11 ways to be a student and blag not being broke

Just started college? Check you out, moneybags! Yep – the student loan’s come through, you’ve paid your rent in advance and it’s time to get the cocktails rolling. Or not.

That’s the thing about being a student – those pesky finances. They tend to get in the way of things like 15-bar pub crawls and bottomless Jaeger Bombs, and ruin them for everyone.

With this in mind, we’ve decided to set out some of our most ingenious ways to be a student and blag not being broke.

1. Use your student card for EVERYTHING

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Whether you opt for your your standard university card, or set aside a few euro for a more comprehensive version, having a student card is a must for anyone wanting to start benefiting from student discounts.

2. Eat at restaurants with a hefty student discount

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How are you going to concentrate on lectures if you can’t even afford to eat well? Don’t give up hope: there’s plenty in the way of restaurants that offer chunky student discounts.

3. Host dinner parties

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Consider the scene for a moment: your guests arrive, each carrying a bottle of wine that you didn’t pay for, and there’s a delicious meal bubbling away on the stove. One word, people: carbs.

Bread on the side, pasta on the plate – complete with a supermarket-own brand sauce that you rustled up in, oh, about 15 minutes. Now’s the time to sit back and sup on that glass of Pinot Noir from aisle seven of [insert relevant budget superstore here]. Next time it’s round their house, and all you paid for was a bottle of “very expensive” (cheap – we mean cheap) wine.

4. Stop Smoking

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Okay – we all know how crushingly bad for your health smoking is, so lecture averted – but does your wallet really have to suffer too?

Tobacco could be costing you upwards of €3,000 a year if you’re a heavy user, and quitting just becomes harder with each passing day. Time to wean yourself off, and put that cash to some good use.

5. Boss the supermarket

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If, like many, you find that you have little choice but to work with retail giants as you don’t have access to well-stocked local shops, abide by some simple rules and all will be well.

For a start, shop as late as you can to maximise on the possibility of discounts as sell-by-date time approaches, and never, never shop on an empty stomach. Shopping online and ensuring that you stick to own-brand produce is also vital for getting the raw ingredients needed for those showy dinner parties you’ll be throwing now that you can strut your stuff in the money department.

6. Bulk Buy

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“Oh, sorry Bob – you might have to watch the stairs on your way up because of ALL MY QUILTED TOILET ROLL. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THAT? THAT’S THE GOOD STUFF DAMN IT! I’M RICH NOW”… we assume you’ll cry, in proud defiance of domestic health and safety.

Yes – buying in bulk is the key to term-round enjoyment of certain luxuries you might otherwise have parted company with in a bid for a more frugal existence. Be sure to keep your eyes out for everyday bulk deals that could save you a small fortune along the way.

7. Grow your own food

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Not as crazy as it sounds; perfect if you want to be on trend.

If the very concept fills you with dread, consider that taking a leaf out of the hipster’s garden and planting it in your own (metaphorically speaking – please don’t steal) could be saving you a packet every year, and that’s all money that could be spent on fun things like beer… or boring things like electricity.

There really is nothing cooler than paying for electricity.

8. Switch banks

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Which bank offers you money to switch? Already bank with them? If not – this could mean quids in.

The global recession of 2008 sort of turned people against bankers for a while, but they’re not all bad.

Be careful though: always read the small print, and make sure you’re not going to be landed with extortionate overdraft fees should you need to dip below the red line from time-to-time.

9. Get stuff for free

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We’re serious.

Need a sofa? Free, with Freecycle. Need a desk? Check out Done Deal or Adverts.

Never underestimate the power of asking around: there’s a lot of free stuff for the taking, so make sure you’re reaping the benefit of their offers.

10. Get the retro look

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Is it old? Is it unfashionable? Nope – it’s retro!

Never shall your friends mock your bell-bottomed jeans, or raise their eyebrows at your typewriter-essay writing again. “I’m telling you people, it’s RETRO!”

And it is. Be proud – strut your stuff, dance to the tune of a generation 3 iPod, and keep those thumbs working on your original Game Boy. This is hot stuff everyone. Hot. Stuff.

11. Save on haircuts

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If you’re a big-name addict when it comes to haircuts, we know this one might be hard.

But take a deep breath: there are hairdressers beyond the big salons. Good ones. Sure, there may be some trial and error along the way, but finding a local hairdresser with the gift of the scissor and modest prices is invaluable for saving money and staying sharp.

 

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