Student life can be very harsh: from time to time lectures at university, fast food, tasty and cheap pizzas flooding the fridge, remains of beer on the study table, long nights awake followed by tremendous hangovers, never-ending parties that burn up all the calories of the body (in the pre and the post-party with tea included in the end). Yes, definitely student life is very difficult, except the time when the endless hours doing assignments come and it is necessary to spend long time stuck to the chair of the library.
However, all these ‘misfortunes’ of life have a price. Sometimes students need relief from the amount of responsibilities they have and it is always good to give them some advices to be able to survive till the end of the month without begging in the corners for some ‘pennies’. Here we have a list of tips about how to save money and make your daddy proud of you:
– First of all, make a list of everything you spend (and when it is said everything, it’s everything, even the 20 cents you give to the street musician playing near your favorite pub). Although it is hard to believe, this step is very important. Without making a note of all the expenses, it is impossible to know how the money disappears, and unfortunately it is not a trick of your wallet. In the end of the month you will know the amount of money spent and which things could have been avoided.
– Going out can be a horrible pain for your bank account, but, come on, you are young and you only live once: fun is also necessary. So, we recommend you to check all the places with discounts. For those who are Erasmus students the ESN card provides you with a lot of discounts. Bars like Drie Gezusters, Het Kasteel, Rumba and many more offer 10% discounts and some bargains if you are patient and know how to look for them. You can have a look for discounts in bars with the ESN card at the ESN website.
– Related with the previous tip is this one: pre-drinking parties rule! This is a topic and everybody is aware of it. However, some people don´t take real care of this advice and forget about the power of good beers and other stuff at home. If you don’t want to go out and spend your weekly budget for food in a crazy night, control yourself and warm up a little bit for way less money. Supermarkets will help you in the search of liquids for weekends!
– Also having lunch or dinner in the city center can be expensive for students. The ESN card gives you a lot of possibilities also, like 10% and 20% of discount different days in places like Wagamama, Cantina Mexicana, Bakkerij Meijer and many more. The pubs Pacific and O’Malley’s Irish Pub have special prices for students also: every evening there are meals for 2,50-4,50€ between 17:00 and 19:00h (usually pasta, hamburgers, soups and some veggie salad…). But if even that is expensive, try IKEA. It is not the most romantic place, but the hot-dogs for 0,50€ are amazing. However, it will always be much cheaper to eat at home so cheer up the ones who are lazy people; this is your opportunity to learn to cook.
– Maybe the cheapest thing to do in live is standing in front of the screen using facebook and other websites as a source of joy, socializing and information. Nevertheless, culture is not forbidden for young people and it can be funny for less money than the normal price. Again ESN card gives you offers for seeing ‘Stranger things have happened’ (discounts of 3€) or visiting the Martini Tower with a 25% discount. And if your problem is that you don´t have a bike to do some sightseeing, you can go to The Ganze Bike Shop to make the most of that card or just try the Police Depot every first Friday of the month to get some bikes in very good condition and cheaper than in normal stores.
– For the ones who are shopping-addicted, try Mamamini. Established in 1989, they are second-hand stores which sell very cheap stuff donated by people and you will even have the opportunity to feel that you are contributing somehow with a good cause, because the money collected is donated to nonprofit organizations that realize social and environment projects.
– Another important tip is: look for the weekly or monthly offers in supermarkets like Lidl, Albert Heijn, Jumbo, Aldi, Coop or C1000. For example, Lidl makes special offers on Saturdays and sometimes when the closing time is coming, they lower the price a lot in fresh products. Moreover, if you want to do intelligent shopping, take your time first to make a good list and adjust you to that list, otherwise the corridors full of tasty snacks and different candies will enchant you with the siren calls. Besides this, Vismarkt is the perfect place to find vegetables, fruit, meat and, above all, fish. On Tuesday, Friday and Saturday you can give it a try and in late hours, prices are decreased so that you don´t have an excuse to eat healthy food.
-Last but not least, there are different websites where you can sign up or ask for coupons. For example, Studenten Coupon can provide you with many discounts for eating, drinking and another gifts. You just have to apply on their website. There are also others like studenten.net or studentenkorting.nl. For the international students: you need to find a Dutch friend, otherwise it will be tiring since everything is in Dutch, but it is worth it.
Now you know that surviving in the Dutch jungle is possible. You just have to be patient and control your instincts!