Broke-Ass Student Stories

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As this end of this campaign draws near, we decided to share our favourite Broke-Ass Student stories with you one last time. Thanks to everyone who submitted, and we hope you get some laughs out of these!

Broke-Ass Student Story #1 – “Once I ate a chilli to get a free drink… and I almost died.”

Broke-Ass Student story #2 – “…I walked around UNSW IGA for almost 30 minutes looking for something substantial that only cost $0.70. After a pretty wild weekend my bankcard decided to disappear midway through Saturday night leaving me card-less and cashless for the next week until my new card arrived. I considered getting something from the fresh produce section, maybe a banana or apple but without a scale to weigh the fruit I was worried I would get to the counter and the $0.70 wouldn’t be enough. I would’ve had to politely tell the cashier I couldn’t afford the $0.87 banana and return it to its shelf…”

Broke Ass Student Story #3: “Once I was so poor that I could only afford a $2.50 sushi roll for my dinner on my work break. I then went outside to eat it, and dropped it into a puddle. Safe to say that I went hungry for the rest of my shift…”

Broke Ass Student story #4 – For me, going to the movies just isn’t the same without popcorn, but it’s so f-ing expensive!! So when my boyfriend & I lived out of home & we couldn’t afford to purchase popcorn at the cinemas, we thought we had a clever idea… One day when we had money we bought a large popcorn (the type in the rectangular cardboard box) & after eating it, folded the box up & took it home. From then on, every time we went to the movies we would make popcorn at home, put it into the recycled box & sneakily walk in to the movies looking like we had paid! Desperate times, calls for desperate measures people!!

Broke Ass Student Story #5: Once I was so broke that I could only afford food and essentials when I went for my weekly grocery shop. Unfortunately for me, halfway through the week I ran out of shampoo and conditioner. I had no idea what to do so I used soap and moisturiser instead… If you’re wondering whether this tactic works – it doesn’t

Broke-Ass Student Story #6: One time I was so broke that I ended up having to choose between getting my pink slip and filling my car up with petrol. I ended up deciding to pay for my pink slip, and tried to see how long I could go for on an empty tank. The same day I was approved for my pink slip my car broke down. Also being seriously broke, I hadn’t paid my phone bill so I couldn’t call anyone for help. I had to wait until a nice South African couple came past and let me use their phone. They brought me petrol and accidentally flooded my tank, so I had to wait two hours for a tow truck to come and ended up being three hours late for work. Having missed half of my only shift that week, the cycle of poverty continued (and I still haven’t filled up my tank).

Broke-Ass Student Story #7 – “I’m so broke right now I am eating tears flavoured 2 minute noodles with a side of disappointment.”

Broke-Ass Student Story #8 – One day I was too poor to afford lunch, so I snuck into my friend’s marketing lecture to try and distract myself from being hungry. The lecturer was trying to demonstrate satisfaction, and how your levels dip after obtaining something. The lecturer asked if anyone wanted to participate in a experiment which involved eating chocolate. Naturally, I put my hand up. The lecturer was trying to prove that after your 10th bite of chocolate, your satisfaction levels dip and you don’t want to eat any more. Sadly for her, I ate the entire family-sized block of chocolate in front of the entire cohort and completely disproved her point. Soz mate, but cravings overrule psychology theory this time.

Broke-Ass Student Story #9 – Once I was so broke my dinner consisted of the scungy end piece of bread with the last drops of tomato sauce from the bottle. I used to ride my bike to work and “borrow” milk from the lunch room fridge, I’d pour it into my bike water bottle so I could have a cup of tea at home with the tea bags I also “borrowed”

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Broke-Ass Student Essential: The Art of Budgeting

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I can already see you yawning but believe me Broke-Ass Student life is SO much easier if you know how to budget what little money you have. You may even be able to SAVE (gasp, save money?!) yes save.  Budgeting sounds like a lot of work right? Wrong. Technology has made it easy for us, there are so many different websites that offer. Mint.com is a website that literally does the entire thing for you: it keeps track of all of your spending, categorizes it for you, analyzes it and alerts you if anything is amiss, like if you’re spending more than you’re earning (Guiltyyyyy). If you use the full functionality of the site, it can keep track of everything from where most of your money is going to on your credit card and rent. And it’s FREE.

