Tag Archives: University

Graduate insights: How to save money as a student

Hello! I’m Chris, recent Leeds uni graduate and current SEO. After reading Nielsen’s blog and noticing the “posts from other students who want to have a crack at blogging” clause in his sidebar, I thought I’d get in touch and offer a post. He nobly obliged.

So here I am, offering my insights into simple actions students (and indeed anyone) can take to:

a) Save money
b) Eat healthily
c) Get fit

Tip one: Buy a bike

The initial expense of a bike may seem counterproductive to point a), but if you add up the cost of the bike and the basic equipment and divide it out over a year, it almost certainly works out cheaper than alternative travel:

£500 (bike) + £30 (helmet) + £20 (lights) + £10 (high-vis) + £30 (lock) = £590, or £11.35 a week

Often you can break the repayments up over a year (or longer) as well, and depending where you buy from you can get 0% interest so you’re not getting stung on the repayments. Not only that, but cycling is fun, social (if you participate in cycling groups or events like Critical Mass), and great exercise (point c)).

Tip two: Spend thrifty

Fairly self-explanatory on the surface: spending less equates to saving more. Knowing where you can save money is the skill, though. As a student I spent a lot of money on microwaves, kettles, toasters and whatever else when I moved from halls in first year to houses thereafter (stingy landlords, you see). In retrospect I could have saved a lot of money by shopping at stores who have special student deals.

You can also save money by pausing before each purchase and asking yourself ‘do I really need this?’ – another relatively simple but surprisingly effective technique to achieve point a).

Tip three: Eat soup

Soup is great. Get pretty much any combination of vegetables, perhaps some lentils, a sprinkling of assorted herbs and spices, blend it up, and you’ve got soup. You can either follow recipes (my favourite) or experiment and come up with your own. Depending what you include, you’ll be on your way to point b) if you make your own soups, and also well on your way to point a) – 8 portions worth of the soup I gave the recipe for previously cost me just over £3 – that’s a week and a half’s worth of lunch for around 38p a day.

Souper (if you’ll pardon the pun).

Chris

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What Not To Expect In 2011

No Month of Review this month. Instead, follow what the title says and read on. Yeah….and Merry Snow Holiday Thing and a Happy New Year (unless you’re Chinese).

You know, these typical end of year lists really tend to bore me. So to counter these cheesy lists I’ve decided to fight snow with fire….. by coming up with my own shoddy list of not what just happened during 2010, but what NOT to expect in 2011. Well actually it’s more of a twisted review of 2010 which will cause unnecessary confusion. Because that’s how I roll: I’m twisted, confusing and rather stupid.

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Take That not back for good. There is literally no escape from them. Ever since their reformation and the return of Mr. Williams, they surrendered themselves to the entire country. T.V., magazine gossip, radio – just. Plain. Everywhere. The same can be said for Lady GaGa but she has been quiet as of late….

The crushing of Simon Cowell & his brilliant shows that bring out the best of circus talent in Britain. There has been a rumour that he might get a knighthood. For introducing world-shaking artists such as…Joe what’s-his-name, Shane…whosits….and Rhydon (that sounds like a Pokemon), he truly deserves it then! Oh and with Vince Cable out of the BSkyB picture, Cowell might just take advantage of the ‘Coalition’ Government and combine with Lucifer Murdoch himself to literally construct a Sh*thouse Production Factory after building a wallet siphoning digital wall.

The release of the critically acclaimed film How To Watch Paint Dry in 3D. Also coming in this year is Alan Titchmarsh, Loose Women and Jeremy Kyle in 3D. The BFI has to review Katie Price 3D, ahem, thoroughly before they consider releasing it though…

Channel 5 being relevant. It continues to this day to be the Lidl-hybrid-junkyard-rejection versions of the other four terrestrial channels. They have Fifth Gear? The BBC tops that off with Top Gear. They have Neighbours & Home & Away (awesome theme tune by the way) while ITV1 have, in my opinion, the superior Emmerdale and Coronation Street. Oh hang on – for those who’ve forgotten, Channel 5 is a television channel next to Channel 4. Some of you while channel skipping through adverts may have seen it but ignored it….like I do….a lot….and end up watching E4….or E4+1 instead. Another miserable year for them.

The Return of the Jedi: The Bit Where They Show Han Solo Being Transported To Jubba the Hut’s Underground Lair. Hold the phone, that IS POSSIBLE!!

The incineration of reality television AND ALL OF REALITY ITSELF (sorry, been watching a lot of Doctor Who). Ever single popular genre of television had to tag itself with ‘reality’ of some sort. Cooking, gardening, job hunting (OR YOU’RE READY STEADY COOKED. May that show rest in peace) and other genres that go on and on and on. Even with Big Brother no longer broadcasting s**t to our screens, its influence can still be felt today and will continue to go on and on and on……and on…..and on…..and Simon Cowell….and on….and on….

Comedians & comediennes running out of material. Government cuts, global unrest, Jonathan Ross growing out his facial hair – comics are going to have a field-year let alone a field-day with 2011.

