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Money saving tips for new students
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Neill O’Neill gives some advice to new students who might be looking to save some money. Our advice? Ignore this kinda advice.

So you’re officially a student. All ready for a life of debauchery and madness as you finally flee the parental nest that has kept you chest deep in life’s comforts thus far. How many times have you heard someone say, “these are the best days of your life” in the past few months and how many times have you actually smiled to yourself in anticipation of what lies ahead?

It’s true that there’s much more to college than learning about the emancipation of Russian serfs or the current geo-political climate in Burma. College is an odyssey, a life altering experience that every student should attempt to enjoy to the best of their ability. You will learn not just from what is being preached down from the dot with the microphone that resembles a person at the end of the auditorium, but from each of the different experiences you encounter along the way. Be this puking in your room-mates shoes after 12 shots of Jagermeister, trying it on with the lecturer you just spotted across the pub due to a sudden, drink induced feeling of invincibility, or placing a full month’s grant instalment on the No. 5 in the 3:15 at Windsor because some random bloke in your archaeology lecture said his uncle knows ‘yer man! You like everyone else will learn the hard way and learning this way is half the fun of college. These are the incidents that will bring a smile to your cheek or a tear to your eye for years to come, for what you learn in the university of life will remain with you long after those economics formulas you memorised for your first semester assessment.

 
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You won’t however be able to enjoy the total college experience if you get a mad rush of blood to the head and piss away every cent of your savings/loan before the year has properly begun and without any thought of how to survive the harsh times ahead. If this sounds like you, read on…

Some students have perfected the fine art of budgeting to the extent that they can easily get by on €10 a day. Firstly you will have to let go your inhibitions about quality and taste. Gone are the days of fillet steaks and organic veg. If you don’t have an appetite for valu-saver chicken nuggets (with their 6% chicken, 93% crap but 100% money saved on the branded alternative), you’re gonna have to acquire one. Fast. Everyone knows there’s only one thing better than cheap food: free food, so get a routine going whereby you know the days of the week that the local super markets have their free sample stalls.

 
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On any given day you should be able to get a free Petit Filous, the latest cheese spread on crackers, a couple of samples of Denny’s latest greasy offering, and if you talk nicely to the little old lady with the white hat dishing these out, she might just double your portion. Don’t forget to multiply all this food by the number of stores you can visit, you may be surprised to find yourself with all the sustenance required by a student lifestyle, and in need of a lie down afterwards!!

Traditional student banquets like the timeless beans on toast remains a cheap and nutritious feast, but remember it’s possible to cut corners and save money at all times, even here. Try not spreading butter on the toast, the taste of the beans should be enough and the day will shortly come when you will be thankful for your economic foresight. Of course staying in bed longer means you burn less energy and require less fuel thereby saving money, so getting into a routine of using the theme music from Home and Away at 1:25pm as an alarm has been tried and tested by many a student, and works.

 

 

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