'I spend wisely and I never go out ... but I can't find an affordable room anywhere'
Anna Higgins will have about €50 a week to cover her food, transportation and other basics when she returns to college next month - if she's lucky.
The third-year visual culture student at Dublin's National College of Art and Design (NCAD) from Co Offaly has spent all of her free time over the past month searching for accommodation in Dublin that falls within her budget of €500 a month.
With just three weeks to go before she starts class, it's not looking good.
"I've been trying to find a single room somewhere, anywhere, as long as I can get a bus," she said.
But thanks to the unprecedented housing shortage and record rents in the capital, the closest she has come are rents ranging from €700 to €800 a month, which she simply can't afford.
- Read more: 'There's a fear of not knowing where you'll be living' - Students on rising rents, 'falling apart' houses and the scramble for accommodation
Even if she does find something within her budget, she will just about scrape by, with only around €50 a week left over to cover all other expenses.
"I spend wisely. I don't go out and I budget as much as I can," she said.
But like many other students faced with extortionate rents and rising costs, she worries she may have to forego her final year of studies if she can't afford to live in Dublin.