Attending college is an enriching experience for many individuals. Besides studying as a student, you also get the chance to avail yourself of numerous opportunities. But, college life can be a challenging time for full-time students, especially when it comes to money. Saving money while studying is an uphill task that may look easy, but it is not the case.
College life can be fairly expensive, including certain expenses like electricity, books, food, and rent. Since the total amount of student expenses are so high, many students are left with very little or no money for themselves. It is why many students work part-time for 20 hours at least to cover all additional finances. Unless and until you have a proper plan to control your finances as a student, you won’t be able to save money successfully.
Saving money while studying is a key consideration that proves useful to almost every student. So, are you a student worried about how to make ends meet after each month? You will find the information in my article very informative. To help you save money effectively and spend money more practically following are five tips to save money while studying.
Budget & Plan Ahead
Making a budget and planning ahead is something that all of us must have heard repeatedly. As cliche as it may seem, creating a budget and planning is the most important step toward saving money. You don’t have to be a finance or economics expert for making a budget. In fact, basic financial management and budgeting is something that anyone can easily do by themselves.
But, before you move on and set a budget, first, you need to keep a record and track all of your expenses. You can use an excel sheet to record each payment and the amount you spend on that particular expense. You can start by recording expenses like rent, traveling, groceries, gas, and phone bills.
Once you have all the expense figures right in front of you, now it gets easy for you to plan accordingly and see if there is any money left that you can save. Once in a blue moon, you can reward yourself by spending over budget on something that makes you happy. You can either go out shopping, watch a movie with friends or get a new game.
Get a Shared Living Space
Another one of the best ways to save money while studying is to get a shared space for living. Due to inflation, the cost of living has significantly increased and continues to do so. Also, finding the best apartment in your budget can prove to be a rather uphill task. So, if you are a full-time student, you should consider living in a shared accommodation setup.
Instead of living alone and paying the whole rent by yourself, living in shared accommodation is a better option to consider. You can easily split the rent money among the flatmates. This way, every month you shall be able to save a substantial amount of money. Another great thing about living in a shared space is that you also get to divide all the other bill amounts.
Cook Your Own Food
Besides rent, food is the biggest expense you can spend your money on. Buying food and eating out may seem convenient, but it sure does leave quite a dent in the pocket at the end of the month. You can save the extra cost by doing your own groceries and making food at home by yourself.
In addition, if you spend smarter on groceries, you shall be able to save up more money. If you live in shared accommodation, you can also save a bit by doing bulk buying with your roommate. For saving time, you can also prepare a huge batch of food and keep it frozen for later use.
This is a great way to embark on your culinary journey and try out different recipes to experiment with. Another thing that helps save money is when you do your meal preparation before going for your groceries. It ensures that you only get those things you need instead of spending all your money getting something you don’t need. This also stops you from wasting food.
Avail Student Discounts
College life is an experience that shapes your professional life, offering many opportunities. But, with opportunities comes to the challenges, with money being the biggest one. Due to the countless expenses that you may have to keep up with as a student, you are left with very little or almost any money to spend on personal use at the end of the day.
One of the biggest perks of student life is having your own student ID. Your student ID is not only proof of the fact that you are a student. But, you can avail various discounts on different well-known brands that are especially available for students only. You can get amazing deals on brands such as Apple, Microsoft, and Adobe when buying a laptop or software using your student discount.
Famous clothing brands like the Banana Republic, Dickies, Vineyard Vines, and Goodwill also give student discounts of about 10 – 29%. According to a study, about 80% of students avail their student discount on their student ID card. All these discounts by big brands keep in view the financial struggles of students.
Opt for a Minimalist Lifestyle
Another great way to save money when studying is by adopting a minimalist lifestyle. A minimalist lifestyle helps you put away all those things that are not essential for your survival. Also, it helps clear all the clutter of unnecessary items from your home and your life, focusing on only those things that matter.
A minimalist lifestyle not only helps improve your mental well-being. But, it also enables you to save a substantial amount of money. You start spending your money only on those things that are essential to your life without getting stuck in the bottomless pit of materialism.
In a minimalist lifestyle, your focus is on the fact that less is more. It gives you more confidence to live the life that you want. During this journey, you realize that all those things that you deemed important were not as essential as you considered them to be in the first place.
Some Other Ways to Help you Save Money
Here are some other ways that you can opt to help save money even when you are studying.
Get a Part-time Job
A part-time job or a side hustle is a dream come true for students who are always struggling to keep their finances up. Though, if you are a full-time student, it may be a little difficult for you to take out time to get a part-time job. But, if you can take out time, then getting a part-time job will surely help solve your liquidity problems to a great extent.
Get Second-hand Things
Getting second-hand things instead of investing your money in new things is also a smart way to save money. The cost of textbooks is one of the major expenses you have to incur as a student. As a freshman, you surely will be tempted to get the latest edition of textbooks, only to find out later that you hardly used them. Getting second-hand textbooks will help you save money, and once you are done, you can even resell them. You can even save a bit by getting second-hand furniture, clothes, and clothes.
Avail on-campus Services
There are several facilities available for students on campus at every college. Such facilities include a gym, swimming pool, TV room, libraries, etc. Since you have access to such facilities on campus, you don’t need to spend additional costs getting membership elsewhere.
Get Creative with Social Activities
You also may need to eliminate all the additional unnecessary costs to keep up with your social life. Yes, keeping an active social life comes with its price, which may be hard to keep up with as a student. To help save money, you can plan around things that are far cheaper in comparison. Instead of going out for dinner in a fancy restaurant, you can have sunny picnics out in the garden. Rather than going out for movies, you can plan a Netflix night and binge-watch the latest series with your friends.
College life is a defining experience in the lives of many individuals. It is the first step to independent living. You may be tempted to spend extravagantly, but being practical and making conscious decisions is the only way you can save money while studying.
But with careful planning and budgeting, you can easily save money while studying and living off your student loan. Also, keeping track of your expenses gives you a clear idea of your liquidity. But, it also helps you set boundaries and prevent you from overspending and wasting money on luxuries you don’t need.