- Know how much income you have
- Know when your money comes into your account
- Know what your outgoings are
- Know when your bills are due
- Insurance (Health, car, contents etc)
Sample student budget
This is just an indicative budget, it's not going to be the same for everyone, you may spend more on transport and less on printing, or maybe your social life is cheaper.
|Cost of Living for Students||Monthly (€)||Annual (€)|
|Books & Printing||74||666|
|Student Contribution Charge||333||3000|
Making a budget
Making a budget is one of the most depressing things you'll ever do, but it's really important to make sure that you have enough money for your rent, bills and life.
When making a budget, it's really important to be honest and not make a budget based on your ideal self never buying unnecessary things. You can do this by keeping track of everything (yes, everything!) you spend for a month, and then you'll have an idea of how much you need to set aside for each area of your expenses.
You can do this on an excel spreadsheet, or you can use some handy online tools.
Once you know what you spend, try to cut out expenses in areas you don't need, and set out how much money you need for each area of your expenses for a week/month. Then only spend that! Easier said than done, but it will make your finances less stressful if you know what you're spending where, instead of your money being a steadily disappearing trickle from your account.
Be responsible with your bank account, and check your statements. It's so easy to tap and forget about a transaction, but staff can make mistakes so make sure you check your receipts against your transactions
Should you get a job?
If your finances don't require a job, lucky you! Many of you will need some part-time work to keep yourself going through college. This can actually be a good thing as having some steady part-time work on your CV will look good when you go to apply for jobs & internships.
There is also research which indicates that students who have between 10-15 hours a week of non-academic pursuits do better in their studies. The 10-15 hours includes work, sports or societies, so do make sure you don't take on too much. If you are going to work, try not to work more than 15 hours.
How to get a job
It's not as easy as it used to be to find part-time retail or service work. The best way to do so is to print out an armload of CVs and go into shops, cafes, restaurants, pubs and ask to see a manager. If they ask you to come back later, do go back later! After you've left a CV in somewhere (we'll be talking more next week about CVs), follow up if you don't hear from them.
Ask your friends who are working if they can put in a good word for you too, many places will hire someone recommended by current staff more easily than an unknown
There are also plenty of other jobs you can do that will fit in with your study schedule - there are a few resources below you can check out. You could also consider giving grinds to secondary school students, or teaching other skills you might have (music, for example)
It might suit your studies better to try to get full-time work during the summer holidays instead. Plenty of offices, as well as retail and service outlets, will take on full-time students for the summer.
Start by leveraging the connections you already have - ask your parents, neighbours and other adults if their offices would take on a student for the summer months. The work won't necessarily be grippingly interesting, but the money should make it easy to get through! If you can, email some companies you might be interested in working for when you graduate as well.
- SU Cafe
You can get seriously cheap fresh sandwiches in the SU Cafe in Goldmith Hall
- Dining Hall
You'll get a filling hot meal for €5 in the Dining Hall, just walk straight through the Hogwarts-esque hall to the serving counters at the back. It should do you for the day, so a fiver is pretty good value
- SU Shops
The SU shops have more reasonable prices than off-campus outlets for pre-packed sandwiches
- The Buttery
You can get hot and cold food here for under a fiver & you'll get a discount for using a reusable coffee cup
- The Perch
You can get a discount on your coffee here if you pay using your TCard
The SU shops tend to be cheaper than regular newsagents for drinks and confectionery
A huge number of places around town will give student discounts on food, from 15% off the deli in Spar to the famous €5 Mama's Revenge student burrito deal.
Flash your student card everywhere! Student discounts tend to be 10-15% off which really adds up. Check your Ents card, and your society memberships, and your LEAP card to see what special discounts are available to you there, and ask everywhere if they do student discounts.
You'll get student deals on weekdays in cinemas, hairdressers, pubs and plenty of others. Keep an eye out for them and check online before you go somewhere new to see if you might be able to save yourself a few quid!
Making Your Money Last
- Lidl and Aldi are your friends - shop as much as you can there
- Buy in bulk - Buy cupboard ingredients in bulk when they are on offer
- Cook! It costs a fraction of what the same meal would as a takeaway
- Bring in your own lunch - leftovers from a meal you cooked??
- Use your student discounts everywhere
- Shop second-hand
- Get a LEAP card - remember if you're under 19 the Child card has cheaper travel than the Student one
- Walk - it's not that far from Halls to College
- Invest in a bike (and a good lock!) or use Dublin Bikes
- Use Nitelinks
- Share taxis instead of going alone if you can
- Go to society & ENTS events
- Take turns to cook with friends
- Look for cheaper pubs (starting with the Pav!)
- Have your friends over for tea & chats
- Check out what's going on in the Global Room
Senior Tutor Financial Assistance
If you are experience financial difficulties, you can make an application for Financial Assistance. This fund is means-tested, so if you are a dependent student under 23, your parents financial information will need to be submitted. Financial Assistance cannot be used for fees or the Student Contribution Charge. The amounts given vary by case. If you need assistance you can find more information at the link below.More information
The Students' Union can give you a dig out in the form of a loan of up to €200 for one month, no questions asked. If your phone bill was higher than expected and you've no food in the press, the SU can give you a helping hand. The loans are interest-free. Contact the Welfare or Education Officer if you find yourself in trouble.More information
Other forms of financial assistance
There are a number of other bursaries and waivers you can apply for depending on your circumstances. Details of them all are on the Senior Tutor's website. Even if you aren't eligible for these payments, please don't sit in the dark because you couldn't afford the electricity bill. If you are having any kind of financial trouble speak to your Tutor or to the Students' Union Welfare or Education Officer and they will do what they can to help you out.Financial Assistance