Brazilian Student Ambassador Jessica Fabiana Rocha Correa has some tips for foreign students on how to spend less while studying in Ireland
It can be difficult for a student in Ireland to save money in Dublin as life can be expensive, so these three tips could be very valuable. I hope they help other people cut back on their costs as much as they helped me.
1. Leap Card
This is the first thing you should get as student in Ireland. A Leap Card is a ‘refiilable’ smart card which is used to pay public transport fares. You can get around 20% discount on the price of your journey, but it is recognised as a student card. You can get many discounts just by presenting this card.
For example, if you need to use buses around a city like Dublin, it is good to remember that is cheaper if you top up €20 every Monday, because that means you won’t pay more than €5 a day and you can use it as many time as you want the whole week.
Or if you don’t use that often, it is still worth paying your journey using your Leap Card instead of paying in cash. For more details, click this link: https://about.leapcard.ie/about/fares-discounts
Don’t forget to carry the card with you at all times because you can avail of discounts in museums, concerts, cinemas and shops.
2. Loyalty cards
Many coffee shops, sandwich bars and stores in Dublin have VIP or loyalty cards which give you benefits for buying often from them. So if you regularly buy coffee or have lunch at the same place, always check if they have loyalty cards; if they do, you may get a free meal or other types of benefits.
Another great opportunity to save money is using a ‘club card’ or similar in one of the big supermarkets. These cards will give you points every time you buy in the store. Sometimes you can get discounts or benefits.
3. Manage your money
It can be difficult keeping track of your money and how you spend it and how much you need to save for rent. I got my cashflow sorted when I found out how to manage my accounts using internet banking with my Irish bank account.
For example, my bank has an online personal demand deposit, which is a convenient way of managing your money. It means you can split your salary into different accounts which will help you to control how much you can spend and how much you need to save. As presented in the image below, you can see that I have four accounts and that has really helped me to organise my money.
You should check on your bank’s website to see if they have any saving accounts available for students.