Cooking, Going out, Housemates, Living away from home, Money, Settling in

New Beginnings

Well hello newbie freshers, old pro freshers and future freshers alike 🙂 How are we all?

Firstly a massive welcome, hello and congratulations to the newbie freshers for getting into Cardiff 😀 I hope that you managed to survive freshers fortnight (we know to party in Cardiff!), and any initiations you have had the pleasure of taking part in haven’t been completely horrendous! Maybe some of you weren’t feeling so bright eyed and bushy tailed that first week – welcome to student life! Don’t worry there is plenty of time to sleep at 5 o clock in the afternoons. You do that, and you should be set then to hit up town that same evening. 🙂

As you have probably now gathered, life is very different to what you’ve been used to previously. Independence! Isn’t it great?! Gone are the days of curfews, “where are you going?”s and “who are you going with?”s. But with independence comes responsibility – and that’s a scary word. But don’t worry. That’s why uni is so great. You get to learn about budgeting, housing, cooking edible meals and general life with people who are in exactly the same position as you.

I’m sure you’ve heard most of the money saving tips and tricks already, but if not…here’s ten tips that may just help in the next few weeks:

  1. Shop around. Don’t be afraid of venturing past the well known Tescos and Sainsburys. Yes, they can have some great deals in there but markets are an AMAZING place to buy good quality and very well priced meat. Poundland isn’t too shabby for crisps and snacks either.
  2. Bulk Buy. When they got deals on meat, max out and freeze! SAme with meals, make a big batch, split into smaller portions and freeze for when you’re in a rush – saving you money AND time 🙂
  3. Shop with a buddy. Split a shop with a friend and cook meals together. Trust me, you’ll save a packet! A second benefit is that you’ll have more room in the fridge as you won’t have 5 different milk bottles!
  4. Multi-source. See a pair of shoes that you simply HAVE to have. Wait until you get home and then have a look on ebay etc. Chances are there will be a pair practically identical and nearly half the price.
  5. Sell. Unwanted clothes? Don’t chuck ’em, sell ’em! Or at least donate them to charity. Speaking of which…
  6. …Charity Shops. Before you turn your nose up, a fair few people have commented (positively) on clothes that i’ve managed to score at charity stores…and for a third of the price of highstreet brands.
  7. Discount Cards. There is obviously your student card, but please tell me you have a 16-25 railcard! It is a life-saver! Probably a LOT cheaper than driving, especially when you factor in insurance and MOT costs.
  8. Feeling chilly? Chuck another jumper on and wrap up in a blanket. Although, if you’re sitting there in gloves and hats….you might wanna turn the thermostat up a little bit!
  9. Pre-drink. I can’t tell you how much you will save on a night out if you only have to pay entry on the door.
  10. Avoid Drunk Food. Get stocked up on chips and super noodles back home – much cheaper than the chippy or kebab shop across the road
So there’s a few just to get you started. Also, be careful! I know it’s tempting to spend spend spend when that first student loan check comes in, but you’ll regret it when all you have to eat at the end of the month is a can of baked beans and some slightly stale bread! Additionally, if you have time for it it’s worth getting a part-time job. Even if it’s just one night a week, it could end up helping out loads 🙂
It’s a great thing to have independence and money. The trick now is working out how to manage it. The more sensible you are at the beginning, the less you’ll feel the pinch at the end of the month. And hey, if you budget wisely, you may just be lucky enough to afford that week in Spain with your new found crazy and inseparable group of friends you remember meeting that first week of uni.
The possibilities are endless!
Speak soon
Han

 

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