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Cardiff University: A Guide to Student Money Saving

cardiff university information

Congratulations on your decision to continue your education at the university level in Cardiff! Cardiff is an amazing university.


  1. Housing in Cardiff
  2. Independent Energy Providers in Cardiff
  3. Internet and Mobile Phone Plans
  4. Things to do in Cardiff
  5. Cardiff University Key contact information

At Cardiff you will receive a quality education that consistently ranks in the top 150 on the annual list of the world´s 1000 best academic institutions. You´ll access career opportunities via a vast alumni network, with notable alumni becoming industry leaders across the entertainment, engineering, entrepreneurship, journalism, medicine, and athletic sectors.

Cardiff is proud that the Higher Education Employment Statistics Agency has announced that within 6 months of graduation 95.7% of UK full-time Cardiff University undergraduates had found meaningful employment or were pursuing further education.

The city of Cardiff is home to a Medieval castle, thriving music, arts, and culinary scenes. Selectra looks forward to guiding you on the start of this journey!

Most Cardiff students live low-budget lifestyles. To make ends meet while pursuing an education, it is crucial for students to be money-savvy and discover creative ways to save money. Assisting students with joining the cheap energy club is what we do best at Selectra! Cardiff students have never had it easier to manage their student finances. In this guide, you'll find out how to stay cosy and warm in your shared flat as a student on a budget, as well as read our suggestions for activities and trendy establishments.

Housing in Cardiff

student flatshare

The average room in a flatshare in Cardiff costs £537.00 per month which is 56% less expensive than the cost of renting in London! A 2018 survey, ranked it as the 2nd most affordable city in the UK for students. Cardiff´s cost of living is a breath of fresh air when compared to Bath and Oxford, where rent prices are 16.40% and 38.38% more expensive respectively.

Three super cool neighbourhoods of Cardiff that are popular among the student population are Roath, Splott, and Canton, where on SpareRoom you have a lot of options of double rooms in old Victorian houses with other students ranging from £300 a month to £600 a month!

Roath is known for being where the Globe music venue is situated and is popular with Cardiff engineering students in particular due to its proximity to the Engineering buildings. Splott has a more suburban feel, which is optimal for students seeking a quieter location to reside in. Canton is known for being where the community of Pakistanis and Indians reside, and where the Chapter Arts Theater can be found. This district is optimal for a night where you want to see a show and have a curry.

Once you’ve chosen a district and have found a flat, it is important to keep in mind that most landlords don’t give much thought to the energy tariff and providers that they sign up their properties for, which often end up being the most expensive ones. Therefore one of the biggest savings that Cardiff students can make is on their energy bills. Remember that you’ll want as much cash as possible whenever thinking about things to do in Cardiff.

Nowadays, consumers stand to benefit strongly from paying attention to rates offered by different energy providers and proactively switching when a better deal arises. In all likelihood, your landlord has you on a standard tariff . In many cases, you can save hundreds of pounds per year by switching to a fixed tariff.

SSE and British Gas are the most popular providers in Cardiff and they are among the Big 6 providers that have been long established in the energy market. The Big 6, consisting of British Gas, SSE, E.on, nPower, EDF, and Scottish Power, have name recognition among older British households which often causes them to overlook independent suppliers, despite the possibility of receiving a better tariff.

It is your right as a tenant to switch suppliers without your landlord's permission and you can do it quicker than grabbing a coffee on the way to your lectures using our online comparison tool!

Independent Energy Providers: Perfect for Cardiff Students on a Budget

thunderbolt energy

We strongly recommend independent suppliers such as Tonik, Octopus, and Nabuh Energy, who are all acclaimed on Trustpilot for their environmental consciousness, budget-friendly prices and fast responses to questions via phone calls and social media. We know that you are a busy student and that your time is valuable, which is why we only match you with providers that will treat you with respect and give you individualized attention.

Cardiff University Internet and Mobile Phone Plans

internet and mobile

Once you’ve unpacked and begun settling into your student accommodations, you will need to consider which broadband provider to sign up with and sort it out quickly before your term begins.

Once you are enrolled at Cardiff you have access to the campus wifi connection while you are on campus at Cardiff University if you register here. This comes in handy when you are in class or at the various on-site libraries. If you are living on campus in one of the 16 residence halls, you will be easily accessible to your classes and won’t need to put much thought into anything besides unpacking and decorating. However many students opt to live off campus due to the independence that it offers, as well as the luxury of being able to cook their own meals.

