MONEY MATTERSIf you have any concerns please contact Sarah, your SU Welfare Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 083 206 4463
For many, starting college is a person’s first taste of living financially independent. Some students might avoid spending money on anything other than the bare necessities while others will splash on whatever their hearts desire. The key is to find a balance is creating a budget that works for you.
1. Find a bank account
In the first 5 weeks in ATU, students will be faced with opportunities to join banks who visit the college. If you do not already hold a bank account, you should definitely look into opening a bank account. There will be plenty of incentives offered but make sure to consider if there is a branch close to the college or home and consider your what banks your parents or family are a member of to make transactions easier and more efficient if you need to rely on them. Make sure you have with you proof of address, student ID and an official form of ID.
2. Your First Month
For your first month, try remembering to track your spending, keep an eye on where your money has been spent. If your spending is more than you expected, try assess what can be cut down come October.
3. Student Travel
Student travel is very accessibly in Galway. Bus Eireann, City Link, GoBus and Irish Rail all offer student rates, however they will require your student ID be present so make sure to carry it on you at all times. If you are travelling by Bus Eireann city bus, the leap card is a much cheaper alternative than using cash. So, make sure to sign up for one and you can top up in our Students Union shop on Dublin Rd campus.
The cheapest way to eat while in college is by cooking your own food, so if you don’t know how to cook, find a way to learn. Trial supermarkets to find the best-value near you. Always try plan what you’re going to cook for the week ahead before heading to the shop.
In GMIT, microwaves are supplied outside the canteen to heat up food. We also have a newly established kitchen available for students to use for food they bring from home. Bringing your own coffee/tea travel mug also gets you a discount in the canteen for teas and coffees. Having a reusable water bottle also saves money as you can refill for free throughout the day in the colleges water spouts which you will find along the corridors and in the canteen.
Not all lectures will require you to buy a book for their course. Bear in mind you will be studying many varying modules each semester and books can be expensive. If you do need to purchase a book, try avail of second hand bookstores or online versions, eBooks. ATU library also has an array of books that could be relevant to you to rent as you need to at no cost. Just always remember to return the book on time to avoid late fees! Also keep an eye out around the college for past students selling on course books.
6. Social Life
Being sensible with your mula, doesn’t mean you can’t have a good time. By being organized with your finances, you can allocate spending money for eating out, coffee dates, cinema trips and nights out and not have to suffer the consequences of being out of pocket afterwards. Sharing a taxi, transacting cash before heading out and leaving your bank card at home and also purchasing night club tickets before getting to the venue can save you a lot throughout the night. Don’t forget to always ask for a student discount as it is often not advertised everywhere and carry your student ID with you at all times.
7. Part-time job
A lot of students will have a part-time job to help boost their income, especially in the early years of college. An unforeseen benefit in taking a part-time job is that you will gain valuable experience in the working world before you are released into your profession. This is invaluable to potential employers. They love this! Get your CV drawn up, call into the career’s office in the library if you need a hand. Part-time jobs usually range from barkeeper, barista, waiting staff, tutor, shop assistant or promo. Keep the hours minimal as you still have to study and attend college while succeeding in your exams.
8. Get Help
If you do find yourself in financial difficulty, don’t be afraid to ask for help. ATU have support staff who can help you manage your finances. Your welfare officer and student services provide information on student banking, loans and general financial advice along with the student services student assistance fund (SAF) for those who need the extra help.
Tel: +353 94 9043109
Tel: +353 91 742264