The Five Stages of Graduating

Progressing through university, the widely accepted and promoted mentality is “I can’t wait to finish”, “4/3/2/1 more years to go”, “Can’t wait until I’m done!” etc. There may be feelings of relief and pride that come with graduation, but there is also one slightly confusing feeling that no one warns you about: grief. I can vouch for that. Now, either I am a rare breed of nerd OR this is something others may be struggling with… the struggle is real in the real world (I’ll get my coat). Read more

How to live life (survive) on a student budget: Part 4

With uni finished for the semester and for some of us forevaaaa, it’s high time we start learning how to be adults. Or, at least, learn how to pretend we’re adults. “Adults” being those weird far-away specimens that can be found in their natural habitat doing adult-like stuff, you know, running errands, hitting up Coles and Woolies, banking cheques (livin the dream). Read more

How to live life (survive) on a student budget: Part 3

I was flabbergasted recently when a friend and I calculated how much money we each respectively spend on coffee (particularly during heavy assessment time- you know what I’m talking about). I won’t share the amount because, truthfully, it’s a little embarrassing… particularly when I scrimp so much on the necessities (see part 1 and 2- food and hygiene, and parts to come- the roof over my head and things to fill the roof over my head). Then again, it can be argued that when you’re a student, coffee is a necessity. 

dariacoffee

Regardless, it all adds up and on a student budget, coffee can start to dehydrate your wallet as well as your body. That’s why I turn to coffee loyalty cards, you know, those things you’ve collected but that sit unused in your wallet. Use them. Seriously. When you drink as much coffee as I do (and I know many of you do), these really do make a difference.

So here it is. My breakdown of the best budget bean offerings on campus.

  • Coco Cozy at Kelvin Grove does one free coffee- any size so go wild, kids!- for every nine purchased. They even offer a complimentary meal if you manage to fill 5×20 stamp cards- that’s one meal after 100 coffees (crazy if you think about it but technically still a free meal).
  • The gang at Pantry Gardens Point are incredibly generous and offer five free coffees for every 19 paid for. Props to you, Pantry.
  • Beadles at Kelvin Grove do the regular one free for every ten which sounds less awesome after Pantry’s impressive offer but hey, it’s conveniently close to the library so it still has that going for it.
  • Boys House of Coffee, Kelvin Grove serves up a quality coffee but don’t offer loyalty cards (yes, I asked). I sometimes deem the coffee that worth it and treat myself to one without a stamp though, so it’s up to you.

coffeecards

Next week I transform into a magician and achieve the impossible, making furniture appear out of thin air for zero dollars. Yes, you heard it, folks. Stay tuned for part four.

Now for my disappearing act… Vamoose *disappears magically into thin air*. Cue applause.

How to live life (survive) on a student budget: Part 1

If you’re anything like me, you return to uni after the holidays with an exhausted body and an equally exhausted wallet. Yes, uni holidays may mean a break for our brains but they certainly don’t mean a break for our wallets. In fact they mean exactly the opposite.

To deal with a significantly dehydrated bank account, I implemented my own “age-of-entitlement-is-over”-style budget. And being the generous person that I am, I’ve decided to share my top budget tips/life hacks with you all.

So, without further ado, I present to you part ONE of how to live life (survive) on a student budget. 

1) Food: grocery shop strategically

You may think that simply hitting up the Fresh Food People when they are having their ‘down down’ sales (am I getting mixed up here?) is enough to lower the grocery bill. But when you’re on a student budget, relying on store-wide sales isn’t enough. You have to bid adieu to those $9-a-pop fancy yoghurts and that $11 bag of nuts. My grocery list for smart student staples is as follows:- 

1 x bulk bag of carrots: $1.99 at Coles, $1.88 at Woolworths (disclaimer: this post is not sponsored by one supermarket brand over another, you can make your own educated choice on the best option here) 

Mi Goreng: $3.17 for a packet of 5 sachets, 70c for a single serving. This student staple goes a long way. I have also heard from a reliable source that if you’re feeling a little fancy and want to jazz things up, garnish with parmesan for a 5 star meal… don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it. 

1kg bag of home brand pasta + 700g spaghetti sauce: $3.14. A humble old favourite at a surprisingly low price. 

A dozen eggs: $2.29. Breakfast, lunch and dinner sorted with one ingredient- what more could you want? 

185g of homebrand tuna: 89c. Winner winner, tuna dinner.

900g homebrand muesli ($3.29) + 1L homebrand skim milk ($1.08): $4.37. Roughly one week’s breakfast sorted. Plus a few cheeky pre/post-gym feeds. 

South Cape “entertaining selections” cheese platter: $14.99. Because we’re not plebians, guys. 

QUT budget blog groceries

Stay tuned for the next edition of How to live life (survive) on a student budget… 

Coming soon to an Internet near you: how to furnish your space at a cost of $0 (literally), how to slice $5 of your coffee expense bill every 2 weeks, secret extra ways to collect cash, and why it’ll save you big $$ to put a salad on your face.

Editor’s note: during Anti-Poverty Week at QUT from 13 – 15 October, we’ll have plenty of info and stalls for students seeking some money-realted guidance!

Starting a new semester: a clean slate

It’s the start of a new season; trees are sprouting greenery, flowers are blossoming, birds are chirping, the air is filled with something that smells vaguely familiar… ssh, close your eyes, take a good whiff. What’s that smell?… Ah, that’s it. It’s the smell of a clean slate. With a dash of hope, a hint of change and a sprinkling of deluded optimism. 

It’s that time of the year, boys and girls and undecideds. Now, I’m not talking about that “join a gym”, “go paleo” clean slate codswallop (cause we all know come day three of said new lifestyle you’ll be back stuffing your face with paleo-prohibited dairy products and avoiding the gym like the plague). No, I’m talking about the start of a new semester. 

Whether you’re an uncorrupted, optimistic freshman or a fourth-year about to tackle their final semester while trying to get in the QUT spirit and ready themselves for the real world (thanks, QUT), there’s nothing quite like the start of a zesty fresh semester. 

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The Beauty of a Double Degree

In my eyes, studying a double degree is pretty much the greatest thing ever. The beauty of a double degree? Double the career opportunities and knowledge but not at double the time or cost! It’s kind of like being Hannah Montana/ Miley Stewart- without that whole teenybopper popstar gig and creepy Billy Ray Cyrus dad situation. You’ve got the best of both worlds i.e. law student by day, creative writing student by night. It’s a very mysterious, dangerous double secret agent lifestyle- or I like to think it is. 

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Your guide to a social life during the semester

Week 1-4:
Isn’t student life so fabulous? Work a few shifts, attend a few classes here and there, and spend the rest of the time doing, well, whatever you please. Coffee dates before tutorials, brunch with your pals after a lecture, partying on down at (insert current ‘hip’ bar of choice) after your afternoon work shift. I totally have this whole life/time management/multi-tasking thing down. Look at me, Mum, I’m a fully-functioning adult! I know how to balance work, university AND social commitments. GO ME.

Is there a way I can do this for the rest of my life? No, really, has someone come up with a way of being a professional student yet? Because I’m starting to think the 9-5 Monday-Friday career life might not be for me. Twelve contact hours per week suits me just fine, you know, being an in-demand full-time social butterfly and all. I’ve got to spread my wings and fly.

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