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How much will it cost to live in Dublin?



Expenses & Budgeting

Accommodation Advisory Service we are here

The Accommodation Advisory Service helps students find accommodation by providing them with advice and access to househunting resources. During August and September a fully staffed service is run from the Students’ Union office in House 6. For the rest of the year the Students’ Union Welfare Officer handles students’ accommodation queries. Office Hours Monday to Friday 09:30 - 17:00 Saturday 10.30 - 14.00 Contact 01 646 8431 01 646 8437 085 1016481 (Welfare Officer)


Foreword Hi there, Welcome to the TCD Student’s Union guide on living expenses in Dublin. This guide will give you useful information on how best to budget for the year ahead. Living in the capital can be expensive, but a few simple tips and tricks can make a massive difference. If you have any questions relating to finances throughout the year, don’t hesitate to pop into the office on the first floor of House 6, email or call/text me on 085 101 6481 Stick the kettle on, grab a pen and some paper, sit back and let us get you ready for your year ahead. All the best, Stephen Welfare Officer TCDSU

Useful Website!

For great information on living in Dublin check out w w w. tc d l ife. ie. Here, you’ll find information on all aspects on living in Dublin and Trinity College.


So you want to live in Dublin?

Congratulations! You’re about to live in one of the most vibrant student cities in the world, the capital of Ireland and home to Trinity College Dublin. One question that you might want to know the answer to – especially if you’re coming to College from outside Dublin – is how much you’re going to need to live here. There are three important things to remember about living in Dublin when it comes to finances: 1. It can be expensive 2. It’s no more expensive than other big capital cities 3. You can still find a bargain if you know where to look! That’s great – so, how much will it cost me to live in Dublin? The most important thing is to be honest with yourself when you’re answering the questions in this book. If you’re going to be going out five times a week, you’re going to be in a bit of trouble if you’ve only budgeted for one night a week! Where did you get the data in this booklet? The pages above contain advice that was collected from a survey of over 300 Trinity undergraduate students, with an even spread across each year, in July 2012.


Remember, if you have any questions, concerns or worries, no matter how big or how small, your Students’ Union is here to help. You can find our contact details at the back of this guide.

This page is a summary of the average living costs of students in Dublin, taken from our survey. Please note – this is a general guide with average costs only. For more detailed information and advice, we strongly recommend looking at the individual breakdown of living costs found in this guide. Cost per month Cost per week Activity (€) (€) Rent (excluding Trinity 425 accommodation) Bills 50 Food (groceries) 30 Leisure activities 30 (cinema, going out, etc) Transport (to college 25 during the week) Transport (going home 30 at the weekend) The College’s International Office has also provided an estimated cost of living in Ireland, detailed below. Please note that in this general guide: • Rent is based on student accommodation sharing • Commuting is based on standard student monthly ticket (bus & rail) • Travel costs haven’t been included (e.g. flights) • Miscellaneous living expenses (entertainment, laundry, clothing etc) aren’t included Activity Cost for the year (€) Rent Bills Food Books Communting Total

5400 600 3600 1000 860 11460


Setting your budget 1.

How to set a budget: • Be honest with yourself when calculating expenses & factor in emergencies. • Use the guidelines outlined in this booklet but tailor them to your personal circumstances, e.g. special dietary needs, international flights home etc. • Check out our tips and tricks at the back of this booklet. Any questions? Contact



Accommodation Costs:

The cost of your accommodation really will vary depending where you live, so make sure to check out all the options by contacting the Accommodation Advisory Service.

Our survey says... How much would you spend on rent/accommodation per month (excluding bills?) Less than €300 €350 – 400 €400 – 450 €500 – 550 €551 + I pay College room rates in Halls/Campus

Response % 19.6 % 19.3 % 17.1 % 13.2 % 4.3 % 26.4%

Many people who pay less than €300 per month on accommodation are students who either live at home or rent a room in lodgings (digs) with another family. A lot of other Trinity students live in specialised student accommodation, such as Trinity Hall, Griffith College and the NCI. Rates vary according to the accommodation and can be found on the respective websites. Generally speaking, rents in the private sector range from €350 - €450 per month in Dublin 1, 7 and 8 and from €400 - €550 in Dublin 2, 4, 6 and 6w.

