How to beat the high cost of living

By Billy Philip Rwothungeyo, :: 02-06-2011

“Kuja hapa!” a police officer yelled at one of my friends, a UCU student, before

 unleashing an upper kick that would leave even kung-fu maestro Jackie Chan purring with admiration.
Spinning down, went the unsuspecting dude. This was before the mean- looking cop rained several whips of his baton on him.
This incident occurred three weeks ago at Kireka, a Kampala suburb during one of the many clashes between rioters and police over the now infamous “walk-to-work” protests.
The protests stemmed out of the high cost of living that is biting the average Ugandan so hard.
This semester falls in the thick of this mayhem. With inflation stuck in double digits, my guess is that we are going to dig deeper and deeper into our pockets to stay abreast with the ever changing times.
 Well- known for our spending prowess, campusers in general and UCU students in particular will need to cut drastically to alter their lifestyles.

1. Walk
Since most of us are “nobodies”, walking to and from our hostels to lecture rooms will keep Kayihura’s boys away from us, unless of course you are in the company of DP firebrand legislator Betty Nambooze, probably Mukono’s most famous resident (if she yet again attempts her audacious attempt to trek the 20-km distance from Mukono to Parliament).
Walking to lectures will save you a few thousand shillings for a rainy day. Besides, walking further keeps us away from Uganda’s silent death traps, boda bodas.
Not forgetting my sisters who commit their lives to the daily struggles of sporting those immaculate body shapes, by default walking could be your secret weapon.

2. Embrace the Dinning Hall
With the utmost respect to services provided by the restaurants on campus, I think students who subscribed to meals in the dining hall should be more committed to their “contacts”.
 I know of some students who pay for meals in the DH, but choose to be “cooler” marching into those restaurants, many do this in the name of impressing a few souls.
Here is my bit of ridiculous maths: A presentable meal at these venues goes for an average of Shs2,500. Shunning meals at these restaurants could see you saving as much as Shs15,000!  To put this into a vivid perspective, some Ugandans, especially housemaids work for Shs15,000 pay. What about those who did not pay for our “prison break”? Maybe the time is up to comb UCU’s neighbourhoods for the hitherto laughable “kikumi kikumi”, like our counterparts at Makerere do.

3. Talk responsibly
Flashy cellphones are one of the trademarks of a “styled-up” campuser. Consequently, many of us spend countless hours on the phone, much to the jubilation of service providers who laugh all their way to their banks. It is time to bang kabozi while minding our pockets. By taking advantage of the countless offers on the market, we can save a lot of our limited monies. If you can corner a pal around campus, look for them and talk to them in person.

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