Nowadays, students’ financial situation is an important issue wherever the university they are studying in. Many of them are dealing with colossal student debts that prevent them from fully enjoying their student life the way they should.
Well, if you are a student and you owe a huge sum, it’s your lucky day! This blog article lists 18 money-saving tips that can help you get out of your broke-student-situation.
Ways to save money at university (Yes, it’s possible!)
To be a student often means buying a wide range of new books for all of the courses. Even though they are expensive, textbooks are (obviously) unavoidable and necessary. Various solutions exist for you to buy them at a lower price. First, you can acquire second-hand textbooks: you will find them at garage sales or you can also buy books from previous year’s students. A digital version of the textbooks you need could also be available, it will certainly be cheaper than the printed one.
It is very likely that your university offers a meal plan. You may be tempted to subscribe since it will prevent you from spending time shopping and cooking. However, the biggest issue with most of universities meal plans is their cost. You will spend an average of $8 for each meal. Which means, during your whole university course, the amount of $20,000 spent on food aside from your tuition! Some alternatives are easily affordable, you can cook at home and bring your meal to the university for example. You will find later in this article money saving tips for your grocery shopping.
Reducing the purchase of school supplies is one of the many ways to save money. Indeed, if you are using a laptop to take notes during all of your classes, it is not necessary for you to buy a bunch of new fancy notebooks and fine stationery.
We all know that the highest expense when studying at university is the tuition. Among all of our money saving tips, this one can help you save a great amount of money. Before entering the university, you should study all the possibilities of bursaries that are offered to you. Whether you obtain it from the state, your province or another institution, take a moment to analyze all of the applications you could fill for a scholarship.
Have ever thought of becoming a resident advisor? The resident advisor is a privileged position dedicated to a few numbers of lucky students. The position will allow you to be the guardian of the housing in your university. However, it also implies some responsibilities and devotion to the other students, but it is mostly about encouragement and support of a community. This part-time job is an excellent way for you to save money since the resident advisors always get a significant compensation: most of the time it includes a room in the residence and a meal plan for free.
Limit your leisure spending
It is a fact that student life is often synonym of going out with friends whether it is in bars or in coffee shops. You probably need our money saving tips for this!
The most obvious thing you really need to change is your habit of dining out at the restaurant. Try to convince your friends that a dinner you will cook together will be as fun and much less expensive. Anyways, they are probably as broke as you.
Do not stop going out with your friends. Saving money does not mean putting aside your social life. You just need to adapt your nights out by going to bars that offer interesting happy hours for example. Another advice would be to take cash in order to afford only one or two drinks and above all, to avoid taking your credit card to buy more drinks when you will be in the party mood.
Think twice before buying whatever it is. Ask yourself if it is really necessary or just an impulse purchase. There is no need for you to spend a huge amount of money for unnecessary things. To find out if your purchase is relevant or not, just wait for a few days and try to think if you really need it. When you cannot avoid an expense, do not forget to compare prices online or wait for the sales period.
Do you buy coffee every morning at the closest Starbucks? If you do, you are spending around $1,000 per year for this (and probably more if you really go to a Starbucks coffee). This should be efficient enough to convince you preparing coffee at home! Nowadays coffee machines even tend to be less expensive, this could be an interesting investment for you to prepare great quality coffee and to save money at the same time.
Whether you like sport, dance or theater, you do not need to spend money to join a group or a club in your city. A wide range of activities is specially made for you on the campus! Take some information with the student association of your university since they often organize events or activities you could join for free.
How to reduce the expenses you cannot escape from?
As a student and during your whole life, paying a rent will always be your highest monthly expense. In order to avoid spending your entire budget on housing, the best solution is to find roommates. It offers various benefits including a lower rent for each person living in the flatshare but also a way to encounter people if you do not know anyone in your new university.
Grocery shopping is usually the second expense of a spending budget. Some basic rules are essential to follow in order to spend wisely your money at the grocery shop: avoid going there when you are hungry and try to find the best discounts and buy the house brand products rather than the name brands (most of the time, they are of the same quality). For more details, you can read one of our previous article: “13 Tips on How to Save Money on Groceries”. If you want to put in practice our tip number 2 (do not subscribe to the meal plan of the university), think of buying in bulk so you can cook in bigger quantity and freeze. This will make your meal preparation simpler, more efficient and economic.
Two easy ways to save money concerning your bills would be, first, to pay them right on time and then to compare. Indeed, do not take the risk to wait until the last minute because you could end up with extra fees. Also, before subscribing, whether it is for your cell phone or your television, do not hesitate to ask for estimation to be able to compare prices of the different companies and negotiate if necessary!
If not used wisely, a credit card can fastly become kind of dangerous, especially for students. Do not forget that credit cards are not “free money” but only debts. If you happen to use it when it is absolutely necessary, repay the amount of money as fast as you can and if possible, more than the minimum asked. In this way, you also make sure that you maintain a good positive credit history.
Money saving tips that are good for your health
These four last tips that reducing your expenses can also preserve your health!
This tip is for you if you are a heavy smoker. On one hand, you are probably already fully aware of all of the benefits of quitting smoking on your health but think of all the money you could save. If you are willing to stop smoking, put all of the money you spend on cigarettes in a jar. You will be astonished after only a month of all the money you have saved.
Reducing your alcohol consumption is also an easy way for you to save money that will benefit your body. Besides, you should also consider your drinking habits in general. Are you drinking more soda than water? Water is less expensive but most of all, it is essential to your well-being contrary to all of the sugar-containing sodas you may be drinking daily.
As a broke student, it might be quite difficult, if not impossible, to afford a car. Before you actually make this purchase, you should consider the other possibilities you have. If you realize that all of your drives could, in fact, be executed by walking or biking, why not privilege one of these two options? Both are much less expensive and will help you stay fit and healthy.
A subscription to a fitness room is usually quite expensive, especially if you are not really diligent! If you are about to subscribe anyway, you should first check the infrastructures of your university. It is highly possible that it has its own gym and a large number of sports club you could join.
If you are really willing to save money, we may have an extra tip for you. What about establishing a one no-spend day per week? At the end of the day, you will realize that it was pretty easy, and you will be ready to reiterate the action!