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.
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.