Overcoming your Overdraft

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You’ve done it. You got in. You’ve got the grades, you’ve got the accommodation, and you’re ready to head off to your new carefree life of blissful, alcoholic freedom in Leeds. But still, that doesn’t stop the niggling, nervous-yet-excitable doubts you can’t seem to stop flitting around in your A-level-conquering brain: what if I get lost and am late to my first seminar? What if I get bored of eating baked beans? What if my flatmate is a bossy, prejudiced, unsociable nudist with a tendency to play the drums at 7am every day?

All of these concerns are justifiable, but the one thing you should not have to worry about when going to university, whether it be your first, second, third or even fourth year, is money. Yes, it’s a problem. With the fees being kindly bumped up to around £9,000 a year, overdrafts will tragically hit their limits more than ever before, causing an unhappy over usage of the dreaded phrase “I can’t, I’ve got no money”. Sitting at home fretting over money issues on a Friday night while your flatmates head off to various pubs and clubs to get suitably sloshed is NOT the way university should be. Worrying about money, at our age, is about as fun as spooning a hedgehog, and should be about as necessary too.

First things first, never pay the full price for anything. The internet is jam-packed with glorious student deals, enabling you to claim a variety of offers such as 2 for 1 on meals, 20% off clothing, half price tickets and much more. Always ask at the till if they have student discount, and flash that magical fairy godmother of a student card to save save save.

Additionally, nights out don’t have to end in a financial catastrophe, with you lying face down in bed the next morning, trying desperately to remember why it was necessary to drink eight Jägerbombs and four VK’s, concluding the night with a generous purchase of a Mcdonald’s Happy Meal for everyone in the queue.

Another revolutionary idea to save money is being an outrageously good host. Hosting pre-drinks was the best thing my flat ever did, as the next morning we were pleasantly surprised to discover a gold mine of diet coke, value lemonade, and the remnants of countless spirits that the owners were too hungover to come and claim. Thus for the next three or four nights out, our booze and mixers were unknowingly provided for us by our dear friends, and consequently our bank accounts experienced a well-needed break from purchasing provisions to fuel our attempts to down drinks faster than a Zulu Warrior.

Wwe would undoubtedly prefer to gorge ourselves on tasty food. This is indeed possible, as chances are, if you live in a flat of, for example, five people, at least two of you know how to cook. Flat combo meals are probably the best thing since sliced bread (which you can buy a loaf of for just 60p at Morrison’s, by the way), as whilst cooking a lasagne for one would cost a bomb, buying just one ingredient in bulk and combining it with your flatmates complimentary ingredients is cheap, easy and delicious.

Obviously, none of these devious money-saving schemes are possible without being in the company of some very funny, daring, engaging and just generally delightful people. Luckily, there are an abundance of these types of people at the range of universities in Leeds. Whilst making friends with your flatmates is ideal, these superbly resourceful activities can be carried out with anyone and everyone who’s up for it. Thus the moral of this story, and the main solution to beating the overdraft blues, is simply having someone to share them with.

Victoria Karpinski

Currently studying for a degree in English at Leeds Uni, I like sleep, house parties, takeaways and reading the occasional bloody good book.

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