I’ve got just over six weeks before I start my Masters degree and it still hasn’t sunk in that I have an unconditional offer and I’m actually going to be able to study on my dream course (Human Osteology and Funerary Studies). I can’t wait to get stuck in to lectures and lab sessions and put my brain to work for the first time in a while. I absolutely love learning and I’ve hated being away from education over the past five years. I’m also going to be back in my favourite city of Winchester which is so exciting! The only thing I’m really worried about is money – I am getting a Post Graduate Student Loan however this will just about pay for the course and then rent if I find somewhere affordable, so I’m going to have to find ways to save money.
I can remember how much of a struggle it was the first time around trying to pay for food, transport, rent and try to have some sort of a social life. It didn’t help that I actually paid for everything for my boyfriend at the time, so I was effectively paying double for everything. At least this time I know better and I won’t be letting anyone take advantage of me like that and I’ll just be paying for myself. There are plenty of ways in which I can save money, here are a few of them:
Getting an NUS card
I’ve had an NUS card since I graduated – for some reason I’ve just been able to renew it each year but I’m definitely going to make sure I get a new one in September. Student discount is so handy and most places offer it nowadays, so it’s a great idea to get one and use it as much as possible. The best discount I have found is Yo Sushi who offer 25% discount off your bill.
Getting a railcard
Back in the day I had the 16-25 railcard but obviously I’m too old for that now at almost 28. I have been told that I’m eligible for a railcard once I’m a full time student again, so I’ll be looking into that and getting one as soon as possible as you get 33% off rail travel with one. If I’m not able to get a student one, there is also a Network Railcard which gives you a third off travel in the South East and London which would be perfect for me in Winchester.
Saving money on buses
The buses in Winchester are operated by Stagecoach which are pretty reliable and are reasonably cheap compared to the buses at home in Staffordshire. I will probably be using the buses quite regularly depending on where I live – especially to do my big food shops. When I was down there doing my BA, the one thing I made sure I bought every week was a Weekly bus pass. This was so handy, especially as I worked six days a week and also went to my lectures. It also meant that I could lend it to my housemates if they wanted to go out in the evening.
Getting a job
I know that getting a job is not always an option when you’re studying at university, but the first thing I’m going to do when I get my timetable is work out when I’m free and if I can pick up a part time job. I’ll also be carrying on with my blogging but getting another job will be a great way to meet new people and will give me a chance to get out of the house for a few hours a week. It’s also nice to know you’ve got some guaranteed income coming in at the end of each month. The first place I’m going to look for a job is at the university itself, I know that they give post graduate students first refusal of any jobs that they have available. I would love to work in the university’s library!