Freshers Funds: Budgeting Tips

Budgeting tips by the “Professionals” are usually lists of uninspiring and frankly boring tips like ‘don’t shop on an empty stomach’ and ‘bulk buy your loo roll’. These “Professionals” clearly never lived the college life because if they had, they would know that what students want is to know how to live a fabulously glamorous lifestyle and have enough money to go to every single college event/party without having to call the local loan shark.

That said, here’s how to live student life on a budget from a real expert*

• Student Lock-Ins will be your very best friend. Holding off a little longer to buy that River Island coat or new Adidas shoes you have your eye on could save you a big chunk of money.

• Join a Society and eat out. Society cards have big discounts and special offers for a variety of restaurants and fast food places. Most DCU Society cards offer 2 for 1 at Captain Americas, nearly (but not quite) as cheap as eating at home. The SU even have a discount card now which you can buy for €2 and you can reap the rewards the whole year around.

• Nights out need not be expensive. Don’t be afraid to be as cheap as humanly possible; pre-drink then get the bus and go a nightclub where the drink is buy one get one free. There is no reason to be embarrassed, everyone else is in the same position as you. Just don’t over-do it.

• Screw the TV. There is no programme that you can not watch online. Familiarise yourself with free sites like,, and and invest in unlimited wifi and a Netflix account. It’s much cheaper than a TV license, Sky bills and installation fees.

• Finally, a remotely sensible tip, book travel online. Most travel companies offer hefty discounts for booking online in advance. Bus Éireann offer up to 20 per cent off and it’s a lot less hassle than queuing for your ticket.

With a mix of these tips and a few from those sensible “Professionals” we spoke of earlier, you should make it through college life without having to call home for an emergency bail out everyday.

(*A real expert being a real life student)

Claudia Gocoul

Image Credit: Scallywhack via

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