Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Slaying It 2017 || Cutting it in College (Part 2) || Financial Series

Hey Friends,

Today I am back with part 2 of cutting in college. Here I am sharing with you some of my tips and tricks for surviving college on a budget. It can be done my friends. Is it easy? Heck no but I guarantee it will be worth it. If you missed my first post you can check it here (Cutting it in College - Part 1) it will also be linked below!!

When anyone thinks of college, its the lifestyle that comes to mind first & even though I have been through it already even I glamourise it a little in my head. We think of always looking our best, having all our college work up to date & acing all our classes, having cute instagram worthy houses and rooms. Is that what college is actually like? Again heck no. That doesn't mean it can't worth it and a hell of alot of fun at the same time. However most companies know we have this little ideal vision in our head and that's what they market towards. College is hard enough and expensive enough without us adding pressure by wanting our lives to look like Instagram or a Pintrest board. 

I have for you here 6 more of my tips and tricks for saving the pennies during your college years!! Please leave a comment below if you have any of your own!! We all need to help each other out to make college the most enjoyable experience for everyone! 

Pack your shizz the night before

Forgetting is the enemy of saving!! Never forget that! I have actually been caught more than once already with this. I know we all have nights where we are too busy, too tired or simply just forget but if we can remember nine times out of ten to pack everything we need the night before then we will save so much money in the long run. The problem is unless you live very close to the college, if you forget anything then you are going to end up buying it again!! It such a waste. I mean you will probably end up using the new item anyway but there should be no need to buy double items unnecessarily.

Student Discounts

Make sure to take advantage of all student discounty goodness. Now don't use it as an excuse to shop! What I mean when I say this is if there is something you need and can get a student discount on it then don't let that go to waste! Be aware of student offers in your area and if there are any on items you particularly need. Use that card to your advantage! Make it work for you!! 


Clothes is probably the place where we feel like we want to spend the most money! Sometimes college can feel like a fashion show. We spend the entire day surrounded by so many people with so many different styles. Atleast ten times a day we are going to think to ourselves "ooh thats cute!!" or "I love her shoes, bag, jacket ect..." My advice is to have a closet that works for you. By this I mean have wardrobe where all/most of the pieces are interchangeable. That way you will always have different looks and outfits. Be aware of seasons for example have atleast one good coat to get you through winter, Have 2 or 3 scarves & gloves. Same when it comes to shoes have a good pair of boots, runners and / or pumps. If you have a few key good quality pieces that will carry you through a semester then you won't feel the need to run to your local Pennys / Primark atleast once a week. I think it is also important to keep a little money in the budget (not every month mind you) but if you keep a little "blow" money so to speak, even just €20 so you can buy a little treat every now and then to make you feel like your not constricted. As long as you have your main staple wardrobe then you can add a couple of accessories and completely change the overall look without going on a €200 shopping spree. Don't forget, Like with everything else, take the best care of your clothes that you can. That in itself will save you soon much money as it will extend the life span of all your pieces. The best advice I can give you is to sit down and really think about your wardrobe as a whole. Spend an afternoon with your wardrobe and by the end of it, you will know everything in it, all the outfits you have at the ready and anything you need to make it complete. Once you have a complete wardrobe of key, interchangeable items you will no longer feel the need to buy items on the spur of the moment which could end in buyers remorse. I will be doing a whole post soon on putting a wardrobe together that works for you. So stay tuned for that.     

Get the most out of your course

This might seem like a simple one but think about it. You have decided to make this commitment and whether you fully realised it at the time or not but that is a huge commitment that impacts all areas of your life. The only way to make it all worth it is by trying your best and getting the absolute most out of your college and course. Get you college work done and submitted on time. Put the effort in and get those grades, make all this sacrificing with your money worth it. Make the time and effort you're putting into this work for you. Get the degree out of it and in the future you will thank yourself as you will know have the knowledge and the opportunities you may not have gotten prior to doing the course in the first place! 


Emergency kit

Again this is another one that I am going to do a full post on soon!! Like I said earlier forgetting is the enemy & to be honest I have already been caught more than once! My advice is to create a little personal emergency kit. In this include little things that you might need so you are not caught off guard unexpectedly. In this kit I include items like feminine products, plasters, deodorant, hand wipes... ect.. by doing this you can really save money. Like food and water you can buy these items relatively inexpensively in bulk at places like Aldi, Lidl or Euro Stores / Dealz / Poundland. This means if you have forgotten something as simple as deodorant then you won't have to buy it for 4 times the price in the nearest convenience store. It also saves you from embarrassing TMI moments if "Aunt Irma" catches you unawares. 


Cut it down/out

Lastly and maybe the most important tip of them all is you need to take a good look at your budget and figure out what are your weaknesses are and figure out a way to either cut them down or cut them out completely. Thats probably where your going to save the most money. Mine used to be coffee, water and snacks but now with a bit more preparation I can enjoy all my goodies without breaking the bank balance. There are ways and means to everything you just have be a little more self aware and self disciplined. You can do it! I believe in you!!

