Alice-Azania Jarvis: 'Take a leaf out of all the Freshers' cash guides'

In The Red

There aren't many advantages in the approach of autumn, particularly if you're talking finance. This is the time when electricity bills rise, fuel bills rocket, and suddenly you find yourself in need of a new coat. Even transport costs more, as a pleasant summer walk transitions into a rain-soaked ordeal, best overcome by climbing into the nearest Tube, bus or taxi.

Still, there is one upside to autumn: the return of Freshers' Week. Not because I relish the sudden influx of drunken students in my apartment block, but of the plethora of cost-cutting guides that take over newspapers, websites and magazines. Students are, broadly speaking, broke and disorganised – like me. The result is that these guides for shopping, budgeting, housekeeping and cooking are, in fact, incredibly useful to me.

We had one such guide in The Independent a few weeks back. An assortment of well-regarded chefs was asked what they made for tea, back in their penniless days. Tristan Welch said sandwiches toasted in the microwave (I might just pass on that) and Skye Gyngell had grilled sardines (so cheap, and so underrated!). Antonio Carluccio would fry baked beans in olive oil, chilli and spring onion, which sounds just like my idea of comfort-food heaven.

I actually tear these things out of the paper and keep them in a folder. True, I might not always have the discipline to stick to the advice on offer, but my clippings can be incredibly helpful come the final week before payday.

So far as I can remember, I wasn't nearly as enterprising as a student. I certainly had no clippings file, no recipe suggestions. I did, however, have a lot of tinned tuna and a lot of hummus, which might just have got me through.

At any rate, studenthood is particularly on my mind at the moment, not least because my sister is about to complete her first week at Nottingham University. I remember my Freshers' Week with mixed emotions. Most of it was horrible, I think, though naturally you don't dare admit that at the time.

What's more, it was – perhaps ironically – incredibly expensive. When you're out of your element, you always end up spending more: eating on the hop, buying things for convenience, out of necessity. Still, it did the trick. From then on, things could only get better. And, of course, cheaper.

a.jarvis@independent.co.uk

Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown

PROMOTED VIDEO
Sport
Scunthorpe goalkeeper Sam Slocombe (left) is congratulated by winning penalty taker Miguel Llera (right)
football
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
News
i100
Travel
Tourists bask in the sun beneath the skyscrapers of Dubai
travelBritish embassy uses social media campaign to issue travel advice for festive holiday-makers in UAE
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Ashdown Group: Marketing Services Manager - (communications, testing, DM)

    £32000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Services Manage...

    Guru Careers: Finance Account Manager

    £Neg. (DOE) + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: A Finance Account Manager with...

    Ashdown Group: Java Developer - Hertfordshire - £47,000 + bonus + benefits

    £40000 - £470000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / J2EE Devel...

    Ashdown Group: Direct Marketing Manager - B2C, Financial Services - Slough

    £45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: An exciting opportunity h...

    Day In a Page

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

    Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

    The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
    Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

    Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

    The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
    Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

    The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

    Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
    La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

    Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

    The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
    10 best high-end laptops

    10 best high-end laptops

    From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
    Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

    Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

    The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
    Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

    Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

    The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
    Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

    'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

    After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
    Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

    Homeless Veterans campaign

    Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
    Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

    Meet Racton Man

    Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
    Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

    Garden Bridge

    St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
    Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

    Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

    An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
    Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

    Joint Enterprise

    The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
    Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

    Freud and Eros

    Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum