As a sophomore fancy-living-on-a-budget veteran, I have accumulated quite a few tips up my sleeve (less kurta) which will encourage the masses (you) to live a better lifestyle without submitting to keeping a sugar daddy (no seriously, don’t do that)
1. Invest in a room fridge
A good brand-new fridge costs PKR 13000. But it helps save you so much more in the long run. Prepare meals over the weekend that taste better than the cafeteria food (anything tastes better than the cafeteria food) for less than half the price! Getting a fridge has helped me reduce my food costs by more than one-third.
Even if you go wild at the grocery store and splurge on mushrooms, jalapenos, pickled gherkins, pepperoni and French bread to complement your meals, you will still save money for that backpacking trip through Europe that you’ve been fantasizing about since you were 16.
The only downside? Your friends will call you up to ask you if your fridge is running. (“Why, yes it is.” “Then go catch it lmaooo.”)
2. Work for a startup
If you find a paid internship, amazing. But even unpaid internships at startups actually pay off. Aside from brightening up our resume, you get free merchandise, tickets, and souvenirs while getting to connect with so many brilliant minds behind the ventures. In the long run, it’s a win-win. And if you earn a permanent position and start earning, you can put that money to good use (in a saving account) Or better yet, invest in something that rhymes with Chanel (i.e. Chanel)
3. Student discounts and promos
Take advantage of student discounts and promo codes. Every university student can use their student card to get discounts on new posh startup type restaurants or the friendly neighborhood fast food joint.
Go out exploring the city when the weather’s good. The area where my campus is, is one of the safest in the city, which gives everyone the opportunity to go around walking around even late at night with a hot cup of Elaichi Chai.
5. Free concerts
Take advantage of all the free stuff in college. No-entry-ticket concerts, free promo shirts, and refreshments at inaugurations, just to name a few. Honestly, college is the one time where there is such a thing as a free lunch.
6. Animal shelter
Volunteer at the animal shelter! You do not need to go to the cinema to have a good time when you can go pet and groom a 100000 absolutely adorable kittens and puppers. If you’re in Lahore and love animals, hit up this animal rescue shelter: Todd’s Welfare Society. Bring along a bag of cat food to support them as animal shelters are a bit low on funds.
7. Fancy up your living space with fresh flowers
No decoration is fancier than the good old makeshift water-bottle vase full of fresh flowers. After my 8 am classes, I stroll around the campus picking up tulips and jasmine and whatever else that might be in bloom.
8. Make your own coffee
It’s common knowledge that college students run on coffee. When I started making my own coffee, it cost me half of what it does when I buy it from the cafeteria. Plus, it tastes so much better than the watered down version in the dining center. Pick up fun flavours and creamer combos at the grocery store and brew in your room. Stock up on vanilla icecream for cold coffee butterbeer at movie nights with the roommates. Side benefit: You can splurge on a fancy cup once a week.
9. Don’t go back home
Homesickness is tough to battle, but satisfying your wanderlust is much more fulfilling. Instead of going back home for every holiday, save the round ticket money and go on one of your college trips with your best mates (yes I will have ek adad cheeky Nandos please). College trips are the best. You will become friends with annoyingly-happy freshmen and hippie-man bunned seniors and it will be quirky and fun, just like in the movies.