Top Tip:

For any accommodation queries, visit http://accommodation.tcdsu. org, email or




Heating, bins, television, internet, electricity – it all adds up and it should all be taken into account when you’re planning your budget for the year.

Our survey says... How much do you spend per month on household bills?

Response %

Less than €30

15.1 %

€31 – 50 €51 – 70 €71 – 90 €90 – 120 €120 + I pay College room rates in Halls/Campus

24.4 % 13.3 % 4.7 % 5.7 % 2.2 % 34.8 %

Again, those with bills less than €30 per month were those that tended to live at home. Generally speaking, bills are only included in your rent if this is specifically stated. Make sure to ask your landlord! Be aware that some bills will involve a once off charge that will cover your use of the service for one year – common examples of this include bin charges (usually around €15) and your TV Licence (€160).


The best way to cut your bills is, of course, to have less of them! If you’re really tight for money, you might consider doing without the internet or TV at home. Alternatively, many companies offer student packages that include both internet and TV.

Main Providers: TV: Sky Television


Internet: UPC Imagine

Eircom Sky Internet

Electricity: Electric Ireland Bord Gáis


Pinergy Bord Gáis

Top Tip:

Some of the main suppliers of broadband are listed below, but paying a visit to and selecting your area will show the best deals and coverage available to you.



Food Feeding yourself for the year doesn’t have to cost a bomb. Our advice? Cook from scratch, buy basics in bulk and limit the takeaways and ready meals! The Welfare Officer can provide you with an easy recipe book. Don’t just think about the evening meal here – by bringing a packed lunch into College you’ll usually save at least €25 a week on lunch – that’s over €100 a month! Make sure to also check out the SU weekly email to find cheap food in our Deal of the Week section.

Our survey says...


How much, on average would you spend on groceries per week?

Response %

Less than €10


€10 – 20 €21– 30 €31 – 40 €41 – 50 €51+

18.4% 33.5% 26.1% 11.8 % 7.7%

The types of supermarkets in Dublin vary, but a rough guide is:

€€€€: €€€: €€: €:

Donnybrook Fair

Marks & Spencer








When buying groceries, try and choose ‘own brand’ products as opposed to branded ones. There are also lots of specialist Asian stores in Dublin where you will be able to buy very cheap basics such as rice that will last you for the year. For a rough guide, we have priced the typical weekly shop from Tesco at €42.20, which gets you: Soup, stir fry sauce, biscuits, rice, cereal, spaghetti, Bolognese sauce, baked beans, tea bags, coca cola, eggs, mince, chicken fillets, 2ltr milk, cheese, mixed peppers, onions, potatoes, apples, bread and pizza.

Top Tip:

Crack out your hidden culinary talents in a ‘Come Dine with Me’ competition with your mates – great fun and you’ll get a lovely meal every night of the week!

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Going Out/Staying In

Dublin has a huge variety of nightlife to keep you entertained, whether you fancy a night on the town or want to take a break from the booze. TCDSU has a full time Ents Officer whose job it is to keep you entertained and make sure you have a little change in your pocket afterwards, so make sure to check out the Trinity Ents Facebook page and SU weekly email for the cheapest deals. The Ents card (free from the SU) also has lots of discounts for cheap eats and alternative nights out. Enjoy!

Our survey says...

How much would you spend leisure activities per week? Less than €10 €10 – 20 €21 – 30 €31 – 40 €41 – 50 €51 – 60 €61 +

Response % 13.4 % 20.4 % 27.1 % 13.0 % 11.9 % 6.7 % 7.4 %

The average price of a pint is €5 and the average price of a cocktail ranges from €7 – 10. To save the pennies, try to go to places that are either free in or where you can get concession price (ask your Ents Officer for info here) – many nightclubs in Dublin can charge as much as €10 in.


Fancy catching a film? Check out the cinemas for cheap deals and student nights. It’s also a great idea to join a society as these will host many (often free for members) events throughout the year. Many also arrange discounts for their members. Visit for more information. Finally, make use of your class rep! It’s often easier to get cheap deals if there are a lot of you going with the club, and your class rep will have been trained to get the best discounts in Dublin for your entertainment.

Top Tip:

Make sure you check your SU weekly email every week for the ‘Deal of the Week’ special - a different deal on food every week.

