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I am tight. I have often been told that. I will do nearly anything to avoid paying high prices. And here I am to share some of my tips with you. Whether you are a student or not, give them a go. I bear no responsibility if they fail! This opinion is ever so slightly tongue in cheek, so don't take my suggestions the wrong way.
~~~~~~~~~~~ "I'M FIFTEEN, HONEST!" ~~~~~~
Now I'm quite small, and have been told I have "one of those faces which can be either young or old". So what do I do but take advantage of this fact? Let's face it, I will not be able to get away with paying child fares for too much longer (although my sister can if she tries, and she's 25- she will kill me for saying that!) so I may as well make the most of it.
You have to be careful trying to get away with being 15. I have a hair scrunchie that looks like a big zebra which I tend to wear when I am paying child. Or else I play all the tunes on my mobile phone. Or talk as though I am really thick (don't have to try too hard at that).
Don't forget to memorise an appropriate date of birth (currently you need to have been born in 1986 to be 15) and change it every year. It can become very confusing to remember your real date of birth, your date of birth for over 21 clubs and your "child" date of birth. It is one way of practising my basic maths skills!
I am 19 now and must have saved well over £100 by paying child. That includes theme park entrance fares, coach tickets, train tickets and bus fares as well as many other bits and bobs. This may not be 100% legal, and if you are ancient you will not get away with it, but it has worked for me.
The best time ever was when I asked for a child day tube ticket in London, then proceeded to pay for it with er, my credit card. And still got away with it.
~~~~~~"I AM NOT PUTTING UP WITH THAT!"~~~~~
I have also been told that I have an attitude. I don't think I do, I just stick up for myself and refuse to be ripped off. If someone gives you bad service or is rude, complain. If you get a green crisp in your multipack, write an indignant letter. Once I was at my Nan's and whilst I was pouring out my cereral, out fell a dead fly. Did we complain? Of course we did, and after an indepth investigation from the Sainsburys hit squad, my Nan was given £20 in vouchers. So always complain. In fact you could make a career out of it. Buy a load of second class stamps and spend an afternoon going through your food cupboards and writing a letter to the manufactruers of all the products. Sit back and wait. A few weeks later you should recieve lots of nice vouchers and replacement products.
~~~~"BUT I ALWAYS PAY A QUID FOR THIS TEN MILE JOURNEY!"~~~~
Now then, no students should have need to get taxis in the day time. Unless you are disabled, in which case I will let you off. But at night, when the public transport has stopped, you need to get home somehow. Ok you have several options here. You could walk home. Fine if you live less than a mile away, but you aint going to want to walk much further than that. So, what do you do to save those extra pennies?
* DON'T GET BLACK TAXIS*
They are a rip off. Fine for business men and the well off, but for the average student, the prospect of having a fare surplus of several quid before you have even got in is terrifying. Many a time I have sat in the back of a cab feeling sick as I watch the money tick up. I am sure some of those taxi drivers go the long way around on purpose. Grrrrr.
* Run Away
I have only run away from a taxi once (and it wasn't my fault honest! The people I was sharing with said they would pay and then they ran, so I had little choice but to follow). I do not really recommend this as a course of action, as it is not fair on the taxi driver, and they will often get the company to boycott your house. But if you *are* going to do this, don't wear ridiculous heels, and only do it when you are staying away from home.
* Other tactics
Use your wily ways. The fare to my flat is supposed to be a tenner, but you must be joking if you think I am paying a crisp tenner to get home. I am proud to say that I have never paid that ridiculous amount to get home. So how do I do this?
-You could chat up the driver. I do not usually do this, although if you are with a friend and there is a nice taxi driver it is worth a try. Do not do this if you are on your own. I remember one slimy taxi driver saying he would let me have the ride for a fiver if I gave him a kiss. If he had been fit I may not have minded, but as it was, he was horrible.
-You can say something like- "This normally costs me £4". Do not underestimate too much, or he will know you are blagging. Say this with a totally straight face, and this may work.
-The best success I have ever had with blagging a taxi fare came about through necessity. I was stuck in a dodgy bit of town with a friend, we only had a few quid left between us. So, when a taxi pulled up beside us I put my acting skills to work. I wheezed and heaved, and my friend gave him the story of me having a terrible asthma attack and we needed to get home and we were scared..etc etc etc...guess who got home for just a few quid that night ;-)
~~~~~~~"DON'T YOU KNOW WHO I AM????"~~~~~~~~
When going out clubbing, you do not want to be faced with a huge queue. You also do not want to be hit with a hefty entrance fee. But you *do* want to go to classy joints and not the local meat market. So, what is a girl to do? Hmmmm. Ok, two ideas here.
*Pretend to be someone famous
Has anyone ever told you you look like Hannah from S Club 7, or Zippy from Rainbow? Make the most of it. The only people I have been likened to is Betty Boop and Lolly. I have used this tactic only once. A friend and myself were in Brighton and really could not be bothered to wait for hours in the cold and pay to get into a club. So up we marched to the front.
"Hi. We're Mousse T"(the ones who made the club "classic"- Horny) Whether they believed us or not, they let us in and we didn't have to pay. Faceless dance acts are a good bet as no-one knows what they look like. Saying you're Britney Spears, on the other hand, is not a great idea.
* Get in with the right people When you do go out, get to know the DJ's, the bar men, the bouncers and especially the dealers (joke). Then you can get on the guest list, get free drinks, go to after parties and all sorts of lovely stuff like that. As long as you are female, friendly and reasonably attractive (aka a slapper), this is not hard to do.
~~~~~~"ONE FOR EVERY DAY OF THE WEEK"~~~~~~~
A partner can be a highly useful source in saving you money. Of course, I am not suggesting you use people, but if you have a boyfriend with a penthouse flat and a BMW, it sure beats getting the bus and living in halls! So, if you are serious about saving money, have several partners. Here are a few suggestions.
1) Someone in IT. This is what my b/f does, and it is great as it means I have a laptop and a PC and a personal engineer when things go wrong. It is a lot better than trudging to the university computer rooms, as they smell and are full of geeks.
2) A chef. Then you can have great delicious meals cooked for you and go and eat in his restaurant every night instead of cooking economy beans on toast in halls.
3) A DJ. As mentioned before, you will get free entry to clubs and events. You are better off going for a Judge Jules-esque type rather than Darren at Zeus (or any other tacky local club). The bigger the DJ, the more perks, such as a holiday home in Ibiza, private planes, etc. Must be worth a try.
Other suitable occupations for a partner to be in: Drug dealing, Artist, Child Carer, Car Salesman, a fashion designer.
Unsuitable occupations: McDonalds crew member (but I suppose even they could get you free meals), fellow student, model, factory worker.
I know I could have done a boring opinion about how using your NUS card can save you money, and going to the supermarket just before it closes can get you cheap food, but there are plenty of good opinions along those lines in this section already. This suggestions may be half jokey, but they DO work and I am living testimony to that. You can also have a lot of fun trying them out (especially the boyfriends)
Not sure how "safe" a lot of these suggestions are - but very funny nonetheless!!! *(grin)*. Heather
repairmanjack 13.09.2002 00:15
Great op, really made me laugh! Student cab-rides... the most crowded taxis in the world! I consider myself to be pretty tight (hell, I can peel an orange in my pocket so I don't have to share it!) but this list is inspired! Cheers, Jason.
Fiz_whiz 03.07.2002 00:35
Excellent op! Not many on the list I haven't tried here - hehehe :p Fiz