Saving money as a student can be hard. Life in a university can be expensive, and as a student, your budget is limited. You have certain liabilities that need to be paid off every month. These include costs for rent, electricity, and internet, books, travel, food, and drinks. Unless you work part-time for 20 hours a week, you need effective money management to keep your finances under control. Taking advantage of your student status and using the right money-saving plan, you can successfully save money.
“Beware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship” – Benjamin Franklin
Saving money while in college is a habit that a student needs to practice, even if he or she is under circumstances that prevent them from doing so. This may require them to force certain rules and keep their expenditure in control. Here are 6 ultimate saving tips that will help you in saving money while studying.
1. Start By Making A Monthly Budget
Use an Excel sheet and record how much money (on average) you have available every month. Write down your fixed expenses such as your monthly apartment rent, daily travel expenses, fixed internet and cell phone bills. Food expenses can vary but write down the average daily expense. Once you have noted all your basic expenses, see if there is any money left for saving.
Although it may look like this monthly budget is not earning you any savings, it is helping you in keeping an overview of your financial plan. (Is this your first budget? Check out these common budgeting mistakes.)
2. Record And Track Your Finances
Once you are through making your monthly budget, use your budget sheet to record your reoccurring expenses. Not only will you be able to track your expenses and income, but also to estimate how much cash you are left with for shopping and other leisure activities. Using these records, you can figure out where to save money. Cut your spending on categories that aren't important to you or where you know you can spend less.
Tip: A student needs to stay away from credit cards. Even though the idea of spending now and paying later seems great, it can be difficult to deal with accumulated expenses, especially at a time when your budget has taken a hit.
3. Utilize The Power Of Money-saving Incentives
Always look for a student discount when spending money on your daily needs. Many banks provide the option for money-saving accounts for students. Use student discounts to your advantage; They are available at cinemas, theme parks, food courts, gym membership and public transport. In fact, many companies want to provide student discounts because they can target a particular age group for their products.
4. Value Buying Is A Golden Habit
Cheap food items are not bad if they can be bought without compromising on the quality. Value buying is a financial concept that refers to only buying your favorite goods or services only when they are available at a discount.
For example, buying a gadget after a month of its release or a used car so as to avail a discount on its selling price. Or buying generic shampoo that offers similar quality but is available cheaper than its named brand. Value buying is a wealth building factor for many rich investors in the financial sector. It can also help you in saving a lot of money during college.
5. Cooking Meals At Home
Cooking your own meals is definitely cheaper than eating out or buying food. Not only does it helps you in saving money, but also allows you to spend quality time with your friends or roommates. The average cost of devouring a classic chicken meal out a restaurant can cost over $15. This is excluding the travel expenses and any other money you would spend after the meal, before reaching home.
Meanwhile, the cost of cooking the same meal at your home can come down to as much as $5. This can save you three times more money. You can also pack your lunch if you cook greater quantities and the cost of the meal can be shared with your friends.
6. Buying Used Goods Saves More Money Than You Think
The freshers will often jump to buy the newest edition, only to realize, that the book simply gathered dust in the corner throughout the year. Look for copies in the library before buying any new books. If required, try buying used books from students who just completed the course. There are a number of websites who offer great prices on used college books.
This idea of finding the best prices by shopping used products doesn't apply only to books. You can save big by searching for used clothing, furniture, and electronics.
About the Author
Joshua Robinson is an author and a self-employed coach. For over five years, he has been dedicating his time to advise students and helping them in their studies and career. Joshua is a senior author at https://edubirdie.com/write-papers-for-money, a service that helps students with professional writing papers. He writes on how students can manage their finances during their study abroad. Joshua is a voracious reader and works with both state and national level institutes to encourage students in achieving their goals. When he is not helping students, you can find him either traveling or fishing in his hometown in Florida. Joshua strongly believes in teaching through online social media and blogs, that can help in reaching a vast audience