A large percentage of your spending will most probably end up covering rent which varies depending on the kind of accommodation selected.
Accommodation on campus is limited and as a result, is much pricier. Amounts range from as low as EUR 300 per month for a shared room to around EUR 600 for a modest flat.
Expenditure on food amounts to about EUR 70 - EUR 100 a week, should you choose to dine on campus or in cheaper restaurants.
An average journey by bus in Dublin costs about EUR 2.30 depending on the number of fare stages traveled. No change is given so be sure to prepare the exact amount. If you travel regularly, consider getting weekly or monthly Dublin Bus passes which saves money for regular travel. If you own a Student Travel Card, they can be purchased at a discount.
Cycling is another option in Dublin as there are dedicated bicycle lanes. However, be sure to wear safety gear such as a bicycle helmet as it can be quite dangerous to cycle in the city center, especially at peak times.
Fancy going to movies? Cinema tickets vary between EUR 7 to EUR 12 depending on the time and where you see the film. Discounts are given to students on production of a student card. However, they are not available during weekends and no discounts are given at the soft-drink and snack counters.
If clubbing is your thing, nightclubs usually charge entrance fees between EUR 7 and EUR 15. Prices for drinks vary from bar to bar but on average, costs about EUR 4.5 for a pint of beer and EUR 5 for a glass of wine.
Smokers should be prepared to shell out extra cash as cigarettes are expensive in Ireland at around EUR 9.00 for a packet of 20. Smoking is banned in any workplace and this ban encompasses bars and restaurants as well.
So how can I make the most out of my budget?
While shopping for ordinary groceries, supermarkets offer the best value. However, for fruits and vegetables, street markets offer the best value, while meat is usually cheapest in butchers' shops. Supermarkets sometimes have 'own brand' food which are cheaper than regular brands and are usually of good quality.
To get goods cheaper, look for bulk buy bargains at shops such as Aldi and Lidl, and if you shop in a group, the cost can be split. Finally, you could prepare a little extra food when cooking for yourself and have it for lunch the next day which costs less than eating out.
Clothes and Bedding
Penney's, Dunnes Stores, Guiney's and the shops in the Henry Street/Mary Street/Talbot Street/North Earl Street/Parnell Street area offer the best value for clothes and bedding. Wear a few layers of clothes instead of a single heavy jumper to keep warm as it is cheaper and more effective. Avoid buying clothes which can only be dry-cleaned as they cost a lot to clean. A number of second-hand clothes shops are located around the city, in Rathmines, on South Great Heaorge's Street, Wexford Street, Camden Street and in Temple Bar. There are also a number of charity shops located throughout Dublin and Ireland.
Transport and travel
It is recommended that you purchase a Student Travel Card if you plan on travelling by public transport.
It is expensive to make international calls using public and college phones. There are several companies offering land-line services in Ireland with different international rates. There are also mobile phone companies which offer the chance to buy credit in advance which helps you limit your calls. Purchasing a phone card is also an option as they can offer very good international call rates. You can make cheap long distance phone calls in some internet cafes which have phone booths. Via a computer, it may also be possible for you to make very low cost calls using VOIP.
All work and no play does not a good student make. Social life can be expensive but there are alternative which are both enjoyable and reasonably priced.
An effective and cheap way of getting involved in college social life would be to participate in college clubs and activities. There are many clubs that you can join which operate all year long. For example, sports clubs, academic societies, dramatic societies, political societies, and much more. Some may be more active than others but they cost very little to join and joining is a good way to interact with new people and have fun at the same time.
You will be able to enjoy discounts at certain shops and restaurants on production of your college card so it is always worth asking. An option would be to purchase an International Student Identity Card (ISIC) which can be used more widely and a list of places (both in Ireland and abroad) which offer discounts to students will be provided upon purchase.
Most discounts are offered for entertainment or student-oriented leisure, but also for some music stores and book shops. Like most student discounted events, clubs and bars often run student nights. Further savings can be made when purchasing cinema and theater tickets, which are usually already on sale to students at a reduced rate, by opting for preview performances, matinees and early screenings.
*ISIC Student Card: The International Student Identity Card (ISIC) is an internationally recognized proof of full-time student status available, available during enrollment at most colleges.
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