Thursday, July 5, 2012

Living on £5 a day

Student life was never just about trying to finish off as much beans, cheese and toast a week or going to as many classes as you can or saving as much money as you can when doing your grocery shopping so that you have more money to party for the student nights. Student life was about making loads of friends, getting the qualification you want AND living on £5 or even less a day if possible.
So what did I use to do when I "took up that challenge" myself? There's a few don'ts here, I wouldn't advise anyone to do it now. Publishing this could also cost me some embarrassment or even slaps on my wrist, but I think I have covered it back up with the extortionate pounds in taxes and charity to the poor when I started work. 1) Get a bi-weekly bus ticket. in other words; get a weekly bus ticket, scan it for the next week (I wont tell u how we used to do it, coz Im quite sure its not legal). So you save about £16 a month. Obviously, there are times when I do not feel good about getting on the bus, so I just walk it. 2) Buy nearly expired bread, milk, pasta, rice etc. You can save quite a lot here. 3) Only party on student nights, where the ticket is on £5, you get a free drink. Which means that is the £5 u spend on that day (but u do need your weekly bus ticket, bring food from home when going to Uni n eat dinner at home before you go out) 4) Eat Chicken pasty from Gregs for lunch and dinner. 5) Buy cheap soda drinks (those that are £0.29 a can) and stock it up :). They don't taste as good as Coke, but you get the same effect of feeling full afterwards anyway. 6) Avoid walking in Top Shop, Miss Selfridge, River Island, Next etc.. You can try £1 shops. :) 7) Use the university Gym, dont bother signing up gyms you have to pay for. 8) Wash your own clothes at home. Hang it on the radiators instead. (If your student flat doesnt have a dryer) 9) Live in a student flat where you pay yearly. It will include electricity, heater and what not. So u dont have to figure out how to pay for the gas later on in the year. last but not least 10) Stock up on Pasta, beans, cheese and corn beef. They do fill you up miraculously. :)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Remember when...

We were waiting for a taxi to go home from Republic. I had a bit too much of mixers. I fell on the ground and a taxi immediately came by. My housemates decided to take me to the hospital (as advised by the taxi driver). I went home with crutches (I injured my leg). AND... I had an interview with Eurostar the very next day in London. *ps: I didnt get the job...

Coffee and crumpets

As I am sitting in Starbucks drinking coffee and having a crossant, I remember the days when I was in a coffee place sipping tea and having scones. Those days doesnt come often, those were luxuries. A cup of tea and scones would cost me about a fiver. And that seems to be a waste of 5pounds at that time... I would rather spend the fiver on something else. Which would leave me feeling happy for the next 4 hours. And damage my brains for the next 4 years. But those days are gone. Sitting in an expensive coffee or tea place was something I wished I could do more then. But...With miminum wage, and working in a coffee place to "survive", So why would I spend a fiver on tea and scones when I can very well get them free at coffee dot com. Those days when my boss would see how my eye glittered when the carrot cake was sliced too small (we had to slice it at a perfect size for the customers), or how I would sit down at the end of the day and count my tips, he'd make me a cup of tea and cut a slice of carrot cake and served me like I was his customer. Ah, bless Mr Gary. He was such a star. Once, one of the other staff (Kelly) did not show up for work for 4 days. (She has a then 2 yr old, her partner was a heroin addict) and Gary always had a soft spot for the "troubled" or "poor" ppl (girls or guys). He was always wanting to help out. Anyway, he asked me to contact Kelly (as she was not returning his calls) so I made arrangements to meet up with her at a student upper class (ie 4pounds for a pc of toast and poached egg) restaurant (Kelly having lack of money also did not know her priorities when it comes to food and drinks). So, Gary and I closed coffee dot com at 7, went to see Kelly at 7.30pm. She was not happy to see me bringing Gary. But she was glad he did come in a way. So, he didnt sack her, instead, he told her to think about working again, and he has "forgiven" her about not turning up for the last 4 days...Ane he paid for our dinner that night, gave her a tenner for her taxi home. (which Im sure she took the bus and kept that money for something else) Bless that Gary Like Kelly, I'd have my priorities up side down sometimes. I'd earn about 4 pound and hour at the pub, about 4.50 at coffee dot com. Being able to sip expensive tea was like walking around town in a prada shoes and bag... because I was brought up to like the "finer" things in life, to like "being seen as someone who would have no problems with money" whatsoever, and brought up thinking money grew on trees. I only realised those were on cloud nine fantasy when I arrived in the UK for my studies. The first year was quite a bliss, come the second and third was not something I would want my daughter to go through. Not making it sound like a bitter old lady, I still think about those days and cringe. But, like I said, I went through it, I passed my "test" and it made me realise that money is not everything in the world. The more you want people to think you have it, the more it destroys you. Live by your means. Drink tea that suits your needs. Eat crumpets or scones to fill you up, not to be "seen".