How to Save Money as a Student
GrantMe - March 10th, 2020
One of the most precious things in a student’s life is money. As a student, we have the time and energy but one resource that we really need is money. Most students struggle as they are inexperienced with managing their own money. It may be their first time living on their own and budgeting. To those students who want to save up for a rainy day, here is a guide on how to save money as a student.
How to Save Money as a Student
Saving money as a student can be really difficult as a typical student does not have a lot of funds and most of it gets eaten up by rent, food, and tuition fees. To make saving money easier we (GrantMe) have broken it down into a few factors.
- Cook your own food
The first thing that contributes to overspending your money is eating out. As a student, it is very convenient and easy to eat out as you don’t need to bother with cooking the food or washing up afterward. But meals from restaurants or cafes are more expensive than if you cook at home. So to cut costs, go ahead and stop eating at restaurants or fast food joints. Only eat there on special occasions so it will help you get a grip on your unnecessary spending and free up more money to save.
Cooking your own food will help you learn a valuable life skill, which will come in handy. Being able to cook for friends and family will bring you a lot closer to them.
If you find cooking difficult, don’t be discouraged. Start with simple recipes and you can find a lot of YouTube tutorials that will teach you how to cook. Try searching for recipes online that are not very expensive to cook while you are still in school. Cooking helps you relieve stress and is great for getting your mind off of your schoolwork.
- Save Electricity
It is important that you start using less energy if possible. Try to turn off lights when you no longer need them. Replace your bulbs with a more energy-efficient one. No need to keep them on when you no longer need them. Turn off the TV when you are no longer watching it. Turn off any light or appliance that you no longer require when you are leaving the house. If you can cut down on your electricity bill, you’ll have that cash for your savings account.
- Don’t Call
It is not really necessary to use long-distance calling nowadays as there are a lot of free alternatives for calling out there. Use email or other social media apps and wifi instead of calling. For example, you can use WhatsApp to call and talk with your friends or FaceTime. In this day and age, it is not really necessary to call people at the expense of your own money. Call them when absolutely necessary otherwise use any other platforms to connect with your friends and family.
- Avoid using ATM’s from other banks
ATM’s are really convenient as you don’t need to go to a bank and wait in line to take out cash. All you need to do is use your card and you can collect the money from the ATM. But the thing about using ATM’s from other banks is that there will be a charge associated with the transaction whenever you decide to use them. So it is better if you plan ahead and try finding an ATM from your own bank to withdraw cash.
- Do not get a Cable Plan
At present, there are a lot of replacements for cable TV such as Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, etc. You don’t need to spend upwards of $50 on a cable plan when all of these other services will let you stream and enjoy content without any ads.
There are other things you can do rather than spending time watching TV. Spend your time doing something productive like reading a book or learning a new language. These skills will come in handy in the long run.
- Your Phone Plan
Sim card plans contain a lot of features that you don’t need and sometimes there are even hidden charges that are not shown at first. Now that you are studying and don’t need to use your phone as much, try switching to a plan that is less expensive as it will be more cost-effective for you and provide more money for you to save.
- Don’t be an Impulsive Shopper
One of the most harmful things that eats up most of your money is acting on an impulse. For example, if you walk down the road and see a beautiful dress in front of a shop, you’ll be tempted to just buy it. That is completely fine if it happens once or twice a year. But if you are making a habit of buying things out of impulse then you need to cut the habit.
Try not going down roads that are full of shops as it may cause the urge to buy something that you don’t really need. If you like something and want to buy it, try waiting for an hour and increase the time gradually. Increasing the distance between you and your wants will help you to be less impulsive. Another thing you can consider before buying something is how long you’ll need to save or work in order to buy the thing you want. Put your money in perspective and see if the purchase is really worth it.
- Be Careful of Sales
Another thing you need to be mindful of is whether you are buying items just because there is a sale. While sales can be very useful and help you buy things that you need at a cheaper rate, there are some items on sale that you buy just out of impulse, which you won’t use.
If you are looking to buy a piece of clothing, just think about how many times you will wear it, then divide that number by the price of the item. For example, if you are buying some pants that cost $50 and you are going to wear them 15 times, then it costs you about $3.33 each time you wear them. Do this quick math in your head and you will have the answer for if it is worth buying or not.
- Try to Stay at Home
One of the most important things when it comes to how to save money as a student is that you should avoid going out of your home for fun too often. If you want to hang out with friends, invite them over. When you stay home you restrict yourself from spending money on things that you don’t need.
Avoid going to bars or movies often as these things are not necessary and will make you spend more than you need to.
- Save on Transport
It is much cheaper to commute using public transport than by car. Try using public transport as it will reduce your travel costs significantly.
Saving is difficult, but hopefully after reading how to save money as a student it will become a little bit easier for you!
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