Student life means more freedom, socialising and fun. With all this also comes more responsibility in managing your money. To ensure you enjoy your student years as much as possible, it’s good to have a clear picture of what to expect and how much it costs to fund student life. Here are some tips to help you save money!
Build your Budget
Devising a clever budget at the start of the college year and sticking to it will ensure you keep stress and money-related anxiety at bay, especially in the run up to exams. There is a handy budget planner on the National Consumer Agency’s website, www.nca.ie, to help get you started.
There are student financial assistance schemes available to help students pay their fees. To check if you qualify for assistance log on to https://hea.ie/funding-governance-performance/funding/student-finance/.
Some students buy every book in relation to their course, which can be very costly. There are some important books you will need to get, but be frugal in your urge to buy. Instead check if you can borrow them from your college library or share with your friends.
Sign up for a Student Leap Card
The Student Leap Card is the official student lifestyle card for travel, entertainment and retail discounts across Ireland. The card offers over 100 discounts covering big brands such as Irish Rail, Bus Éireann, Topshop, McDonalds, Costa Coffee, etc. You can even get discounted rates to GAA matches through the card! The card costs €15.00 through card agents which are usually on campus. Log on to student leap card.ie for more details.
Cook from Scratch and Buy in Bulk
Cooking is more effort and involves a little trial-and-error, but it's much more rewarding, both for your wallet and for your health. Buying in bulk is a good idea. Staple, non-perishable foods like pasta are great to buy, as it works out so much cheaper and lasts longer.
If you only worked over the summer months then you may be due a tax refund.
Some providers may offer you freebies to encourage you to open an account with them but look at all the fees and charges before you open an account.
Buy a Printer
Printing on-campus is usually expensive. Not to mention that printing at home means you don't have to get the bus or walk to college!
Be Careful with Credit
If you can avoid the temptation of signing up for a credit card, do. But if you do get a credit card, then make sure you choose one with a low annual percentage rate (APR) and try to pay your bill in full each month. When it comes to student loans you should also look for a low APR and try to borrow over as short a term as possible. If you’re not sure what’s on offer, check out www.nca.ie for comparisons.
If you are having money worries, look for help as soon as possible. If you are having problems making repayments on a loan or credit card, contact your provider to explain your situation. Whatever you do, don’t ignore the problem. Missed repayments could affect your credit history and could mean difficulty getting loans in the future.
Finally, don’t forget, for great advice on money management and how to plan for your financial future, you can avail of our complimentary expert advice today!
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