7 Ways to not starve to death

James Edwards keeps you in the bank’s good books with these money-saving tips.


As far as I can tell, Jay-Z has made only two mistakes in his life; giving his daughter a name that sounds like a euphemism for a yeast infection, and proclaiming, as he once did, that life is all about cash, money and hoes. Even if we discount the fact that two of his examples are exactly the same thing, there’s little of either when you’re a student. Here are 7 easy ways to make the most of whatever is left of this month’s loan.

1. Go to the library

I know it’s full of people who find The I.T Crowd funny, but the library has also got tons of free books and other stuff which you need to get hold of to finish your degree. Cover your nose and mouth, then dive on in.

2. Do nothing, ever

Going out, especially if you live in the capital and have a taste for fruit machines (my secret shame), costs loads of money. Stay at home, where people won’t laugh at you for requesting My Humps.

3. Steal

In this era of perpetual austerity, the morality of theft for self-sustainment is hotly debated, Guardian commentators whipping out pithy one-liners all over the place. Unfortunately, bringing this up isn’t likely to help you when you get banned from Waitrose. This technique works literally everywhere, providing you remember that Jesus would have wanted you to have new disco pants.

4. Apply to the Hardship Fund

For those who are in financial difficulty, UCL run a scheme which gives you $$$$$ if you turn up and show them that you haven’t just blown your cash on ketamine. One of my roommates has conned almost £3000 out of them so far, which he has almost exclusively spent on soft furnishings and back issues of Good Housekeeping.

5. Exploit your family

Do not underestimate the power of pity – it’s kept Gareth Gates from starving since the mid-2000s, and you are no better than he. Next time you go home to Mum and Dad, put on your best Kate Moss circa 1996 (or Pete Doherty whenever) face and try and look a bit sad and dirty. It might stir them into giving you things, if they really do love you.

6. Combat your bills

This may not be applicable to the sprightly first-years reading this, but for those of us who’ve moved further out into the wilds of North London (I have to live near Tulisa now), it’s pretty hard to juggle not contracting hypothermia with being able to use electricity. However, you can alleviate the worst of your financial strain by being ruthless with even your most essential outgoings. Instead of paying for heating, try putting a jumper on and boarding up all your doors and windows to keep the draughts out. Using this tactic also stops you going outside to buy food, which will save you even more in the long run! It isn’t quite as grueling as you might expect – I’ve been subsisting on a diet of curry sauce and tears for weeks now.

7. Violence

No-one will ask you to pay your rent or your gas bill if they’re dead. WHAM! Take that, everyone!