Many people mistakenly believe that being a student entails very little responsibility other than being successful academically.
What they do not realize is that one of the main concerns and struggles of students, particularly those who are financially insecure, is how to save money efficiently. After all, everyone wants to learn how not to have student debt when they leave college or university and go out into the real world.
In this post, I will look at some key ways that you can save money as a student so that you are not in debt for the rest of your life.
1. Stop Buying Food Out And About
Having enough energy is something that every student requires throughout the school year. This energy may be derived from your desire to learn and motivation, but scientifically speaking, our ability to act and think is derived from food. Essentially, it is a non-negotiable and something that we have little choice but to spend money on.
However, if you grab your breakfast, lunch, and evening meal from the campus canteen, rely on snacks from vending machines, and grab a coffee from the cart every time you walk past, you are going to find your food expenses go through the roof. Add in the pizzas and take-outs and well, your bank account will dwindle rapidly.
Instead, go shopping at the grocery store or do an online delivery once a week and buy the ingredients to prepare your own food. You could even split the costs with your housemates and take it in turns to cook. Take a packed lunch with you and a flask of coffee, as well as some pre-prepared snacks and you will soon see the money that you save stacking up. Sure, it involves a little more planning and work, but it is worth it, right?
2. Plan Your Budget
Have you ever wondered where your money went when you don’t remember spending that much? A weekly budget plan could be the solution to this problem. However, creating a budget is easier said than done.
You must do it as a student, especially if you are unaware of your expenses. There is almost always an unexpected expenditure scenario in the lives of students. It might be needing to buy something for a project, being asked out on a date, or a birthday that you had forgotten about.
It is fantastic if you can budget your allowance or savings by reducing your weekly expenses throughout the month. By looking at that budget plan, you can begin to manage your money more easily and become more aware of where your money is going.
3. Do You Really Need That?
What we want and what we need are two entirely different things, and, unfortunately, as a student, you quite often have to deal with the needs and forget about some of the wants. You need shelter, you need food and water, you need heating and clothing, and things to keep you clean. As a student, you also need some course materials and resources.
Do you need that expensive pair of sneakers though, when you already have three pairs of perfectly good ones? Do you need to order that takeout when you have food in the fridge? Distinguish between what you need and what you want. In time, with careful budgeting and planning, you may be able to afford more of your wants.
4. Walk Or Cycle
When it is cold or raining, when it has been a long day in class or at work, when you have lots of heavy books – it can be tempting to hail a cab to get you about, or drive if you have a car. However, this, over time, while convenient, is also expensive. Even if you walk just half of the time, or buy a second-hand bicycle from the thrift store and cycle, you will find that you may save a significant amount of cash. Not only that, but you are doing your bit for the environment and getting plenty of fresh air and exercise, so it is a win all round.
5. Stay Away From Credit Cards
There are many banks that provide student credit cards, which are useful for emergencies and allow you to track your expenses if you use them for payments on a regular basis.
However, while having one does have its uses, it can also be a financial drain if not used wisely because you cannot see that you are going into debt. As a result, it is best to avoid using it or to not bring it with you at all times.
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