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https://www.mint.com/ makes it so easy it so easy to keep of every dime and make money decisions you feel good about! You can set goals, whether it be a new car (you’re obviously not that broke) or get out of debt (that’s better) just enter how much money you need, set a date and link your goal to specific accounts so it’s easy to stick to your plan. It has visuals as well so you can keep up to date and track your progress.

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Goals give you something to look forward to, so you keep saving money, creating new goals and enjoying the rewards.

Mint.com provides you with so much detail!! It will automatically separate a $102 ATM withdrawal into $100 cash and $2 fee. And you can easily separate out purchases from one transaction into different categories, just in case you buy groceries, clothing and gifts all at one store.

And these are just SOME of the tools available, you can track your investments, set alerts for bills, you can also get the app which means you can see where you’re money is going while out and about.

Watch the tutorial video below to get a little more insight:

And remember it is FREE! Happy budgeting y’all.

-KL

How to make the most of your university life as a Broke-Ass Student

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Hey Broke-Ass Students! We’ve compiled a list of our most effective tips and tricks for you to make the most of your student life. We’ve found that there’s nothing worse than being unprepared for an assessment or exam, so from our own personal experiences we have written this comprehensive list for you.

  1. Get a calendar and a diary

In order to be organised for the semester, you’re going to need to write down all your important dates somewhere where you can see them. Not only will this help you to keep the important dates fresh in your mind, but you’ll also be able to schedule your life around them. We recommend putting the calendar above your desk where you study, and keeping your diary in your bag. The best diary’s for uni are the ones that display the week as opposed to those that have entire pages for a day so you can keep track of what’s going on.

  1. DO YOUR READINGS

This one seems obvious, but you’d be surprised how much they help you organise your ideas and thoughts prior to assignments. If you can’t do an entire week’s worth of readings, write down 10 key points from that week’s work (including lectures). This will help you easily find notes from that week when it comes down to exam time.

  1. Start thinking about your assignments early

Nothing worse than the night before an assignment where you have no idea what to write, as well as no creative ideas. Be prepared and jot down a few ideas two weeks before your assignment is due. This will ensure that you have a clearer flow when it comes to crunch time.

  1. Make the most of your time at uni

Ask questions, go to lectures and join societies. If you find it hard to physically make yourself go to lectures, organise to meet your friends for coffee and lunch. Get a lecture buddy and force each other to go!

  1. Have a good time and enjoy yourself

Uni isn’t forever, and we’re all here for each other during the good times and the bad. Make the most of your free time and relaxed timetable while it lasts. Being social and friendly will ensure you make some great uni friends for life.

-GL

Why IKEA is the go-to destination for Broke-Ass Students moving out of home

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Okay so their big ticket items, lounges, cupboards, dining tables etc. are still not the cheapest and if you’re a truly Broke Ass Student we’d still recommend jumping on eBay or Gumtree to grab some things second hand, however IKEA’s smaller items; crockery, cutlery, storage are awesome quality and fit perfectly into the BAS budget.

There’s a good chance if your moving out of home you are moving into something significantly smaller. This is where IKEA’s storage options will have you screaming ‘Hallelujah’! Not only are they stylish but they’re awesomely priced also!

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All these options allow you to hide your shits and pieces for less than $20!

TUPPERWARE! If you haven’t seen the infamous green-lidded food containers well it’s time to head to IKEA. You get 17 items for just $4.79. There you go, all your food storage issues are solved.

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If you’re still struggling to find some second hand big-ticket items online IKEA is definitely your second port of call, I mean, the cheapest bed frame is just $39!! HOW DO THEY MAKE A PROFIT ON THAT?! Your entire bedroom needs in one place; you can get cute bedside table lamps for just $9.99 and the NATTLJUS bed linen for $14.99.

You can get the FÖRNUFT 24-piece cutlery set for just $9.99! “I don’t need enough cutlery for 6 people” I hear you say, well if you’re going to be like that then head somewhere that sells separates (K-Mart maybe) and have fun doing lots of washing up ;). You can also get a 6 pack of glasses for $1.99 and the DINERA plates for just $1.99 each!! Okay, I’m beginning to sound like a LOWES ad (If you’re not Australian: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WdwK_4nef_s).

Anyway, if you’re a BAS about to move out of home we strongly suggest heading to IKEA for your basics – you will not be disappointed. (Unless you don’t have a car, in that case you’ll be severely disappointed at the amount of things you want to take home but can’t carry/fit on the bus).