There you have it!! All my little tips and tricks for sticking to a budget while also trying to put yourself through college too. Like most things in life its not going to be easy but it will be worth it!! 

Please if you have any tips and tricks of your own, then leave us a little comment at the bottom and share them with us. I'd love to hear them. I'm always looking for ways and means of saving a euro or two.

Chat soon x

Monday, 2 October 2017

Slaying 2017 || Cutting it in College (Part 1) || Financial Series

Hey friends,

I'm back with another post that will hopefully give you some inspiration when it comes to money matters. If you missed my last post you can check it out right here - (Slaying it 2017 || Money, Money, Money || Financial Series) I will also have links below. 

Today I want to talk about college. Oh that college lifestyle...... How fun it was. No money but somehow didn't end up homeless and also seemed to be able to drink our body weight, dance like there was no tomorrow while amazingly still being able to keep up with the latest trends!! How did we do it?? I'll tell you.... Debt! Thats how we did it!! Debt from the banks (including bank of mom & dad!.... Does that really count?? Yes it counts!) I, like many others worked part-time through college & also got a grant but still somehow this wasn't enough! I needed a loan from the bank & a sizable overdraft to see me through. Otherwise how could I keep up with the cool kids. Damn them Jones with their perfect hair, clothes & lifestyle.  

Like I said in my previous post. I have learned from my ways & I am steadily righting my wrongs money-wise. Its a learning curve. No-one is born with the ability to handle money because money is not a natural thing (contrary to popular belief it does not actually grow on trees. Money is man-made and all the laws around it are man-made too which means no human in the history of the world can be born with money sense. It is something we learn but again this is not something they bother teaching in school (not from a personal finance point of view) so how are we to know. Unfortunately most money making companies and money handlers are counting on this.... that's how they make their money.... Banks, Insurance companies, Car financing companies.... just to name a few. Now don't get me wrong I am not saying that theses companies are out to trick the consumer or doing anything out-right illegal, but lets be real it does work out in thier best interest if you know absolutely nothing about how these companies work & are just will to pay out premiums out of ignorance.

If you follow me on Twitter then you will have seen me tweet about college. This is because I have recently decided to go back at the ripe old age of 27 to change my career path. This time however there will be no loans, no hand-outs from mammy & daddy. I have decided to do this so I will be paying for it by myself. However considering I have decided to do this while also on a debt-kicking, sorting out my finances buzz it means I will be cutting costs where ever I can to make sure that I can continue to try and rid my life of the money woes that weigh me down. I will be working part-time now instead of full-time but the company I work for are more than happy to give any over-time available hours that will fit into my college schedule.

Cost Cutting Measures

Invest in a Lunch Box

This year I will be packing my own lunches for college. It's not exactly Kyle Jenner vibes but I honestly can't justify buying lunches everyday when for less that half the price I can just pop into Aldi and have lunches provided for the whole week! While the cool kids are spending €5-€10 a day on lunch I will be munching on my own little lunch knowing that all that money I will be saving will benefiting my future. I will also be buying quick breakfast goodies too. Instead of picking up a breakfast bar with my coffee or a pastry I will be picking them up in Aldi. You can by them in bulk which means the cost of each is cut down dramatically. One bar in the shop or a pastry can set you back anywhere from €1-€2 whereas you can buy a pack of 6 (which will last an entire week) for about €1.50!! And thats just good sense.   

Caffeine & Hydration 

I needs my coffee & water. These are probably what I would spend the most money on a week consistently. There are a few ways to solve this problem. 

First lets tackle coffee. Need your cup o' joe in the morning? Me too. Generally I will stick to decafe but whether its a placebo effect of not I need it to wake up. So I have invested in a travel mug. Penny's do really nice pretty one's at the moment if you are sticking to the budgetting plan (also Dealz / Poundland & most grocery stores) but if you are a girl/guy who loves your brands then there are plenty of options at TK Maxx & most coffee brand chains will even sell their own e.g. Starbucks, Costa, Gloria Jeans. There are so many options to fit all your coffee needs. Also if you (like me) need your flavoured coffees they also sell the flavourings. You can get them in specific coffee stores for about €12 for a very large bottle (not sure exact quantity forgive me) but I have found them for €3 a bottle (half the size of the €12 counterpart. Lasts me about a month) in Lidl. So if you are willing to put a little bit of work in yourself in the morning then you can enjoy that coffee buzz for a fraction of the price.

