Hello, my darlings, are we ready to save some money? So last issue I did not deliver to you a budgeting advice article, but never fear that is because your girl has been working on some new and fresh ways, I can help you save money. We already spoke about effective budgeting and how one should budget; which stores are cheaper and how you can save on groceries; it would seem we covered it all wouldn’t it? There are still a few tips and tricks this old budgeting hag can teach you. Today we will be focusing on how you can save money on University needs.
One of the most expensive things about University is accommodation, and most first-years and even other years think that the best way to get accommodation for the academic year is to sign up for on-campus or university owned accommodation. This is incorrect. During my first year of University, I was living in a tiny box room in digs, living in a home of one of the lecturers at our university. I was paying about €550 per month unless it was a longer month in which I would need to pay 620. My only form of income at the time was SUSI. Not only was I spending a huge amount of money on accommodation which was not worth it I also had to deal with the racism, harassment and passive aggressiveness of this woman. I tried to receive help from the University accommodation services and they did nothing. I figured that it was time to search for a room that was not owned or advertised by the University. My absolute life saver was the Facebook groups like “Galway House Hunting for Sound People” and “Galway rent”. Everyday dozens of rooms are advertised from single to double to whole house rents and studio apartments. This is of course risky as you will be living with strangers who may not be students, however you will be looking at rent rates that are affordable and you will be away from the toxic partying culture as well as the super strict security of on-campus accommodation.
If you are looking for a room, you can also go on Daft.ie where you can arrange viewings to see potential places for yourself and meet your future housemates. This will help you gain the independence you need and freedom to make friends with people from other universities or even sound working professionals. Not only that but you will also gain references and experience of living in a rental which is what most students go on to live in upon finishing their degree. Moving to a less student filled on-campus accommodation also relieves the pressure for those who do not want to go back home and want to live independently even outside of the study year, as contracts are often long term, and you are free to stay for as long as you wish if you give a one month or two weeks’ notice before you leave.
Next money saving tip is for all of us really… Stop buying takeaway food! Not only is the food expensive but it is also very disappointing at times. When you pay thirty euro for a meal that would realistically only cost you fifteen if you were to do it yourself, it really brings on the self-hatred, we all want to avoid. Takeaway can be great every now and then, but if you were to get it a couple of times a week you are looking at losses of hundreds of euros by the end of the month that you could have saved in your bank account!
I challenge you to review your recent JustEat or Deliveroo orders and count the total amount you have spent on takeaway over the last few months. Do that for maybe three months and compare your expenditure. Trust me it is a huge eye opener, and it will encourage you to become more responsible with your eating habits but also you will be more aware as to where your money is going and where it could have gone.