-KL

Easy Ways to Earn Money Online

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Classic Stock photos of people earning money online. That could be you, don’t you want that to be you? 

  1. Online Surveys

An increasingly popular way for students to make money is to fill out online surveys in their spare time. Research companies are always recruiting new members to answer surveys and test new products.

For a few minutes of form filling, you can make a couple of dollars which is paid as cash or in rewards. You can make up to $5 for some surveys!

A few good ones to try are: Toluna, PineconeVivatic, The OpinionPanel, MySurvey, Valued Opinions, SurveyBods, Your Word,Global Test Market, Hiving, PanelBase, Harris Poll, Opinion Outpost,iPoll, YouGov, New Vista.

Also sign up for Swagbucks.com which rewards you for surveys as well as simply surfing the web, watching videos and playing games.

  1. Start a blog

Starting a blog can give you a chance to make some extra cash just by writing about something you love. Make your blog specialise in something you love and are interested in. You can review products that relate to your subject and if the blog gets popular these companies will begin paying you for reviewing these products. These are called sponsored posts. Who knows, you could eventually get to multimillionaire status like these bloggers: http://addicted2success.com/news/the-top-10-famous-multi-million-dollar-bloggers/

  1. Ads on your blog

When starting out you can choose to put Google Ads on your blog, earning you around $3 to $4 a week. Doesn’t sound like much but that’s with lame content and no followers, if you put some effort into your content and promotion you could earn up to $5 a day ($35) a week after a few months. And like mentioned it #2 this might snow ball and you could be losing that Broke-Ass Student status and become Multi-Millionaire Student.

  1. Sell stuff on Gumtree/Ebay

Everyone’s best friends when it comes to getting rid of junk are eBay and Gumtree. Online auctions on eBay are a sure-fire way to turn that sleeveless jacket (which came in and out of fashion in a week) into hard cash.

Some eBay sellers look at trends and try to predict what will be big ahead of the market. If you are good and don’t mind taking a risk then you can buy early in bulk and sell on when the craze hits. Gumtree allows you to set the price and generally people are happy to pick it up in person saving you a trip to the post office.

  1. Review music for money

If you love music, make it your business by reviewing unsigned bands and artists for cash. I know… we couldn’t believe it either. It can take a while to build up your reputation but some users of the site have said that they have earned $70 a month. This may not sound like much but if it’s something you enjoy then it shouldn’t be hard work and is another thing for your CV. Money you earn will be in $US but anyone can sign up and review.

To get started, head over to Slicethepie now .

-KL

How to land that coveted job

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1. Before you even begin the search, clean up your social media accounts

Yes, that is right fellow Broke-Ass Students. We strongly suggest you trawl through all your old tweets, Facebook photos and even Google your name a few times to see what comes up. We suggest using the rule ‘What would Grandma think’. Unless Granny is a party animal herself, you can probably untag yourself from those sweaty club photos from last week at 3AM.  The company will look you up, so make sure your pages and accounts are all squeaky clean and professional.

2. Do some thorough research on your company

Not only will this help you write your cover letter and the first interview, but it will help you gain a better understanding of what the company values are – and whether you would be a good fit. It will also help you to answer questions such as ‘why do you want to work for us’. Additionally, you will be able to use your research into how to present yourself. You should look up the company pages, as well as the executives and employees in your desired team. LinkedIn and Twitter are great places to start for this.

3. Make sure your resume and cover letter are error-free

Nothing screams ‘Do not hire me’ more than a resume full of spelling mistakes! Although this seems painfully obvious, recruiters say that nothing will make them throw a resume in the bin faster than one with errors. If you need help, get a friend that is highly attentive to detail and spelling to look over it for you.

4. Reply to all communication promptly

If the recruiter e-mails you saying you have an interview (hooray – congratulations to you!) reply as quickly and efficiently as you can to set up a date. Make sure that you confirm the place and time of the interview a few days prior to the date, just so you don’t get caught out at the wrong place.

5. Be immaculately (and appropriately) presented for the interview!

Make sure that for whichever industry you are applying for, that you are dressed appropriately. Don’t wear a suit to a barista interview (unless it is a specifically tuxedo-only exclusive coffee shop – but we doubt it) and don’t wear a t-shirt and jeans to a paralegal interview. Make sure that your hair is well groomed, that your clothes are ironed and you are wearing your best smile.

