the £73.50 cashback. You can check that your purchase has tracked on the Top Cashback website, and if it hasn’t raise a query with them. According to stats on the TCB site over 99% of all purchases for Football Index do track correctly, though. You will have to wait about 5 weeks for the £73.50 to be credited to your TCB account, from which you can then withdraw it.

Meanwhile, keep an eye on how the price of your ‘portfolio’ of players (or single player) is changing. In the worst possible case (which is highly improbable) you may lose your entire £40. In this case, DON’T claim under the Football Index 7 day money-back guarantee. If you do, it will invalidate your cashback claim. Even if you have to write off your £40, when you take into account your £73.50 cashback you will be £33.50 in profit overall.

Far more likely is that you will be in profit at Football Index or showing a small loss. In that case you can simply sell your futures and withdraw your money, and add this to the minimum £33.50 profit mentioned above.

Alternatively, you might choose to let your investment run. At this point you will be gambling rather than matched betting. But in the worst possible case – if all your futures become worthless – you will still be £33.50 in profit, while potentially you could double your money or more if their value rises.

The Risk-Free Bet Option

This is the other way you can play this offer. Join Football Index through Top Cashback as before, then deposit the full £500 and wager it. In this case you are looking to make a large, quick profit, or else claim under the Football Index 7-day guarantee and get any losses refunded. A risk-free bet, in other words.

You could either put the entire £500 on one player, or spread the money across a number. The former approach has the potential for the biggest returns, but could also lead to the biggest losses. That won’t matter if you take advantage of the refund offer, of course.

Then watch how your investments perform as before. If the value of your portfolio goes up, you are quids in. Not only will you have the £73.50 cashback from TCB to look forward to, you will have your profits from Football Index to take as well. Good call!

If you are down by over £73.50, then before the seven days are up contact Football Index and ask to claim under their 7-day guarantee. You will need to liquidate your portfolio and Football Index will then top this back up to your original £500, which you can withdraw. You won’t then qualify for the TCB cashback, so you will simply break even.

If your losses with Football Index are less than £73.50, you have a decision to make. You could still claim under the 7-day guarantee as before and accept the break-even. However, you might prefer not to claim, in order to remain eligible for the £73.50 cashback. In this case you could liquidate your portfolio and withdraw the remaining money, taking a small loss there, but enjoying an overall profit once you receive your cashback.

You could even choose to stay invested for longer to see if the value of your portfolio rises. At this point you will be gambling, though, and potentially could lose more than you put in (even allowing for the cashback) – so think carefully before taking this course.

Good luck, and I hope you make lots of money from the Football Index opportunity. If you have any queries or comments, as always, please do post them below.

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How to choose your next mobile phone

How to Choose Your Next Mobile Phone!

As a home-based worker of a certain age, I must admit I was slow to see the benefit of mobile phones, but wouldn’t be without mine now. I have a mid-range Samsung J5 smartphone and use it all the time at home and when I’m out.

And, of course, for older people generally, having a phone with you is a reassurance in case of accident or emergency, and lets you stay in touch with family and friends wherever you are.

Nowadays the mobile phone market is hugely competitive and you can choose from a vast range of handsets and tariffs. But I’ll start with a word about the most basic choice of all…

Smartphones vs Dumbphones

The first decision you have to make is between a simple mobile phone that just does voice and texts (sometimes called a dumbphone) and a smartphone that allows you to receive emails, browse the internet, and much more.

If all you want is a phone for staying in touch with family and/or emergency use, a dumbphone may be sufficient. They do have the advantage of very long battery life, and they are obviously cheaper.

On the other hand, if you want to be able to receive emails, Facebook updates, WhatsApp messages and more, only a smartphone will do. And only a smartphone will let you look up recipes, watch online video, check bus and train timetables, read maps and weather forecasts, buy things on Amazon and other online stores, and much more.

There is, of course, no objection to having a cheap dumbphone (e.g. in the car in case you break down) and a smartphone as well for all the extra features it can offer.

