This article contains tips on how to save money as a University and college student.
The idea of leaving home for school can be very exciting due to the thought of being free from parental control. One thing some students fail to realize is that this freedom comes with lots of responsibilities.
As one who is no longer in a comfort zone where parents are in charge of all the decisions making, you’re now left to make decisions yourself.
Financial decision is one major area many students find very challenging due to the numerous financial requirements in school. As a result of this, some tend to run into financial crises, making it difficult for them to even think of saving.
For many, the idea of saving money in school may look impossible but it is very possible if you know the right money management tips. In order to help you to be more financially responsible, this article will be teaching you how to live a comfortable life in school and not run out of money.
Below are some money-saving tips that can be helpful to you as a University and College Student:
1. MAKE A BUDGET
Some students do not have any means of getting money apart from their guardians or probably from friends which is on rare occasions.
Before you can think of saving as a student, you need to consider the amounts that get into your account, then make a monthly budget. This is the first money-saving tip. Budgeting helps you to know your expenses and areas to cut down and readjust. Make a list of all expenses, leave nothing out no matter how little. That 1 USD snacks you buy every night counts. Little amounts add up.
Making a monthly budget doesn’t end there, your needs may change as a human, so to say a budget is dynamic and can be updated, so track your daily spendings. It may look like a difficult task but then, it’s a wise thing. It helps you to be more aware of where your money is going. You don’t necessarily need a pen and paper for that, there are lots of budget apps to use e.g Wally, Mint etc.
If your income is higher than the expenditure, saving is made easy but if it’s the other way round, you have to cut down on your expenses. As much as possible, try to stick to your budget.
2. AVOID IMPULSE BUYING
Impulse buying is when you lack control and discipline over purchases.
For instance, I attended a University where her students were known as Fashion freaks. As a result of this, the major business in the school environment was basically a fashion business.
Every day, I see beautiful clothes and accessories and sometimes I fall for the temptation of buying without budgeting for such. There was a time I formed a bad habit of buying clothes every day on my way back from lectures and I’ll always justify myself with”after all it’s not expensive”.
Gradually, I started running out of money even before the end of the month. Buying on the spot without thinking through can be dangerous and doesn’t give a student the room to save. Resist buying on impulse except you have spare cash after you must have saved.
3. DON’T ALWAYS BUY THEM NEW
There is no rule that you must always go for new items. You mustn’t go to the boutique to get your wears, your gadgets must not be brand new. You can always get quality things from second-hand shops.
There are institutions that don’t compel students to purchase study materials, if you’re fortunate to be in one of those, you can always purchase used ones at a cheaper rate or borrow. This is another means of saving cost.
4. LEARN TO PRIORITISE
Differentiating your needs from your wants is the easiest way around this. Don’t always go for “wants” because they’re something you can do without, but your “needs” are things you can’t do without.
Buy the things you need first and work towards getting the things you want, later on.
5. BUY IN BULK
Lots of students prefer to purchase in bits rather than in bulk. It is always cheaper to buy things in bulk, the chances of getting a discount are higher.
6. COOK YOUR MEALS
Feeding expenses can be very high, it is even worse for those that enjoy eating out. Limiting the number of times you eat out is a good way to save money. Try to cook your meals and preserve some for later.
For schools that make provision for feeding, take advantage of the meal plans and save more.
7. OPT FOR ENTERTAINMENTS THAT COST LITTLE OR NOTHING
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy and so, I understand there are times students may want to have fun, socialize and hangout. You can do this without breaking a bank. It is not necessary to handout at exotic and expensive places, you can have maximum fun even if you decide to organise a picnic at a beautiful site in your school.
You’re in competition with no one and trying to prove a point by lavishing money on parties and other fun activities is a waste of money. Learn to be responsible with spending. Your social life can be memorable and fun without having to spend much.
8. EMPLOY THE SERVICES OF FRIENDS
Employing the services of friends is another money-saving tip.
While in school, never for once did I visit a salon to braid my hair. I had a friend who was into hair making. She always did my hair for free. All I needed to do was ask. That gesture saved me lots of money because hairdressers in my school charged exorbitantly.
Do you have a friend that can make hair, barb, sew etc? Use their services and don’t hesitate to ask. Some may help without charges and others may charge less than normal. Take advantage of such opportunities.
9. APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIPS AND GRANTS
This is another beautiful money-saving Tip. There are lots of Organizations that give scholarships and grants to students in higher Institutions. Take advantage of such golden opportunities.
I know lots of students who survive on scholarships and do not even rely on money from home. Year in year out, there are scholarship opportunities, don’t lag behind, ensure to apply when such opportunities come. You might just be lucky to get huge amounts to cater for your school needs.
10. GET A JOB
Working alongside schooling may seem impossible considering the workload and stress associated with studying but then with proper planning, balancing the two is very possible. Getting a job is actually the easiest way of making extra cash to save.
Look for part-time jobs that will not encroach into your study, it can be in a restaurant around the school, business centres or even take up private teachings. The pay may not be much but it’s better than nothing. While you’re earning, it’s also a way of gaining work experience. Some schools also make provisions for their students to work in the school, it’s also an opportunity to consider.
Not every student may desire to work. Being self-employed is also a beautiful idea. Using your skills to make money is another option. The school environment is filled with money-making opportunities, businesses tend to thrive in school settings. All it takes is to discover a need.
Becoming a studentpreneur is not a bad idea at all. There are students that saw themselves through school from the money they made from petty businesses.
12. LOOK FOR OTHER MEANS OF SPENDING LESS
There might just be lifestyles you need to curtail in order to spend less and save more. If you’re accustomed to spending on transportation, consider walking some distance, reduce unnecessary phone subscriptions. Drink more water instead of daily consumption of sweetened drinks, avoid in between meals etc.
In conclusion, it is a common belief that students are the richest set of people. Well, that may be correct for those that have been fortunate to have access to information as this. These and more are ways of spending less and saving more as a student.
It is important to have something to fall back on in case of emergency. You will not always be a student, one day you will graduate and there may not be a regular inflow of money like when you were a student. At this point, the savings you made while in school might just be very helpful.
Information we say is power. The economic condition of the world is very unstable due to this pandemic and the aftermath will obviously be worse. Financial challenges will be at its peak. As a student, these tips will surely be helpful when you get back to school.
SPEND WISELY. SAVE MORE.