Damn Magazine

Affordable Day Out

We all need a day out ever now and then but don’t want to break our bank accounts. Find out how we managed a fun packed day out in the city, without exceeding budgets. 

Sick of spending your whole pay check in one day and then budgeting for the rest of the month? Well, here’s how you can spend like you’re budgeting without budgeting.

“I’m broke” are two words I hear frequently from students these days, and it just seems that those Saturday job don’t cover our spending habits. But I’m here to prove you wrong, so if you aren’t already taking advantage of those student perks, sign up to Uni Days now. And here’s how I kept all my spending habits without breaking the bank.

If the stress of applying for Universities or studying alone wasn’t difficult enough to handle, us students get a lot of financial responsibilities thrown at us all at once, with buying our own meals and funding nights out. That’s exactly how I felt until a couple of weekends ago. So it’s a Saturday morning, I have around £50 to my name and in need of something to do.

Based on my personal experience, here is some easy and fun way to still go out and not break the bank. First, get the bus or train into your nearest city with a shopping centre, personally I used my student saver bus pass on an Arriva bus into Leicester. However, any of you with access to an NUS card I advise taking advantage of the 40% of with Virgin Train tickets. Once off your favoured transport head straight to the shopping centre. I’m positive you are in need of some intense retail therapy.

Once of the bus, I hit all my favourite shops, even the ones without the sales. There’s countless shops now that you can get discounts at with just your typical student ID. How could you miss out a 10% off at Topshop or JD Sports? And not to mention the shops you can get discounts at with an NUS card. Saunter a pair of news shoes round school with 10% off at Office, and pair it with a new outfit from ASOS with 10% off everything. With the end of school approaching I felt I was in need of a treat but I managed to keep my bank account happy too. And without the bank of mum or dad, how will we ever manage it? Well, with an extra 10% off sale items I got two new tops for only £9. Nothing beats a meal out after some intense therapy. Maybe apart from the meal without its cost.

It’s time to think again! If you haven’t been living under a rock, I’m sure you’ve heard of the Peri-Peri master Nando’s. With no meal apart from the sharing platters over £10, Nando’s is one of the best places for us students to eat. These prices are good enough for our bank accounts without any discounts. And not to mention the food is amazing. Add to your meal with sides that are no more than £2.50. It doesn’t stop there, bottomless soft drinks for just £2.90. Personally, I had the butterfly chicken, creamy mash and a bottomless diet coke. Coming towards the end of the day and I’ve managed to spend only £22.15. And if Peri-Peri doesn’t take your fancy, you could try Zizzi’s with 40% off meals with an NUS card or Yo! Sushi with 25% off.

Finally, let your dinner go down with a movie and some popcorn. If you’re too full to enjoy that then enjoy those student prices. I was even luckier than this with just £5 for Odeon cinema tickets and then only £7 for the fancy seats. To make my bank account even happier, I stopped at a corner shop for snacks rather than paying the crazy cinema prices. I could have ended up spending more on food than my actual tickets. And cinemas actually allow us to do this, I’ve been sneaking my popcorn in since I was twelve. Everyone loves the cinema, from seeing the latest films before anyone else to a different sort of night out with friends. But what takes away from that is the electronic digits on the mini screen that fill us with regret, when you hand over your card to the staff member. However, yet again being a student pays off.

A whole day out, four huge spending opportunities and I still have my pay check. Gone are the days of waiting for the end of the month to go out. Travel to shopping to a meal to finally a movie at a final total of £36.15. Say goodbye to budgets and the shame of a family loan.

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