Lifestyle

International Student Mase, Flatmates Keep To Budget

The 22-year-old is pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce majoring in Accounting and Management.
07 Mar 2019 18:43
International Student Mase, Flatmates Keep To Budget
Pata Mase at Fresh Choice supermarket, Garden City, Suva on March 6, 2019. Photos: Inoke Rabonu

Now living in Suva for more than three years University of the South Pacific student Pata Mase shops smart for her health, nourishment and importantly getting the best quality for her dollar.

Originally from Samoa, Ms Mase rents with another four fellow USP students in the Laucala Bay area.

The 22-year-old is pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce majoring in Accounting and Management.

Being a commerce student budgeting for rent, bills and shopping is part of putting into practice what she learns at uni.

“As an international student, I have learnt a lot of things while being away from home, most importantly how to budget my finances while doing my shopping and other living expenses,” Ms Mase said.

“Because I live off campus, there are five of us flatting together and we usually write a list of the things that we need and put our money together before we go shopping,” she said.

“As students, it is important for us to prepare a shopping list and follow it very closely as part of managing our finances.

Pata Mase at Fresh Choice supermarket, Garden City, Suva on March 6, 2019. Photos: Inoke Rabonu

Pata Mase at Fresh Choice supermarket, Garden City, Suva on March 6, 2019. Photos: Inoke Rabonu

“That is one way to ensure that we are not overspending and that we have enough savings for other things.”

Ms Mase does her shopping fort- nightly with the help of her four flatmates at the closest supermarket within her vicinity.

“Since there are five of us, we all contribute $50 each to do our shopping and that usually lasts us two weeks, so basically we spend $250 every fortnight for shopping,”

Pata Mase at Fresh Choice supermarket, Garden City, Suva on March 6, 2019. Photos: Inoke Rabonu

Pata Mase at Fresh Choice supermarket, Garden City, Suva on March 6, 2019. Photos: Inoke Rabonu

“We usually buy groceries mainly rice, canned food and meat plus chicken and sausages; we also ensure that we include bathroom items and hygiene products in our shopping list.
“The first thing I check for is the

price then the expiry date because usually when items are cheaper it’s because it’s either expired or close to expiry date and apart from that, quality of the item is very important while checking out the items on the supermarket shelves.

“Now that I am trying to choose a healthier lifestyle, I do not mind the price just as long as it is good for consumption and is worth the money.”

They try and stick to their budget and eat home prepared meals. This is sometimes hard as most times, they tend to eat at the school cafeteria and nearby food courts. “This is because cooking is time consuming.

“Whenever we are not at home, we are tempted to try out the new dishes.

“It’s been more than three years since I’ve been living in Fiji, NEW- WORLD Damodar Centre and the newly opened Fresh Choice Supermarket in Raiwai is where I prefer doing my grocery shopping.

This is simply because it is closer to where we are staying and it is also closer to USP. The prices are affordable and they also sell a wide range of good quality products in a healthy shopping environment.”

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