This post couldn’t come at a better time. I’ve just paid a hefty bill to HMRC for Income Tax owed for last year from being on the wrong tax code, received a rather large bill for last month’s electric – no more six hours of heating for me – and booked travel and accommodation for London and Dublin which are both coming up in a few weeks. Oh, and I just spent the last four days in Amsterdam, on a very tight budget as you can imagine.
The worst thing about being a student is not being able to work full-time, receiving a small loan every three months and having a very busy social life which usually requires a lot of money. I envy those that are able to go through university without working part-time. How they survive, I would love to know. I worked two jobs during my second year of university so that I could save for moving to London. While I was working in London I made sure to save each month to make sure I could afford coming back to Liverpool for final year.
With a very hectic March coming up, I thought it the best time to set myself the Pro Plus challenge and budget for an entire week. This meant only shopping and eating at places that offered student discount, general reductions and deals. This challenge is part of a series with Pro Plus and you can read my first challenge of partying like a pro in Liverpool, here.
Through UniDays, you can purchase a Taste Card for £1 for three months. After the three months, it bumps up to £4 per month. Conveniently for me, McCooleys is one of the restaurants on Taste Card. McCooleys is an Irish bar/restaurant that I find myself in around four days a week. You can find me there at lunch time, dinner time or even at 3am on the weekends.
The 2-4-1 offer on Taste Card means I can get my usual Chicken Stack for £4 instead of £8 and Happy Hour usually lasts all evening which means cheaper drink prices. I couldn’t make a Chicken Stack at home for that price so it makes sense to make the most of the offer. On a Sunday, I’ll usually wake up a little late (and a little hungover) and head to McCooleys for around 4pm for a full Sunday roast. A Sunday roast for £4 – how could you complain?!
However, when I want to eat a little healthier and need to do a food shop, Co-op offer 10% NUS discount which is only around the corner from my university and library building. Not that I very often frequent either. For more discounted food, you’ll usually find me hovering around the reduced to clear aisles in Tesco around 9pm at night – prime time FYI.
For the past while I’ve been recycling everything in my wardrobe as I seem to buy so much that I needed an extra clothes rail that stands beside my wardrobe. I’ve now filled the rail which means my clothes lay around my room with no place and I no longer know what clothes I do have.
However, with upcoming trips to London, Dublin and Amsterdam just past, I thought I would treat myself to some new clothes thanks to my loan and UniDays discount. It was a very sad day when Pretty Little Thing and Missguided both removed their discount with UniDays but thankfully most Missguided clothes can also be found on ASOS where I seem to do most of my shopping.
In Liverpool, as students, we’re lucky that the local shopping district, Liverpool ONE, put on student events throughout the year where all stores feature some discount with bars and restaurants even getting involved too.
One thing I love about living in cities is acting as a tourist a lot of the time. Since it’s my final year in Liverpool, I’m making it my mission to see and do as much of the touristy things there are to do in this city as possible.
As a student, last week I was able to climb to the top of the Liverpool Cathedral for a reduced price and take in the sights of Liverpool and beyond. I then visited the Tate Modern museum and explored each floor. The exhibition that was on display was free to students at LJMU so I was able to see the museum in its entirety.
The Liverpool Opps team at LJMU offer reduced and free prices to plays, cinema showings and various activities all over the city all year round. Not many students avail of the offers but it can save you a lot of money and allows you to see more of the city. What more could you ask for?
My bank account was very thankful for my week of budgeting, especially with the traveling I have coming up this month. Hopefully I’ll be able to turn some of these budgeting tips into regular habits and save myself some money for the remainder of the year.
*This is a sponsored collaboration with Pro Plus. All views are my own, and I wouldn’t recommend anything I wouldn’t use or purchase myself. If you know me, then you’ll know how much I like my caffeine.*
Pro Plus is available in 12, 24, 36 and 48 tablet packs and priced at: 24 tablets (£2.67), 36 tablets (£3.53), 48 tablets (£4.62).
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Beth Smith (@_bethsmithh) says
This post is really helpful I’d never thought of a tastecard, also top tip for clothes discount – try out studentbeans for discounts on PLT/River Island etc.
omg I’ve never heard of Studentbeans! Thanks for the tip Beth, need to be as savvy as I can these last few months aha!