Congratulations to all students who have completed their leaving cert.Students will have recieved notification of their college places by now and  the task of  paying for accomodation and college fees is priority now.

The following  tips are based on my experience of providing student loans with the past twenty years  and also being a parent of two college students.

Tip 1

Work out  broadly the cost of your college year. Begin by tracking your spending for two to four weeks to find out where your money is  really going. Usually, just by tracking expenses, you'll start to curb expenses. In a budget sheet list scources of income such as scholarships, money from summer jobs, cash from parents as well as all your expenses.  See the average living  costs from our table below. Your course fees will be on top of your living expenses.

Tip 2

Set-up a weekly budget plan that you can work with and stick to it. Allow some flexibility for unexpected costs but a rule set a spending limit and stick to it. Put your weekly allowance into a seperate account and only draw extra monies in an emergency.

Tip 3

If you need to borrow calculate your total borrowing requirement but only draw it down in stages. Many students draw down the total loan and spend much more in the first term and often run out of money in the last term and have to rely on their parents or further borrowing. If you are in receipt of a Grant, borrowing each term will also ensure you need to borrow less.

Tip 4

Don't be fooled by interest only loans or deferred loans, as in my experience, this puts off taking responsibility and the loan just gets much larger and parents often end up paying a huge debt at the end of the term. Check out the different loans available, the APR and any other charges.

Tip 5

From time to time everyone can benefit from support so find someone you can really talk to. This person may become one of your best mentors in helping to plan your financial life, I am biased but I think, this should be your local Credit Union.

Cost of Living Guide for 2011/12

The following is a guide to the cost of living for a student in Ireland for 2011/12.

*Cost of Living for Student Renting Accommodation
 Expense   Monthly  Annual Cost
 Rent (nationally – for Dublin see below**)  287  2583
 Elec/Gas/Bins (Public Utilities)  31  275
 Food   169  1521
 Travel (Monthly Commuter Ticket)  96  864
 Books and materials  70  630
 Clothes/Medical  42


 Mobile Phone  31  279
 Social Life/Miscellaneous  129  1161
 Total   855  7691


Cost of Living for Student Living at Home
 Expense                                                      Monthly   Annual Cost
 Contribution to bills   29  261
 Food   64  576
 Travel   96  864
 Books and materials  52  468
 Clothes/Medical  42  378
 Mobile  31  279
 Social Life/Misc   129  1161
 Total   443  3987


* Sources used to produce the DIT Student Cost of Living Guide included the rental report Q4 2010; Q1 2011 CSO; Consumer price index April 2011; ESRI Quarterly Economic Commentary, Spring 2011; HEA Eurostudent Survey III (2008); HEA Study on the Costs of Participation in Higher education (2010). If referencing the Student Cost of Living Guide please cite DIT Campus Life.

Copyright © Progress Systems Limited