North Dublin Befriending Service


News from Befrienders Dublin

Surviving Austerity

January 9th, 2015


Brother, can you spare a dime?

The recession is ‘officially’ over. However, with water bills soon upon us along with soaring fuel costs and rising rents, people are feeling the pinch more than ever. How are people coping with these financial pressures? Some (especially those made unemployed) just can’t make ends meet. Some find themselves homeless due to not being able to pay the rent. Those lucky enough to be working (and a job should be a right, not a privilege) find themselves scraping by with ‘too much month left at the end of the money’.

Now is all about survival. Many people find themselves having to prioritise money for the essentials and having nothing left for fun activities (or as the Government call them, ‘luxuries’).

However, if you are not totally destitute, there are ways to make what little money you have go further.


This can be achieved by putting a certain amount of cash for socialising in an envelope at the beginning of the week. When that money has been spent, only go to free events. There are a surprising amount of free activities available. You could walk with the deer in the phoenix park. Most museums and art galleries are also free.

Learning to cook

This is an important life skill which can save on the food bill and is important in losing weight and great for your health and vitality. Variety is the spice of life so when you have learnt a recipe, repeat it another time and then commit it to memory. Soon you will have a lot of recipes in your repertoire. Invite friends and family for a meal, saving them money!

Make the most of your library

Libraries in Dublin are offering a lot of services for free these days, from free internet usage to free dvd loans. You can learn new languages and computer skills for free. This is essential to survive in our globalised and tech-savvy world. Libraries also offer conversation exchange groups and poetry groups which could provide a social outlet for you.

A reasonably happy life can still be achieved by not letting money worries stop you from pursuing your ambitions & hobbies and increasing your network of friends.


Andrew Gray


All views or opinions presented in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of  Befrienders Dublin.