Edinburgh Freshers’ Guide to Saving Money

Where else to start but at the beginning of this magical journey we call: university, where somehow we’re tempted to spend money like water and yet have nothing to show for it – as we have eaten, or drank it all. The following article by Alex Watson on how to avoid blowing your student loan sums it up.
Edinburgh Castle Rock
If you want to be smart with your money then start here! It all begins with fresher’s (drunken) week. The fresher’s band is inviting and as a fresher, you feel as though this is a requirement … but be warned it is not necessary, just because you don’t buy a fresher’s band doesn’t mean you won’t go out. Unless you go to every single event (which is most unlikely) then it is a waste of money, and due to the demand of some of these events, you may find you and your new friends want to avoid the crowds and explore further areas of your new city.
Next on the list of fresher’s obligations is the fresher’s fair, here you will be handed an abundance of flyers, stickers, leaflets and much more and let’s be honest they will all most likely end up at the bottom of your bag never to be looked at again, and there is your mistake. The surplus of paper you have just received is actually full of great student deals, which will truly help you save money at university. Another top tip for saving money, as a student is to buy a student discount card. For £9.95, it’s yours for 3 years, from which you will acquire an array of discounts in Edinburgh from bars, restaurants, shops and take-outs.

Eating in Edinburgh
George street is pricey, stay away, shopping and nights out alike. However, this is not a problem as there are countless places to eat in Edinburgh. Some advice, get cultural, Tuk Tuck located on Lothian Road serves the best Indian street food and it is cheap!
Another money saving idea is share! Bread Meats Bread, on Lothian Road is arguably the best burger joint in Edinburgh and yes it is a little pricey, however, no human can possibly eat one of their burger and fries, so share, half the burger, half the price! Lastly, be smart with your money, don’t let the hangover cravings take over and demand you to spend £18 at Nandos for an overpriced piece of chicken, get inventive, gather your friends and cook cheap healthy meals.

Nights out in Edinburgh
Edinburgh is a fun filled night out with plenty of options for students – with almost every club holding a student night. However, you may want to avoid weekends as there is no escaping the high entry cost and stupidly overpriced mixers.
There are also alternatives that don’t involve clubbing and won’t leave you penniless. These include interesting stuff like ghost walks and stand-up comedy.
An additional idea to help save money is to pre-drink, the novel way in which our generation socialises, gone are the days of meeting at pubs and bars. Well perhaps not gone, but let’s be realistic: as a first-year student your calendar will most likely involve around 3 nights out per week and it is just not plausible to drink in bars each of these nights.
Top tip, get all your friends around, buy some cheap fizz (they will never know the difference) and if you are worried about not being sophisticated enough get some cheap wine glasses from Ali’s Cave

Entertainment in Edinburgh
There are plenty of things to do for students in Edinburgh on a budget. For example, take a walk up Arthurs seat for the best views of Edinburgh, this burst of activity will be good for you as calorie consumption is likely to be high due to your new found freedom where you can drink and eat as much as you want. It is also completely free!
A walk up the royal mile to Edinburgh Castle is another must-see, there is no need to pay to get inside as you get a great view of the castle at the top. On a summer’s day, Princes Street gardens can be your go to however it is normally busy so head to the Meadows which will be filled with students, Frisbees, beers and ball games. Grab yourself a BBQ, your friends and you have an afternoon bursting with summer fun.
My last tip is to get yourself a rail card, for those days when the bank balance is looking bleak and it’s time to head home for some TLC and a home cooked (free) meal.

Weathering the Summer

Scotland’s summer is less 500 days and more 500 minutes.

windy weather scotlands coast

This has reportedly been one of the windiest, wettest and one of the most dreary summers in memory. The incessant rain and dreary overcast days throughout June resulted in fevered rumours of a heat blast to come in August…which turned out to be completely unfounded. However September has got to an excellent start even if we can feel the frost in the morning.

While the umbrella-strewn pavements of July are gone, it would be good to know that a last minute holiday isn’t out the question. As the high season starts to fade into the quieter off-season it’s good to know that prices also start to drop. There’s time still to make sure you have an eventful September weekend and take the time to nip somewhere a little bit different.

Many sites will begin to offer Winter Sun deals, these tend to be based around the equator as that where it’s hot in winter! There are some good   and websites like SkyScanner that will show some great low cost options. Even if you are a bit cash-strapped, if you are sensible with your money getting a holiday loan can always be a good option.

This guide by Money Saving Expert is one of the most comprehensive out there. It goes through how to turn your phone into an international Sat-Nav for those wi-fi-lacking moments, how to find cheap flights and even how to get free flights- if you play your card rights.

However if you are time strapped as well as cash then this guide covers the best tips for saving money when you are exchanging your money.

And if worst comes to worst, England has actually had alright weather so nip on down to Cornwall and have a pasty, stay on this island and experience the austerity summer; The Staycation. We better enjoy the few sunny days we do have, after all winter is coming.

Scottish night out’s that won’t leave you out of pocket

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Scotland Flag

We all love a night out, but we also love not spending ANY money, because it’s ours and we deserve to keep it. So how do we have fun without giving too much of our precious money away?

Ghost Walk – Edinburgh

One part history lesson, one part spooky fun. Great night out, and you’ll learn a little about the city as well, prices start at £8 and go up to £15. Then once it’s over you can go for a quiet drink and discuss how you’ll ‘never get to sleep tonight’!

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Red Raw, the Stand – Glasgow & Edinburgh

Everyone loves a laugh, and Red Raw delivers. Everything from brand new, never once been on a stage acts, to some of the best in Scottish comedy (Frankie Boyle & Kevin bridges have appeared quite a few times). £2 a ticket is unbelievable pricing, with a decently priced bar as well and usually a competition to win free tickets for another red raw show. It’s well worth a try for comedy fans.

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ICW – All across Scotland

Made popular after its smash hit BBC documentary, Insane Fight Club, ICW has become a staple of the Scottish night out, and a great laugh. Only grown in popularity since the return of Scotland’s ‘Chosen One, Drew Galloway – Scotland’s most successful wrestler – who was recently released from his WWE contract and came back to where he started out. Wrestling fan or not, it will be plenty of fun, and might convert the uncoverted. Lot’s of their Glasgow shows start in Box, which has become the unofficial home of  ICW, so you can start their to get you hyped up for the event.

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The Budget 2015 – Everything you need to know

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The budget 2015
The budget 2015

What you need to know from the 2015 budget

As you probably already seen on the news, our current Chancellor George Osborne delivered our budget to parliament on 18th March 2015. However, in what may come as a surprise, a lot of people are unaware what the budget actually is. Simply put, the budget is a plan on how the government will spend the country’s money for the next 12 months. This is an annual process and is always conducted by the Chancellor of the Exchequer.  The government will decide how much they are going to spend, and on what services they are going to spend it on: housing, schools, and hospitals, defense etc.

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New Homeowners Checklist

Shop around for your energy supplier

When you move into a new home, energy suppliers might not seem like much of priority but what if you’re missing out on good deals for the sake of taking the easy route? Take meter readings and get in touch with your property’s current supplier to make sure you are getting the best possible deal you can from them.
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