Cheap and cheerful way through college
7 Pay less for light:If you have to pay your own electricity bills, make sure you are getting the best value for money. If you live in rented accommodation it can be hard to make the switch to the cheapest provider yourself, but you can still find out what deals are out there via bonkers.ie. If you find a provider that is cheaper than the one you are on, get your landlord to make the switch.
8 Just say no:Under no circumstances should you consider a credit card until you get yourself a full-time job. It will turn into a millstone around your neck. If you need to buy stuff such as airline tickets or books online, get one of the pre-paid options. The O2 money card is popular and can be topped up at thousands of locations.
Bonkers.iesays the Moneybookers card is best because it’s simple, free to top-up, free to use and costs just €10 a year. Frequent flyers may want to look at the Ryanair Cash Passport because it is the only card that lets you avoid Ryanair admin fees. It is expensive though, there’s a top-up fee of €3 every time you add money to the card, and the minimum top-up amount of €175 may put it out of your reach.
9 Bank on it:While you should turn your back on a credit card, you should not turn your back on banks. While the days of banks offering a huge volume of freebies to would-be student customers are gone the way of the bubble, there is still money to be saved by choosing wisely. Visit itsyourmoney.ieto see what deals are out there.
10 Surf’s up:Couch surfing.orgallows you to find free accommodation – and it doesn’t have to be a couch – all over the world. With cheap-as-chips flights to hundreds of destinations across Europe readily available, a weekend away can be yours for less than €100.
11 Phone home:For a different type of surfing you’ll need broadband. Wired broadband offers the most reliable service and can be a great option in accommodation where bills can be shared. There is almost always a one-year contract, so the last three months should be factored in – it will have to be paid even if the service isn’t needed.
Bonkers.iesuggests Smart for students at just €29.95 a month for everything you need. It is also very fast at 24Mb. With 350GB of usage a month, even a houseful of students would have trouble going over the data limit.
For cheap mobile phones it is hard to see beyond 48 – 48months.ie– once you’re aged between 18-22. For €10 a month you get unlimited calls and texts to all networks and for €20, its VIP deal promises all the internet you need as well.
With Vodafone you can earn points when you top up which can be turned into free stuff. Vodafone is also going on a campus tour which it promises will be “jam-packed with exclusive student offers”.
Turn your back on brand names and only buy own-brand foods – you will save yourself a packet