6. Ask lots of questions!

Asking questions demonstrates that you are interested in the company. Questions we suggest asking are:

  • What is the company culture like?
  • What is a challenge I may face in this situation, and what is the best way to overcome it?
  • What do you enjoy about working for this company?
  • What are you looking for in the ideal candidate?
  • What does an average day in this position look like?
  • What are the opportunities for growth in the company?
  • Where is the company headed?
  • Are there any weaknesses in my application? How could I overcome these?
  • When should I expect to hear from you?

Don’t forget to ask some industry-specific questions. Remember to thank the interviewer for their time.

6. Follow up

Ensure that you follow up directly after your interview. Remind the interviewer (or HR recruiter) of your main points, and state that you look forward to hearing from them shortly.

7. What’s next?

If you do get the job (Or have a second interview)- CONGRATULATIONS! You have moved past Broke-Ass Student status and are now into the real world!

If you don’t – Don’t feel disappointed, you tried your best. There will be other opportunities. Make sure to e-mail the company, thank them for their time and notify them that you would definitely be open to any future career opportunities with them. You are awesome and an opportunity is sure to arise soon!

-GL

Broke and Beautiful: Beauty Tips

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Just because you’re broke doesn’t mean you have to skimp out on treating your skin, hair or generally just looking awesome! Here are our favourite products to keep you beautiful on a budget.

Vaseline: Perfect for skin softening on dry problem areas such as the elbows, knees and back of the legs. It can also help for dry lips, nappy rash, chaffing and insect bites. If you have short, thin lashes try applying a small amount 10 minutes before curling your lashes and you’ll see a noticeable difference, plus it keeps them from breaking!

Bonus: Top make-up artists use Vaseline to give models that desirable dewy glow. Use it sparingly on the face though as it is quite thick and gluggy. Because it’s so thick you only need to use a small amount at a time meaning it’ll last you longer.

Aspirin: Have a red and swollen breakout? The acetylsalicylic acid in aspirin is great for oily, acne-prone skin. If you dissolve three to five uncoated aspirin in water and apply to red areas and blemishes for 20 minutes the aspirin can penetrate the pores reducing redness and promoting healing.

Apple Cider Vinegar: The liquid of the gods. Dandruff? Digestion problems? Dry skin or eczema? ACV can help them all. Mix 1:1 parts ACV and water into a spray bottle and spray I areas where the skin feels dry or irritated. It not only sooths the skin it even outs skin tone, kills bacteria and balances out the skins PH levels. For dandruff add ACV to your bath and gently massage your scalp for a few minutes, a few times a week and the bacteria and yeast causing your flaky scalp will be gone in no time. 

Bonus: Mix a tablespoon with warm water before breakfast each morning to help stimulate your digestion and purify your blood!

Egg: This staple protein is a cheap and easy way to mend that dry brittle hair AND give you an instant face lift. Create a hair mask from one egg, a teaspoon of honey and a tablespoon of olive oil and apply to clean wet hair. Cover with a shower cap and leave for an hour before washing out and styling as normal. If you’re feeling a little dull from your late night study sessions and those bags underneath your eyes are starting to become a suitcases try whipping up some egg whites until they become a white froth. Apply the froth generously to the face and neck and let it set for twenty minutes. Moments after applying it you’ll start feeling the ‘tightening’ effects. Rinse with water when finished and head on out with your new bright and tight complexion.

Olive Oil & Sugar: Need to exfoliate fast? Open a sugar packet and add a few drops of olive oil, gently apply to your face and rinse with tepid water.

Bonus: Mix instant oatmeal and water for another wonderful homemade exfoliating mask with the added moisturising benefit of oats.

We chose our favourite tips from: http://www.brokeass-student.com/beauty-on-a-budget-some-of-my-favorite-beauty-secrets/ head there for more helpful beauty tips on a budget.

-KL

Why it benefits to be a HEALTHY Broke-Ass Student

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Screen Shot 2014-10-03 at 2.07.09 PM Can having a healthy diet actually save you money?

According to researchers the answer is YES (Flynn et al. 2013 – thought we’d throw that one in there to show how science-y and smart our tips are.)

