Our intrepid Zagreb University interns continue their series of tips for new student arrivals in the Croatian capital, with some useful money-saving tips to make that meagre student income stretch a little further.
It is one of the eternal questions facing students: how to save money, but still manage to have some fun or eat something delicious. We live in a time when time is money, we want everything right now, and we don’t want to wait for anything. Then it happens that we end up with things which are not suitable for us or our wallet. Sometimes it is good to slow down a little bit.
Here are 10 tips to save a little cash during your student life in Zagreb.
- Buy a ticket for the tram/bus
This might seem a ridiculous place to start as, rather than saving money, we are already spending. Maybe the transport company ZET’s motto will make this clearer: “A ride without a ticket/pass – the most expensive ride. “A pass for a bus and tram costs HRK 4 (for up to 30-minute trip) and HRK 10 (up to 90 minutes). Monthly student pass costs HRK 100. If you get caught without the pass, you can be charged up to HRK 800, which is, we believe, way more than you planned to spend on public transport in a month.
As we said in the beginning, we all live a fast life, and often we don’t have time, for example, to have a proper meal. But if you want to spend less money, try to cook for yourself. It will take 30, 60, or 90 minutes of your day, but during the cooking, your body will get some rest. Furthermore, buy food at a discount or at the market place (if the price is lower than in stores). We are students, and we are fortunate to have mothers who send us vegetables, meat, and the rest of the groceries we need for a proper meal. Also, if you are a student, eat in student restaurants. It’s cheaper than McDonald’s, it’s more delicious than a bakery, and your stomach will be full for just HRK 6.
- Gym or gym at home?
A monthly subscription in the gym can cost you around HRK 200. That is a pretty nice amount of money you can save by working out at home. If you find this boring, you can always work out with your friend(s). Is there anything better than not leaving your home, spending time with your friends while doing something great for your body and mind? We think not.
- Where and when to watch movies
We all know that feeling when the lights in Cinestar go out, everybody stops talking, and your nose is fulled with the smell of freshly made popcorns. But, when you buy a ticket, popcorn or nachos and the soda, the price can ruin that sweet feeling. To avoid that, we recommend you to go to the cinema on My Cine Wednesday. They have a discount on movies, and you can save up to HRK 20. If you are a student or a pensioner, we recommend you get their card for a discount.
There are also ART cinemas which tickets are around HRK 25, but you can also find a movie ticket for HRK 20. If you want to save every coin, watching movies at home is a thing for you. There are many movie sites on which you can find whatever genre you want.
- Events in clubs
It would be better if you don’t spend that much money on events in night clubs. We know it is great to go out when there is a themed party or when there is some famous singer or a band. But when you add your ticket, drinks which you have to pay inside, in the end, you spend a good amount of money in just one night. So our advice would be to check Instagram or Facebook pages of night clubs to see if they charge you for an entrance in a club, and perhaps they have a list of cheap drinks. There are night clubs in Zagreb which don’t ask for money at the entrance, and there are also some student clubs which are relatively normal with prices. And also if you want to drink, buy in a store and drink at home, trust us, it’s a lot cheaper.
P.S. Don’t make so much noise, or your neighbors will call the police.
We know it’s great when someone serves you a coffee, and you enjoy with your friends, and you have a great view, but wouldn’t it be better to save money for something else? If you really can’t imagine your life without coffee, make it at home and invite your friends over. At that time you can talk more privately because nobody can hear you and you can be super relaxed.
This part is for smokers or future smokers. Now we live in a world where cigarettes are very expensive. You should try and quit, but if that’s too hard for you, there are other solutions, such as buying cheaper cigarettes. You don’t have to buy Marlboro, but you can buy Chesterfield. They even last longer when you smoke them than Marlboro. That’s one of the solutions. The second is to buy tobacco and to wrap them yourself. It’s a lot cheaper and they last longer.
Clothes are a weak spot for some people. Try clothes that you like at the store, wait for the sales and hurriedly buy it. Or you can watch when stores have a discount on online sales. Some of them (Mango and Zara) have free delivery up to a certain price, so you don’t have to pay delivery. Also, you can collect your package at the store which you put on your delivery, so you don’t have to be afraid if your post will be lost.
Also if you love clothes so much, you can buy them in the second-hand shop. It is a lot cheaper and maybe better quality. There are a lot of second-hand shops in Zagreb where you can also sell your clothes if you don’t want to wear them anymore. And after all, vintage clothes are back in fashion. Speaking of vintage clothes, ask your family if they have some old clothes so you can wear them if you are the same size. Furthermore, some stores have outlets, and they have a discount of up to 80%, which is great so that you can get great clothes at a reasonable price.
- Make a financial plan
It sounds like a cliche, but it is a good thing to do. You know how much disposable income you have at the start of the month, so write it all down. Pay attention during the week on how much money you spend and on what in particular. At the end of the month, you will see when and on what did you spend money when maybe you shouldn’t. And that is okay because we learn from our mistakes. Make sections like rent, public transport, groceries, hygiene stuff, entertainment… It will help you see how much do you spend on certain things and where you can you spend less.
- Don’t go in shopping when hungry and other shopping tips
It may seem crazy, but pay attention when you go shopping hungry rather than when you just ate. If you are going to buy things with your empty stomach, you may buy things you don’t need at the exact moment. Furthermore, make a list of the things you need to avoid purchasing unnecessary items (especially if you are hungry). Another fun fact about spending money, it is always better to pay with cash than with the card because we tend to spend less when we have actual cash in our hands. Lastly, keep an eye on discounts which every store gives once in a while. You can find a lot of things at a lower price and save money daily that way.