College is often a tough test for the majority of students. Unless your mommy and daddy are millionaires or rich enough to sustain you, you are going to find many financial obstacles along the way. That’s how life is, and college is just a gentle preparation for what’s about to come next.
Even though you may believe that it’s hard right now, while you are still a student, the truth is that this hustle is just the introduction to life.
Money is the most critical aspect of today’s society. It always has been, and I doubt that’s going to change soon. Without it, you can’t meet your primary needs, you can’t study, you can’t be free. In other words, you need to pay real close attention to how you’re treating this currency.
It’s common to hear that students are poor because they are in college, they don’t have time to work, and so on. Do you want to know what’s really turning them into poor persons? It’s all about how, when, why, and for what they’re giving away their money. It’s all about managing your finances in such a way that you don’t get to the point where you starve and have to ask for help or get into debts.
In today’s article, you will learn 16 helpful tips that will teach and help you manage your finances and save your money during your college or university years. Let’s begin.
1. Make a budget, and stick to it
College is fun. There are tons of opportunities to spend your bucks on all sorts of things. That is why it’s essential to start with creating a budget plan where you asses your current financial condition and decide upon priorities. Do this, and you’ll never find yourself starving.
2. Become a resident adviser
By becoming a resident adviser, you have great chances of avoiding the tuition for your room. According to The College Board, the average cost of attending a public school over one year of your study is 8,535$. This is a huge expense, and if there are ways to avoid it, why not?
3. Live with others and cut the rent in half
If you don’t have a problem with co-living with other students, finding a roommate can be very beneficial to your finances. Firstly, your rent will be split in half. Secondly, you can manage the resources you keep in the house in a better fashion, as two brains are always better than one.
4. Cut off expensive addictions
If you truly have money problems, or you just want to save enough so you can afford a decent living, you must cut off your vices. Smoking or drinking is not only a huge waste of money, but they also deteriorate your health. You know the risks, so why not give up before it’s too late and end up completely broke?
5. Cook more often
I know, it’s easy to serve the dinner out. You just sit at a table, waiting to be served, and the food…damn, it’s good. Unfortunately, this can turn into a habit that you can’t afford. The alternative is to make time and prepare your own food, with cheaper and healthier ingredients. Doing so, you’ll save lots of cash that will be spent somewhere else.
6. Get a hold of discounts
Being a student comes with advantages. You are eligible for a very numerous amount of discounts. These can range from food, books, seminars, movies, events, and so on. Before rolling in, make sure you carefully read the list of benefits you’ll receive after registering. Make sure that they’re fit for you, and that you’re going to exploit them to the maximum.
7. Borrow textbooks instead of buying them
You don’t have to buy all your textbooks! Your college’s library should have most of the things you need, and if not, you can use the consortium system to obtain it from another library.
8. If you can’t borrow, rent them
If you tried everything and you couldn’t find what you need, here’s another option: rent those textbooks. There are online websites like Book Renter that can help you with that. It’s also cool that you have an option to choose for how long you’re renting them, and the prices are usually very affordable.
9. Sell as many things as you can
Try to put it this way: why keep stuff that you no longer need when you can just trade it or get the money to buy something else? This applies to textbooks (in case you’ve bought them and no longer need them), clothes, coupons…basically, everything you think you no longer need. E-Bay is your friend.
10. Choose non-expensive transportation methods
You can walk, ride the bike, or use public transportation instead of driving a car. That car represents a constant expense. You always have to put money in it, and when something gets broken, oh…you know what happens then. Besides, it’s much healthier to do some physical exercise instead of just sitting and driving.
11. Attend campus activities instead of going out
Take advantage of your campus activities and events as much as possible. Instead of paying money to watch a movie, attend a movie night on your campus. Instead of socializing in town, where you’ll definitely spend some money, do it for free in your own yard.
12. Stop buying branded products
I know. You’re probably used to buying products that you see on TV or on internet ads. This is often not the right choice in terms of health, but I can tell you it’s definitely not the right choice in terms of finances. Quality is quite often indistinguishable compared to no-brand products. You just have to do your research, and buy the right, cheaper stuff.
13. Start working
You won’t be the first nor the last student who takes up a job in order to sustain your living. It can be a full-time job, part-time job, or a freelancing job. If you can provide services, go ahead and do it. It will take some of your study time, yes, but if you want to live your college life without worrying what you’re going to eat tomorrow, you have to work.
14. Buy drinks from supermarkets
I’m not encouraging alcohol drinking, but I know that you’re doing it anyway. One way you can significantly reduce your spending would be to drink before you go out. Supermarkets are your best friend when it comes to this. Go shopping, drink with your friends at home, then go out knowing that you saved some nice bucks.
15. Make your coffee at home
Why spend tons of dollars on Starbucks and other expensive coffee shops when you can do it on your own? There are lots of extremely tasty coffees that are waiting to be prepared by hand. And guess what – they are a better deal for you in the long term in terms of both health and finances.
16. Avoid unnecessary student services
Campuses offer a lot of services in general. Some of them may not benefit you at all, but you’re still paying for them. You need to take those expenses off as fast as possible. Make some priorities and decide whether it’s really worth spending your money in this way. On the other side, you can sometimes find cheaper services inside your campus like copying and printing your necessary reports.
Money saving isn’t rocket science. You just need to become a little bit modest until you can afford to raise your standards. Smart students understand the necessity of making some money-saving sacrifices in order to gain financial stability. Be a smart student!
If you run out of money while trying to maintain a living in college, trust me, your life will be ten times harder compared to someone who has the money. Bill Gates once said: “If you are born poor, it’s not your mistake, but if you die poor it’s your mistake”. Keep that in your mind, and let it guide your actions. Good luck with your savings!