Choosing Your Phone

If you want a smartphone especially there are many considerations to take into account, including brand, operating system, screen size, memory, camera, SIM (network card), cost, contract length, and so on.

All very well if you’re a mobile phone fanatic, but what if you’re an ordinary individual who simply wants to get the right phone for their needs without paying over the odds for it?

If that sounds like you, a new website called mobilephonechecker is well worth a look. It’s been set up by the same person who made the tools on the well-known Moneysaving Expert website, which is a good recommendation in itself. The site is free to use, and can save you an awful lot of time, hassle and  – most importantly! – money.

Mobilephonechecker has a simple, uncluttered design (see below) and is very easy to use. As you will see, the main menu runs across the top of the screen.


The main sections are as follows:

Contracts – This lets you compare contract deals (handset and SIM) from a wide range of providers. If you’re starting from scratch – and you want a smartphone with all the features they offer – this is a great place to start.

Build Your Own – On this page you can specify exactly what handset and SIM you want and compare quotes from a range of providers. This is brilliant if you know exactly what phone and network services you require.

PAYG Sims – Pay As You Go SIM cards are a very popular option among occasional mobile phone users in particular. If you have a handset already and just want a PAYG SIM card to go in it, this is the page to look.

PAYG Phones – And if you want a Pay As You Go phone, here’s the place to find one. I was amazed by how cheap some of these models were. If you’re not bothered about looking cool and trendy, you can find a basic PAYG phone here for under a tenner.

SIM Only – If you already have a smartphone and just need a SIM card for it, this page shows you the options. You can search here for a deal that includes the right mix of calls, data and texts for your needs. Contracts range from a month to a year and over.

SIM Free – Here you can compare handsets that are sold unlocked with no SIM card, so you can use a PAYG SIM or SIM-only deal, as you prefer. Hundreds of handsets are listed here, costing from £10 upwards.

Other Tools – This section has links to special offers on phones, e.g. Amazon Warehouse deals, which are well worth checking out. There is also a free text reminder service, which you can set to notify you when your current contract is close to expiring. There is a page listing refurbished phones and also one you can use to find out about upgrades if you are with EE, O2 or Vodafone (for other networks, you’ll need to use their own website or contact their customer services team directly).

Guides – Finally, in this section you can read articles about a variety of mobile-phone related matters, including cashback deals, network coverage, number porting, what is 4G, and so on.

If you need a new mobile or are reaching the end of your current contract, it’s important to spend some time assessing your options carefully. This way you can ensure that whatever you get meets your personal requirements and doesn’t cost a penny more than it has to. In my view, the Mobilephonechecker website is an invaluable resource for doing this.

As always, if you have any comments or questions about this post, please do leave them below,.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for which I am receiving a fee. I am not employed by mobilephonechecker and have no other financial interest in the site.









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Some Unusual ways to Profit from Your Garden

Some Unusual Ways to Profit From Your Garden

Some older folk have a modest income but are lucky enough to have a decent-sized garden (and yes, that includes me).

If that applies to you too, there are a few ways you could profit from your garden, either directly or indirectly. One possibility would be to rent all or part of it as an allotment.

There is a big demand for allotments in many areas, a situation which has been exacerbated by councils selling off land to developers. Of course, that then creates demand from people who would otherwise have to wait years for a plot to come up.

You won’t make a fortune this way. On average, council allotments in Britain cost around £30 a year, so you won’t be able to charge much more than that. Nevertheless, if you can divide your garden into three or four plots, that would be £90 a year or more for no effort. What’s more, your garden will be tended on your behalf, and you’re quite likely to be offered produce your tenants can’t consume themselves.

If you’re not bothered about making money directly but would be willing to let someone grow crops on your land in exchange for a share of the produce (and maybe doing a few chores), the non-profit Lend and Tend organization may be able to help you. They put people with land in touch with others who might like to grow fruit and vegetables on it. They don’t allow landowners to charge fees, but plenty of other arrangements are possible. Here’s what they say on their site:

Got space to spare? Can’t garden? Find out who can!