We know you can't live more than an hour without wifi so make sure you don't get stuck without a good connection at home. You will need easy communication via Whatsapp or Facebook Messenger with your classmates when collaborating on group academic projects. You’ll want to be able to contact your lecturers to get feedback on your assignments through online platforms. Additionally, you will need broadband to read useful articles online, stream series, listen to music, and Skype your loved ones from home.Nothing is worse than having a weak internet connection and slow service, so it is important to choose a broadband deal that matches well with your needs. Selectra has created this handy student broadband guide to help you.

We know you'd rather be in the pub with the extreme frisby society than at home trying to set up your internet. Call us at Selectra to sign with cost-effective providers of electricity, gas, and telecoms all at once, in the same amount of time that it would take for you to order a pint. This seamless process will save you a lot of time that you can now spend on living your best life as a student!

Insider Tips for Student Money-Saving

Buy your books second hand, or better yet borrow them! Textbooks are notoriously expensive, and often unnecessarily so. If you ask around you’ll be able to find a way to bypass this cost. We recommend Troutmark Books and Bear Island Book Exchange: both popular with book lovers in Cardiff, as well as Blackwells, an online bookstore that specializes in the purchase and sale of used textbooks.

Things To Do in Cardiff

Cardiff is a city that offers so much to do across all budgets. If you are new in town and don’t know where to start, immediately get your NUS student card which gives you the best deals as a student for over 150 discounts. Costing £12 a year (which is worth the money), and you can get 25 % off National Express.

For £15 you can attend a comedy show at the Glee Club! Over the years this location has been a stopping point for famous touring comics such as Alan Carr, Michael McIntyre, Sarah Millican, Ross Noble, and Rhod Gilbert. It has been described by Wales Online as having revolutionised the Welsh comedy scene.

The National Museum of Cardiff has a vast assortment of art and cultural offerings and is free to visitors! Cardiff has a historical castle that one can spend endless hours exploring. Students can experience the rich history of this 11th-century medieval castle for £11.30!

Cardiff is also well known for a vibrant music scene and numerous venues. Check out what gigs you can find any given week here. Notable venues include the Exchange Hotel, the Globe, the Moon, and Clwb Ifor Bach. You can spot them by noticing tour vans perched in little side streets.

Cardiff Bay is the home to a BBC filming studio and it is not unusual to talk a stroll and find yourself on the set of an acclaimed BBC series such as Sherlock and Dr Who! The unique architecture of the university makes it aesthetically pleasing location for directors.

If you are into sports and fitness, you will love Cardiff for its renowned half marathon which takes place in October, as well as its active rugby scene. 12-month access to the gyms on campus cost £340 for gold membership and £400 for platinum.

£10 Cardiff Restaurants

Source: Trip Advisor

  1. Chai Street, this Indian restaurant serves generous thali portions in the price range of £4 - £12. Open late, it offers a pleasant and dimly lit ambience for students looking for an affordable escape.
  2. Cafe Citta this family-run Italian establishment has an open kitchen where patrons can watch the food be made! Offering an assortment of pizzas and pasta, as well as a delicious tiramisu dessert.
  3. Trade Street Cafe, here you can get delicious and affordable sandwiches and toasties, such as a breakfast Croque Madame!

Cosy Cafes in Cardiff for Productive Study Sessions

Source: Trip Advisor

  1. 200 Degrees - This gem of a cafe boasts fast internet connections, comfortable seating, and most importantly the coffee is of high quality! 200 degrees doubles as a barista school so if you are keen to pursue a career in the coffee industry alongside your studies at Cardiff, this is the place to be!
  2. Coffee Barker - This establishment has a variety of caffeinated drinks and a lovely outdoor seating area. There’s a lot of space to get comfortable working, but keep in mind that their broadband connection will get weaker as its space gets more full! This is one of the largest and most positively reviewed coffeeshops in the city.
  3. Corner Coffee Cardiff - A minimalist coffee shop with very little space, as it is quite literally a corner, this cafe is famous for the quality of its coffee and the expertise of its baristas.

Key Contact Information for Cardiff Students!

Some of the customer service facilities in the Cardiff universities are fantastic, and as such, if you're wanting to contact someone from your uni before reaching out to us, we’ve compiled the following list of contacts.

blue telephone

Cardiff University Student Accommodation (on campus)
+44 (0) 29 2087 4849

blue telephone

Student Union & Student Services

+44 (0) 29 2078 1400
+44 (0) 29 2087 4844

Other Useful Resources!

Another resource that is extremely useful to help students and young adults learn how to budget and eat cheaply and healthily is Reddit! Check out the general subreddit for Cardiff inhabitants We hope that this guide was able to help you understand what you are getting into!

Get in touch with Selectra if you need any hands-on assistance understanding your tariff options as you move into your flat.