Sarah Barradell, Aged 22, MA English
Wait… So, Skills Don’t Actually Pay the Bills?
Let’s face it. Whatever money you have, you’re going to spend. But how can you stagger your spending habits so that your precious life-savings actually stand a chance of surviving past WelcomeFest?
Well, first thing’s first – ditch the plastic. Spending money on your card feels so inconsequential that it barely feels like you’re spending any money at all. And that means you’ll spend more of it. A lot more. My top tip here is to withdraw a weekly budget from an ATM when you wake up at the crack of noon every Monday, and vow to pay for everything in cold-hard cash. You’d be surprised how much the physical action of money literally slipping through your fingers inspires you to spend less.
In fact, whilst you’re curbing your spending habits go into your bank and open a savings account. Not only will you get a higher interest rate (free money – ayyyyyy!), but you know that if you have to delve into your emergency money, you’ve got to cut down on the spending pretty sharpish. There’s nothing better to kick-start a savings frenzy than the realisation that you might actually have to live off a loaf of bread and half a tin of beans for the rest of the year.
If you’re going to need a bit more cash, you can join the 57% of students who have a part-time job whilst at uni (don’t worry, Hull University Union’s Jobshop can help you find local part-time work), or if you have a job already, ask your employer if you can just come back and work in the holidays whilst you’re at home. If you’re scared of commitment but still need to, you know… eat, think outside the box a bit. I signed up to be a Mystery Shopper (which pays well and gets you loads of free things), and my housemate fills out surveys for cash. There are loads of moneymaking opportunities and free competitions out there, so just keep your eyes peeled.
Generally though, if you lay out (and stick to) a termly budget, all should be well. Your budget will completely depend on your incomings, and how much (or little) student finance you’ll receive every semester. As a guideline, I manage pretty well on £40 a week, which covers a weekly food shop and two nights out.
However, budgeting doesn’t mean scrimping on the things that matter. From vintage shops to green grocers and quirky bars to rustic cafes, you’ll find anything and everything you’re looking for in Hull. The best part though, is that you get more bang for your buck here. Local shop owners thrive off the business of students, and they aren’t getting that business if we can’t afford their goods. So you can afford that ‘winner, winner, chicken dinner’ you really deserve.
Honestly though, money isn’t really that much of an issue when you get here. Hull is cheap… really cheap. An all-day bus ticket will set you back about £3 (or free with your free bus pass if you’re living at The Lawns or Thwaite Hall) and a taxi from town to uni will cost £6ish. No club entrance is over £4 (and is often free if you arrive early), and no club drink will set you back more than £3. So stick to your budget, and look out for cheaper alternatives to chain convenience stores (I can’t recommend Fulton Foods or Herons enough on a student budget!), and you’ll be money-savvy enough to treat yourself to a Freddo every week.
Wait, they’re 25p now?
Maybe a Freddo every other week.