Being a college student may seem exciting, especially when you have more freedom and time to think about your own choices. However, there is a price to pay for all that freedom: accountability. That’s because you’ll have to take care of your own finances.
Although it is quite expensive, pursuing post-secondary education is a very rewarding decision. We believe you should establish certain ground rules to help you manage your time in college and save money because of this. Here are a few of the most useful college life tips to assist you in doing that.
How to Save Money As a College Student
Without further ado, let’s get right to the point of your visit:
Tips for College Students to Save Money
1. Purchase or rent old books, and then market the books from last semester.
Many of your other college students can be identified and are presumably acting similarly. Naturally, it is preferable to have a few key textbooks on your own. However, if there are any that you believe you’ll only need for a year, rent them out or sell them to someone else.
But if you’re really set on owning your own books, there’s also the inexpensive option of purchasing used books from friends or bookstores. Try not to purchase any other school supplies aside from that. You can write on your laptop rather than using expensive notebooks if you’re keen to save money. Even better, it’s eco-friendly.
2. Don’t make impulse-based purchases
You know how sometimes we just go shopping because we’re bored? Try to resist the need to act on it, whether it concerns food or clothing. For instance, avoid shopping for food while you are hungry. Additionally, if you plan to shop, go to a store that gives students discounts. Fortunately, a lot of places will give you discounts, and a school ID is sufficient proof that you are a student. The most important thing is to prepare a list of the things you must have each time you go shopping and to rigorously adhere to it.
3. Try to reduce your drinking and smoking
Unhealthy habits do persist. And once you get into the college life, it can be difficult to cut back on drinking. You’ll realise how much money you can save by cutting back on drinking, smoking, or both if you make sure your priorities are in order (when sober). It requires work, but you could use all that money on a weekend getaway or anything else more important.
Try healthy alternatives like taking a short walk as a stress reliever instead of drinking or smoking; this way, you keep your mind healthy and save money.
5. Always pay bills on time to avoid late fees.
All of us have been there. Everybody has missed a round of bills to pay and spent the money elsewhere. We assume that we will get compensated next month, but when that time comes, more expenses will need to be made. So be sure to pay your payments on time to avoid this sense of turmoil and suffocation. Additionally, if you have a credit card, make sure to pay it off as soon as you can. One can feel much more organized after getting rid of these items.
Make sure you learn more about the financial services offered by the university you are attending. The majority of colleges offer their students a variety of ways to pay their fees and tuition.
6. Do not use a car
Owning a car and being able to travel wherever you want may sound lifesaving. Fuel, upkeep, and all other costs associated with owning a car, however, are far more expensive. Instead, you can decide to go for a stroll, a bike ride, or take public transportation. These activities keep you active throughout the day and contribute to a healthier lifestyle. Renting a car is a wonderful option if you must choose the option of driving a car.
7. Share your rent
Renting along with others has a ton of advantages. You will all split the cost of whatever utilities or cable packages you chose to use, in addition to the rent. You can even schedule shared meals and split the cost of groceries depending on whether you’re sharing an apartment with friends or strangers. If it applies, living with your family will be even more affordable for you because you won’t have to pay rent or other associated fees.
8. Make your own meals
Do it your way if you’re going to dine by yourself. Stop caving in to the fast-food industry and begin to think strategically. Make time during the day to prepare your own meals using the food that is already in your refrigerator. By doing this, you can manage your consumerist mindset and make conscientious food choices.
However, many restaurants could provide student discounts and good service, so you might want to take that into consideration if you truly feel the need to reward yourself after a demanding college experience. By performing this easy task, you can save up to 15%.
9. Use your campus gym
Does it matter if the gym downtown has one or two more fitness equipment options than the one at your institution if you’re looking to save money? If you’re genuinely committed, you can maintain your fitness level by using the resources you already have. Because many colleges provide memberships for free or at a discounted rate for students, using a campus gym is highly convenient. You can always stay in shape by being active, so try walking, running, hiking, or working out at home if your college does not provide that.
10. Sell what you don’t need
By retaining items you no longer use, you don’t want to make your place even more chaotic. When you can make money by selling them, why would you do that? You may do this at many other retailers and services, including Poshmark and Craigslist. Your worn clothing, furniture, dishes, and technology can all be sold. As they are all on the same page as you and trying to save money, many students need inexpensive, secondhand items.
11. You can make your shopping a side income.
You can engage in mystery shopping, which entails making purchases at predetermined locations and then providing feedback on your experience. By doing this, you can make some money while assisting businesses in providing better customer service.
12. Attend the social activities from your campus
Although it might not sound like much fun, there are times when you need to take advantage of the resources your university offers. And they might end up being surprisingly enjoyable. Numerous campuses provide a variety of museums, as well as movie nights, other social events, and sometimes even free events. You can ask student services for information about free activities available to students so you can have fun while also saving money by getting in touch with them.
13. Look for affordable spring-break options
You don’t have to go along with your friends who are taking unnecessary risks and spending their money on an extravagant spring break. Instead, you could explore for less expensive locations close by or perhaps consider volunteering abroad. In some of the most popular tourist destinations, there are numerous organizations that will take you in for a period of time while paying for your lodging and meals. Along the process, you even have a fulfilling experience.
Consider doing this so you can catch up with your family and perhaps plan a fun activity together. Some students use the spring break to travel back to their homes and visit their families.
14. Avoid keeping pets
Even though it could be tempting, you should possibly postpone having a pet until after college. Taking care of a pet can feel like you are taking care of two people, which can be very expensive. Not to mention the subsequent veterinary expenditures. The option of pet sitting lets you earn money while getting to know what it’s like to have a pet.
15. Attend all your classes
I know it sounds like trite advice, and you might be wondering how this relates to my desire to save money. Well, when you stop to think about it, the main goal of your college experience is to help you learn as much as you can. Additionally, skipping classes that you have already paid for is not the best course of action.
16. Stick to water
Sticking to water solely is your best option, whether you’re trying to save money or improve your health. It is free and keeps your mind active, unlike all those sugar-filled beverages.
16. Make your own beverages
Get a blender, though, and prepare your own drinks at home if you’re looking for any sweet or caffeinated beverages. To save money on frequenting the neighborhood coffee shops, you can even make coffee and save it for later use. Although it is difficult to avoid local caffeine doses while a student, you should reward yourself once in a while.
17. Track your finances
A life saver is keeping track of your financial activities. You can accomplish this by using one of the online resources accessible, such as Mint.com’s or Fin Aid’s Student Budget Calculator. When it comes to managing your money, you will undoubtedly develop more self-discipline once you become aware of where and how you are spending.
18. Avoid buying famous brands
When you have a career in place, you may put off living the luxurious lifestyle. But now that you’re concentrating on your education, it is more practical to purchase more generic goods whenever you can. You may undoubtedly find decent items at fair rates that are equally good and healthful but are not always associated with a well-known brand. You can shop for clothes in businesses that give discounts, just like you can for groceries.
Definitely the best years of your life are in college! Enjoy it while it lasts and pay off your debts as quickly as you can.