Did I mention Simon Cowell? Yeah he needs to be put down. If not, Piers Morgan will suffice. Although one pro about Simon Cowell is that he did introduce these lovely ladies and are now the nation’s sweethearts. Aww, bless their sweet…something..

 

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Facebook’s very own dislike button. Let’s face it, if Facebook is going introduce a ‘dislike’ button then I’ll probably go on the Facebook pages of Katie Price, Jeremy Kyle & Justin Bieber and spend hours going utterly-butterly nuts with it.

No location. No location. No location. To disregard location in today’s media world would be reckless/ silly/ inhumane etc. Facebook has included a locations option, Twitter has allowed users to key in their locations & Foursquare allows you to literally stalk a person. Which is worrying because all I do is hang out in the many Starbucks dotted around Kensington and Chelsea.

Apple actually introducing a sanitary towel. The iAbsorb: making you feel fresh and confident whatever the ‘weather’.

The removal of porn from the internet. Because if that happened, there will be only one website remaining in the world: bring back the porn. Good luck with the Conservatives’ attempts to remove it from the UK’s network!

The internet being completely patched by the CIA & cannot leak anything dangerous/ important/ controversial. Like Margret Thatcher’s secret atomic machine that makes her live forever and ever. Whoops.

People giving up on the emotionless/ pouting/ giving-attitude photos with the camera visible on their Facebook photos. Unfortunately, tasteless Facebook traditions won’t die. Further explanation on my previous blog post: 5 annoying things on Facebook.

Blackberry being reliable. I got this retarded contraption on my birthday last year (2009). Since then, it has slowly become an annoying piece of junk that has consumed my entire lifestyle, forcing me to read e-mails from Nigerian generals asking for cash during inappropriate times or annoying PINGS just as I fall asleep. I’m getting an iPhone once my contract runs out on my birthday.

Changing my ringtone. No. I like it too much:

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Students, like, chillaxing. With the Coalition Government agreeing that tuition fees will rise in 2012 for a maximum fee of £9000, us student aren;t just going to be sitting at home, complaining why some sad-faced-twat-bags from a Simon Cowell groped television show didn’t make it through the next round of Britain’s Got Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles….oh wait, hang on….Rage Against the Machine’s Killing In the Name Of anyone?

Quality of education continuing to be top notch! [Takes a long, deep breath] Okay this may seem like a stretch since I haven’t attended any educational institution for about 7-8 months but with austerity policies in place, expect teacher-to-student ratios to rise, lack of resources and students being more worried about their debts sky rocketing higher than Kerry Kotana’s face reconstruction surgery bill after she was punched in a face by a mutant monkey hired by Frankie Boyle (yes, that Icelandic volcano continues to provide me with sweet sweet anger). On a good note, my mathematics has improved slightly. Unfortunately my spelling skills has taken a turn for the worst as I now spell edukashun as ‘edukashun’.

Teaching children about cannabis via XBox 360. Not by the normal method e.g. Grand Theft Auto or some random gangster game. I mean actually supplying cannabis with the XBox 36o console.

Me not going to university. Despite the aforementioned cuts in university funding/ rise in tuition fees, I’m still going. I wasn’t born just to sit around coffee shops and abuse myself with free Wi-fi, rounds and rounds of hot caramel/ hazelnut/ cream-filled chocolate beverages and people watch as I did my web designs and blog stuff for King’s Road you know…well, maybe I was. Not that I’m complaining. I bet all of you would feel the same!

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The BBC’s Nick Robinson wielding a flag to deter hecklers. No because he’ll probably start pouring buckets of boiling water over people’s heads to symbolise the rise in both our pain and VAT. That’ll beat his confiscation act the last time he had some fun with a heckler.

Snow, ice and freezing temperatures. Take note Britain: autumn is normally succeeded by winter, which is normally followed by freezing temperatures and various types of precipitation. It’s naturally not news.

Nick Clegg & David Cameron – aka Britain’s Gay Antique Dealers – being replaced by the presenters of Loose Women and Live From Studio 5. The good thing about the latter is that their incoherent blabber is at least entertaining.

Nielsen making a blog post that doesn’t require him to edit it a trillion times. This blog post has been updated 30 times. That’s the last time I do a blog post at midnight.

Gordon Ramsey spills cooking oil all over a farm causing an environmental feeding frenzy….catastrophe. Think of the poor farmers that will have to clean up that oil slick as well as the dead and fried chickens. Hm…..chicken.

The wedding of the year being cancelled. Aw, the golden couple, Britney Spears & Jason Trawick, are rumoured to tie the knot in a beautiful ceremony that will even force the country into Bank Holiday mode. Oh and that other couple too – what’s-his-name….Prince Harr – no Prince William and Kate Middleton.

Some sort of Icelandic volcanic inconvenience that’ll ruin everybody’s Easter holiday. I mean, what are the chances of that happening again?! Unless of course, we chuck Justin Bieber in there to anger the volcanic gods…

Nielsen can predict 2011. Hm. This should have been in the title of this blog post somewhere. I’ll think about it.

[Cheese mode on] Merry Christmas and have a happy New Year [Cheese mode off] as well as eternal doom to all.

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‘Til next year,


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