Water is something I drink quite alot of. Which is good but can get quite expensive. Here are my cost saving tips. Purchase a good sturdy water bottle that you can refill from your tap. It's a one time investment. You can even buy infusion bottles where you can add fruit for a bit of flavour and some added nutrients. If like me you only drink bottled water because either you can't drink the tap water or don't like the taste of tap water then you can do what I do which is buy bottled water in bulk in Aldi or Lidl. Its costs me €2.49 for a 12 pack of 500ml bottles of water in Aldi where as it cost me atleast a €1 per bottle individually in town or in college. (So if I do the math quickly thats a saving of  €9.51 each 12 bottles) Alternatively you could buy the large 5/10 litre bottles of water in Aldi for around the same price and pour it into your infusion reusable bottle & still get that fruity flavour.  


Now this one will be different for each and every student. Some of you will be living on campus, student accommodation and so on. Others like me will be living further out so you will have to figure out your travel arrangements. Here are a couple of tips.

  • Look for bundle offers such as a weekly, monthly or even semesterly bus/train tickets. These will save you more in the long run as long as by doing the math you can figure out whether the price of the ticket is cheaper than paying for each trip individually. You can do this by figuring out how often you will need the bus, adding up the face value cost price and see how it compares to the bundle ticket.
  • If you are driving, plan out your route so you can budget your fuel costs. Find out where the cheapest (while good quality) fuel is and see if you can map it into your route to or from college. Also try and only fill up once a week. It means you are less likely to be tempted by all those convenience goodies. Lots of stations also have offers or loyalty cards. If you are going to be using their services and products anyway then you may as well reap any benefits they have to offer.  Find your parking area and whether thats going to cost you or not. Again look into whether there are any parking facilities or offers for students attending that college. If you have toll roads on route then look into getting one of those electronic tag thingys. Again depending how often you use the road it might save you money in the long run. Also don't forget car pooling. Save on fuel costs while also saving the environment - win win.
  • Use your student card if you can. Most colleges have offers to students to help with travel costs. Look into it maybe your college offers more than you know. 

Gym Bunnies 

Many of us want to try and incorporate so form of physical activity into our weeks if possible. Unfortunately gyms can be super expensive. This is probably the one area where students win compare to the general public. There are so many different societies & clubs in college from football to horse riding, spinning classes to zumba. If you want to be apart of it take advantage. Most colleges either have their own gym or are partnered with a near by gym which means either free or cheaper classes. Run Free little bunnies, Go wild!!

Printing & College Equipment 

Ok as many of you will have started college already by the time you read this but college books, stationary and all that jazz can get quite expensive especially since stationary has gotten very "trendy" in the last couple of years what with all the Erin Condren planners floating about (Great, like we needed a new area of our life where we have to feel like we have to keep up with those jones again!!) Anyhoo here is my advice on the subject. 
First of all, don't buy your stationary in bulk - unless it actually works out cheaper. By this I mean don't get all stationary happy in the store and pick up 100 notebooks, refill pads, folders and 4000 types of pens just because its cute and you think "ah, it will come  in useful somewhere". Chances are it probably won't and you've just spent €10 on a notebook that you will completely forget about a month in. Instead really think about your course. Will you be using a laptop alot? How many modules/classes do you have? What do they entail? Do you need a calculator? Do you need a Notebook for each class? Will materials be provided by the college, like computers, college diary? My advice would be get one or 2 notebooks for the first couple of days then when you really know what you need you can get shopping then. Also don't worry about the jones, a notebook is a notebook at the end of the day whether it has a cute picture or slogan on the front or not. Spend what fits your budget and you feel is appropriate. Make sure they are good enough quailty to last you the college year but remember if you don't need it and won't use it then its just a waste of money and takes up space in your home and life. 
When it comes to printing, very few of us can avoid it. Now in college they will have the facilities available but sometimes by hunting around you can actually find it cheaper in other stores or your local library so if you feel that the college are charging a little too much and you know that you are going to have a lot of printing throughout the year then hunt around and you might get lucky. The other alternative is to buy a cheap printer. Again do the math to work out whether this will actually work out cheaper for you. But if it does then look into places like Argos even Tesco, Lidl & Aldi. Alternatively you can check out second-hand options online on sites like Done Deal, Ebay & Amazon. I won't be looking into this option because it doesn't make sense for me but if it does for you give it a go!!

Tech Savvy

Many of us will either already have or will invest in some technology to help us on our path to becoming knowledgeable beings. However this can be very expensive. Here are a few of my tips. If you need anything from a laptop to a flash drive do your research, shop around, compare like with like especially prices!! If you don't mind buying second hand you might get a really good product for a fraction of the price!! remember knowledge is power. If you are going to invest put the work in and you'll end up with a better quality product for the best price!! Finally when you have everything you need be sure to put all the necessary measures in place to protect them. Keep them safe and you will get the most out of them!! 

That's all my tips for now folks!!!

I hope you enjoyed this post and stay tuned for part 2. 

Do you have any tips of your own to share with us? I would love to here them as I am always looking for new money saving tips and techniques!!

Chat soon x

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