Ways in which having a healthy lifestyle can save you money include:

– Eliminate your expensive vices

The number one expensive vice that drains your bank account and damages your health is smoking. If you kick your 10-a-day smoking habit you could save yourself over $2500 a year! If you’re not a smoker cutting out other vices like soft drinks or chocolate can have an impact on your wallet and your waistline. If you are a daily drinker of Coca-Cola you may be spending around $1200 over the course of a year, or if you cave into your daily 3 o’clock chocolate bar craving you could be spending around $500 a year. Think of all the $3 schooners (or rent, whatever) you could spend that money on.

– Cut down on transport costs

Car maintenance, petrol, parking, and public transport fees are all daily expenses that can be drastically cut with a changes in your lifestyle. – Try riding your bike places – Not only is it good for your overall fitness but you can usual lock your bike up right out the front. Talk about convenience. – Park further away from your destination (to avoid paid parking) and walk. – Get off a few stops earlier – With Opal cards being introduced getting off a few steps earlier may save you money in the long run. When you’re fit and healthy these suggestions do not seem like the worst idea ever because not are you saving money but you are getting your daily dose of exercise which you love.

– Reduce medical costs

By being healthy you may reap the benefits of looking and feeling better but losing a few kg’s and incorporating exercise into your daily routine could also help your sleep improve, reduce the regularity of headaches and boost your immune system. This will, in turn, save you the money you may normally spend on over the counter medicines. With a healthy immune system you a less likely to get sick, therefore saving both time and money avoiding a visit to the doctor.

– Reduce monthly food bills

Switching pre-packaged, processed foods for homemade meals can have a huge impact on your monthly food spending. For the price of a pre-packaged soup that would last you two days, you can buy the ingredients to make a portion of soup that would last you five. Not mention the savings you’d gain from giving up or cutting down on expensive takeout. A takeaway meal can cost anywhere from two to five times the amount a home made meal, and packs on almost double the amount of calories.

What’s more, switching to fresh, homemade meals can also significantly improve your body’s processing of the food. It has been scientifically demonstrated that your body prepares for the intake of foods during the cooking phase and can thus digest them a lot better.

While a healthy diet is thought to be expensive, if certain food are cut out (unhealthy snacks, desserts, soft drinks, and some meat) a healthy diet high in fruits and vegetables can help you save money and help your waistline all while preventing chronic disease!

References: Flynn MM, Reinert S, Schiff AR. A Six-Week Cooking Program of Plant-Based Recipes Improves Food Security, Body Weight, and Food Purchases for Food Pantry Clients. Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition, 2013; 8 (1): 73 DOI: 10.1080/19320248.2012.758066

-KL

How to make other Broke-Ass Student friends

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One of the most common complaints we hear as students (particularly local ones that don’t move out of home) are ‘I’m not making any friends at uni!’

Well well well lonely little student – aren’t you in a pickle! Not to worry, because we have the best tips for you to make the most of your uni days in a flash.

Talk to people in your tutorials

There is no better way to make friends at university than by socialising with people in tutorials. We (the founders of Broke-Ass Students) met this way! One day we were put into a group together and we just clicked.

Talk to people before, after and during your tutorial. There is nothing that bonds people more than the mutual hate (or love) of a subject! Obviously no one will talk to you if you are being the negative one in the corner, so get yourself out there and start chatting. What do you have to lose? 

Join a society

You are bound to make solid connections with other students if you already have a common interest! Societies are great because they connect you with other students through a mix of events and social gatherings. Societies like the Media Society and Business Society have balls so when this event comes up, get super dressed up and make some cool new friends!

Join a sports club

Not only are you bound to make friends this way, you’re also learning crucial teamwork skills that future potential employers are looking for. This is a fun and cool way to meet people, and you’re definitely going to bond when you go for celebratory drinks at the local pub after your game!

These are our three top tips for making friends at uni. Use them wisely Broke-Ass Students, and you’re bound to make friends in no time!

GADGETS & GAMES: Cheap for Aussie Students

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In need of some new gadgets or games, but don’t want to splash too much cash? Buying electronics can often break the budget when you’re a Broke-Ass Student. Thanks to shopping express students can get discounts on these products but just entering the code at the checkout. Head to http://www.shoppingexpress.com.au/

Enter the promo code when you checkout online.
15% off gaming: STUDENTGAMINGDISCOUNT
20% off notebooks: STUDENTNOTEBOOKDISCOUNT
15% off storage: STUDENTSTORAGEDISCOUNT

-KL