Making money last

Source: Dave Barger via flickr

By Sarah Harris

I love the Easter Holidays. Not because I get to have a nice break before the impending doom of exams but because by the end of March, I’m usually totally broke and the holidays mean I get 3 weeks and home where I don’t have to pay for my groceries and other expenses. This year however, my family has decided to go on holiday without me and being the mature and dedicated student that I am, I decided to stay in Cardiff and prepare for all the deadlines I have the first week back (is there even any point in the holidays if we have to spend the whole time studying anyway?). The spring term usually leaves me more broke than others. Despite the winter term ending with Christmas, the Spring terms involves the birthdays and anniversaries of pretty much everyone I know, or so it seems anyway. So subconsequently I’m even more broke than I usually would be and probably seem like I’d be the worst person to take advice from when it comes to saving money but I’m damn good when it comes to advice about making the little amount of money you have stretch over the rest of the holidays.

If you’ve ever wanted to go on a cleanse, this is the perfect time to do so. Going out is probably a luxury to many people at this point so save yourself the 20 quid you would spend on alcohol and mixers for pre’s and save it for food and other essentials instead. If you absolutely CAN NOT go without drinking then 1) go to rehab or 2) scrounge through your housemates alcohol supply. A cleanse doesn’t just mean cutting out alcohol but cut out all the crappy food you’ve been eating for the last 7 months too – say goodbye to the 1AM visits to T&A and you can forget about deliveroo, that’s for the bourgeoisie. Your diet now, will consist of a lot of tinned food, noodles, pasta and a lot of bread. Give yourself a budget and do a mini shop that will feed you for 3-5 days. Planning menus in advance can seem dull but you gotta do what you gotta do to survive during these difficult times.

Being broke is also a blessing at this time of the year. The fact that you barely have enough money to feed yourself probably means you have a very limited social life right now so take this as an opportunity to focus on your studies and exams and smash the degree you’re paying £9000 a year for. Or on the other hand, think of it as the perfect time to procrastinate in almost any way you can! Steal your friends Netflix password and binge watch any show you possible can. Take up and new hobby like drawing or running or may I suggest, sleeping? Or hey, you could always get in touch with nature again – remember that wonderful place called ‘the outside’? Maybe, try and give it a visit. It’s shocking how many wonderful things there are to do in Cardiff for free, like visit the museum or go to town and admire all the pretty things you can’t buy unless you sign up for (I’ve signed my housemate up for this and as of yet, no luck). See, being broke isn’t as bad it seems and I bet you, you can make the £5.30 you have left in your bank account last at least 3 weeks and maybe even save a penny or two.

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