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Transport is an important factor to consider if you’re living in Dublin, especially when you’re looking at that dream apartment. Visit to see how to get from your apartment to college via the public transport network.

Our survey says... How much would you spend on public transport within Dublin, per month? Less than €5 €5 – 20 €40 – 60 €60 – 80 €80+

Response % 21.6% 21.2% 17.1 % 10.8 % 16 %

To get student rates on transport on Dublin Bus and Luas, you must buy a student travelcard, which doubles as a leap card. These cost €15 and you can get them from the Student Union. Visit for more info.

Main Transport Services: Dublin bikes is the city’s bike hire scheme. Visit to register.


This tram service is available in Dublin city. Visit

This is the local bus service. For routes visit

This is the local train service. The stop nearest to Trinity is Pearse Station, and you can find more info on

National Services: Public: • Bus Eireann ( • Irish Rail (

Private: • Aircoach • GoBus • Dublincoaches

Getting The Airport From Trinity: It’s really easy to get to and from the Airport from Trinity. If you’re an incoming student, you can take advantage of the SU’s ‘Meet & Greet’ service and have a student come and meet you from the airport to take you to the city centre. Alternatively, the Aircoach and Dublin Bus run routes direct to the Aircoach. Bus and Coach fares start from €6 and a taxi to the airport will set you back roughly €25.

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General Money Saving Tips

Top ten ways to save money in Dublin! 1. SU Deals! Pick up an Ents card for cheap eats and nights out, grab some free condoms and make sure to keep an eye on the SU Deals of the Week in your weekly email. 2. Give up bad habits. Are cigarettes eating away your precious pennies? Call into the welfare office for advice on giving up – you’ll also save a fortune! 3. Don’t buy new textbooks. The Library should have most of what you need. If you must have your own copy, instead of buying them new, why not place an advert on the Trinity web noticeboard/your School noticeboard or check out the SU’s online Bookshop? 4. Get your hair cut by a trainee. There are several trainee hairdressers colleges in Dublin where you can get it for cut price. Don’t worry – there are trained professionals on hand to make sure it’s done right, it will just take a bit longer than usual. 5. Get things second hand. The Dublin flea market meets on the last Sunday of the month ( or if you go to you can find lots of free stuff – the only catch is that you have take it away. A little easier to do with CDs than a sofa, but it’s a great way to save the pennies and you can find some real bargains. 6. Cycle. It’s healthier and it will slash your transport costs. If you


join the Dublin Bike Scheme, you don’t even have to buy a bike! Alternatively, make sure you get your student travelcard from the SU – it’s the only card that entitles you to the student fare on public transport. 7. Rent a DVD from the library. Fancy a DVD night in? Instead of renting a movie, just take one out of the library! Search for the title you want in the Stella Catalogue on 8. Packed Lunches. Eating in town is expensive, so try to avail of the great deals on offer in supermarkets. It’s much cheaper to do a weekly shop than to buy each meal! 9. Leave credit/debit cards at home. Have great nights out but don’t let them hurt your pockets. Bring out a set amount of money, leave the ATM card at home and avoid the temptation of spending more. Make sure to have some left aside for getting home! 10. Third level bank account. Open a bank account and make sure it’s a third level one to avail of student friendly offers and dedicated staff. You’ll also be able to avail of preferable loan rates if you need it.

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Useful Resources & Where To Go For More Help

The National Consumer Agency www.

• Online budget planner • Student section containing information on student finances/ money saving tips • Useful for mature students balancing costs of running a family & returning to college.

Money Advice & Budgeting Service

• Particularly useful for mature students with additional expenses such as mortgages. • Every student should check out the educational resources available, which include spending diaries and much more.

Your tutor/the postgraduate advisory service

Your tutor and the PAS are able for advice on any issues that you need help on, so if you’re really having trouble keeping afloat, make sure to talk to your tutor before things get too tough.

The SU Welfare Officer

The Students’ Union welfare officer is always available to provide financial advice, whether it’s information related to the grant, simple budgeting advice or you need to take out a short term interest free loan to get you through the month. Postgraduates may also contact the GSU Vice President for additional advice.



How Much will it cost to live in Dublin? - A little guide to expenses & budgeting