Cost Of Living As A Student / Budgeting
- Category: Welfare
- Published on Tuesday, 12 August 2008 12:03
It's a good idea to plan a budget for all your weekly expenditures. Try to get on top of your finances from the outset to avoid panic at the end of term. Here you will find steps to help you prepare a budget, you can use our budgeting tips for ideas on how to make your funds last a little longer than Fresher’s Week! Info on food and diet & tips for healthy eating and how to shop on a budget.
Here's a short video on 'How To Live On A Budget':
Once you get into Mary I, there are a huge number of expenses you will have to deal with nearly every week. These expenses can’t be avoided so I have put in a rough table of how much everything will cost roughly. A guide to course fees in Mary I can be found here
A rough estimate of Teaching Practice Costs can be found here.
You need it, so buy proper food! Lidl is cheap, close to Mary I and you can buy LITERALLY everything there! You'd be surprised though, Tesco and Dunnes Stores are now as cheap, if not cheaper than shops such as Lidl or Aldi.
Average Cost: €35 - €45
This changes from week to week. If you’re a B.Ed / B.Ed & Psych, you will spend approx. €10 a week. If you’re a B.A/ E.C.C.E, you will spend approx €10 every two weeks. You will be printing more around assignment, TP and exam times. A cheap way of getting around this is buying your own printer and printing off at home!
Books & Stationery
Book buying normally should occur at the start of each semester. Depending on your course, you could spend €70-€110 on books each semester. I’d recommend if you don’t need it for life or death- borrow it from a friend or the library, or even just photocopy the pieces you need!
This is an inevitable part of college life and lets be honest, it's very to easy spend more than you expect to, so don't forget to take all the expenses of a night out such as drinks, taxis, entrance to the club and maybe a Supermacs afterwards when you're budgeting!
• Write a list of all expenditure. Think carefully and make sure you don’t forget anything even boring things like cleaning products! Also include any extra one-off expenditure that you will incur over the term for example holidays and field trips.
• Prioritise expenditure and distinguish between essential and non-essential spending. Using the record you have made of your previous weekly expenditure consider what you may be able to save money on.
• Travel cheaply. Buy student travel passes, rail cards and cheap advance train tickets. The Credit Union sells train tickets at a reduced price for people who save with them. Enquire in the SU office about applying for your student travel card which entitles you to cheaper fares. Student Bus tickets are also available from the Students Union Office.
• Make the most of student offers. Use your student card to buy tickets at the cinema, theatre and matches to avail of cheaper entry fees. Save full price nights for special occasions. When shopping, certain retail outlets give a 10% student discount. Always have your student card with you to avail of these offers. O’Sullivan’s Pharmacy & Beauticians on O’Connell Avenue also give a 10% discount to MIC students on production of their student card.
• Cut down on mobile phone costs. It may be an idea to change your mobile for PAYG. If this is not possible check you are on the best contract. See if you can change to a cheaper contract and be very careful with the use of your mobile, for example when near a computer with access to the web use your networks web site to send free text messages.
Food and Diet
For those of you that are living at home, you may think you have been cheated out of a real college experience i.e. student accommodation, but you few have an unmistakable edge…Home Cooked Dinners! God bless mam and dad for their culinary skill. Now the majority that are ‘doin it for themselves’ have more than likely never turned the oven on, boiled or fried anything or for that matter cooked anything that wasn’t microwave friendly. As you are now an adult you have to eat adult sized meals, daily! Pot noodles, toast, beans, waffles probably won’t cut it. A lot of you will have a packed academic day and a 45 minute class sure can stretch when you have hunger to contend with! Outside of that it becomes hard to keep going, socialising is a full time vocation so you need to be loaded with good healthy food. Eating regularly and healthily is reflected in your lifestyle, mood and personality. We're sure you've heard it all before but cooking is fun! You can check out www.irishheart.ie and www.bordbia.ie for recipes. Experiment and enjoy it!
Tips for Eating Healthy & Shopping on a Budget
• Never shop on an empty stomach.
• Make your meals from scratch: Pre-packaged/ boxed/ tinned/ readymade foods & meals can be high in fat, calories, sodium, sugar, and cost and lower in vitamins and minerals compared to foods prepared at home.
• Plan meals and snacks in advance. Then write out a shopping list, and stick to it.
• Shop in bigger stores as they tend to be cheaper
• Look for sales on items that are on your list. Make sure the food you buy is fresh. Food on sale is sometimes starting to get old. Always check the dates on perishable food such as milk and meat, because you want it to be safe.
• Eat at home. Eating out can be expensive and the food is often high in fat, salt, and sugar. If you want to have your friends over for dinner, ask everyone to make something and bring it with them.
• Stick to the Food Pyramid: the bulk of your diet should be made up of grains (bread, pasta, rice), fruits and vegetables. These are the foods at the base of the pyramid.