Is your garden going to waste? 1000s of people are on waiting lists for an allotment and many people live in flats without a garden who are keen to garden. So, if your garden is looking unloved and you’ve no time or can’t garden,  let someone else love it instead.

Share your garden so a Tender can grow some produce, you may end up with an abundance of edibles where weeds are currently thriving. Share your skills with a keen garden Tender and teach them how to get your garden blooming again. Share the burden of garden work with a Tender so they can benefit from enjoying a garden too. Lend and Tend, make gardening friends.

It sounds a great idea and you can register as a would-be garden lender (or tender) via the website. There is no charge for using the service, but as they have some operating costs, the organization does say that donations are appreciated. If money is tight, however, they are happy to accept help publicizing the service as well!

Another possibility if you live in an area attractive to tourists – or near festival sites, racecourses, and so on – is offering your garden as a campsite. claims to be the world’s first website advertising private gardens as “micro-campsites”. They operate world-wide. You can advertise your garden for free on the site, including pictures and a description. You can also set a fee of your choice. Around £10 a night is typical, though if you can offer additional services (e.g. bed and breakfast) you could charge more.

The website has various interactive features, including a link allowing would-be campers to ask landowners any questions they may have. There is also an eBay-style reviews and ratings system.

Here’s an example listing for ‘Vic’s Place’ in Camborne, Cornwall:

We live between Camborne and Helston in a peaceful rural location. Our camping area is rustic and basic, in a lovely secluded setting which has a magnetic, soothing quality! A standard camper van can access our place but the gates are not wide so best check the width if you plan to come in a van.

Well behaved dogs and children are welcome. There are several water sources on the property so families with younger children must take extreme care. We only accept parties of four or fewer, in the interests of peace.

Just up the road there is a natural spring from which you can get water (or we will supply tap water) and there is a shared composting toilet available. A delightful stream runs by the camping ground. There is a fire pit and you are welcome to collect kindling and small amounts of wood from around and about.

The nearest pub is a mile and a half away by road or a twenty-five minute walk across fields. There is a small shop selling basic supplies in the same location.

Hope to see you soon!

For more information visit

More Ideas

A few other possibilities include…

  • Sell produce from your garden (you may need a permit from your local council for this).
  • Offer your garden as a venue for weddings and photo shoots (see also my earlier post about making money offering your home as a TV /movie location).
  • Host an open garden event (the National Garden Scheme can help with this) or even open your garden to the public.
  • Offer your garden as a venue for parties (to avoid hassle, stick to alcohol-free children’s parties).
  • Hire out your garden to local art groups.

There are still more ideas in this article on the Money Magpie website.

If you know any other good ways to profit from your garden, please do share them below.



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Vote for your favourite UK Money Blog

Vote for Your Favourite UK Money Blog!

In this post a few weeks ago I revealed that Pounds and Sense had been nominated in the ‘Best Money Making Blog’ category of the 2017 SHOMO awards.

The SHOMO awards (it stands for Show Me the Money Bloggers) are given out every year to UK-based independent money bloggers. The main sponsor is the cashback site Quidco.

There are various categories, from Best Frugal Food Blog to Best Personal Finance Blog. Pounds and Sense has been nominated in the Best Money Making Blog category.

Pounds & Sense is also eligible for the People’s Choice Award, which any blog reader can vote for. If you enjoy reading Pounds and Sense, therefore, I warmly invite you to vote for it for this award.

Voting is open from now until the end of August 2017. All you have to do is visit this page of the UK Money Bloggers website and vote for Pounds and Sense from the drop-down list of blogs provided.

But whether you do or not, I highly recommend that you visit this page of the UK Money Bloggers website where all this year’s nominees are listed. There are some amazing blogs and other resources here, including many UK finance blogs I follow myself.

The winners of the SHOMO awards will be announced at the Show Me the Money Bloggers 3 Conference in London on 23 September 2017. For more information about the conference, and booking information (for UK finance bloggers only), please click here.

Finally, I should like to express my gratitude to the unknown person or persons who nominated Pounds and Sense for an award..

As ever, if you have any comments or queries about this post, please do leave them below.

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