Being a student definitely does not come cheap. With student loans piling up for every semester you take classes, you probably find yourself wanting to save a bit of money here and there. These are some of the ways that can help you spend less and save more money as a student.
Wait as long as possible before you buy any textbooks.
For many courses, textbooks are listed as compulsory or required, when in reality, they aren’t even used in class or referenced by the teachers. In this case, you could probably get away with not buying the textbooks. If you decide that you need textbooks or they really are compulsory, consider purchasing them either second hand or if you don’t mind reading off a screen, buy the ebook, they’re usually a bit cheaper than a physical copy.
Make the most out of student discounts.
There are so many stores out there that offer discounts to students, whether it be for clothing, food or electronics. Wherever you can, ask if there’s a student discount available and you just might find that you can get your product for a cheaper price. Some stores may not advertise it, but it doesn’t hurt to ask. If you’re an Aussie, I highly recommend checking out Student Edge, they have a huge list of student discounts on their website.
Live at home.
If your family home is a reasonable distance away from school, consider living at home. This will save you a lot of money in the long run as accommodation on or around campus can get very costly. Even if you do pay a small amount of rent to your parents, it will still be cheaper than living away from home.
Organise your classes as efficiently as possible.
If your school allows you the freedom to schedule your own classes, try to group your classes together so that you go to school on fewer days. All up, transport fees can take out a significant chunk of your savings, so reducing the amount you spend per week can save you a lot of money in the long run.
Plan out your meals and have them prepared to take to school.
This goes without saying, but meals bought outside will usually be quite a bit more expensive than homemade meals. The price also increases in areas near or in a school so if you want to save a significant amount in the long run, your best bet is to prepare your meals as often as possible.
Purchase food and drinks at supermarkets instead of cafes.
If you do find yourself needing to buy food, consider going to the local supermarket or grocery store instead of a cafe on campus. Many supermarkets sell sandwiches, salads and ready-to-eat meals and they usually come at a lower price than if you were to buy the same at a cafe or a salad bar. There may not be many options available, but if buying lunch is a one-off thing, then this is a great option that can save you a bit of money.
Always, always have extra food on you to prevent yourself from getting hungry.
You know the saying to not go grocery shopping hungry because you’ll buy things you really don’t need? Well, this is the same deal. When you’re hungry, you’re more inclined to buy food that you wouldn’t usually buy. It might be more unhealthy or more expensive, but because your mind is so focused on filling your stomach, it doesn’t stop to consider these factors.
Time is money.
This is an age-old saying but it definitely still applies. Don’t go too much out of your way to save a bit of money. For example, if you have an assignment due or an upcoming exam, spend that money in exchange for extra study time. Of course, this is entirely up to you, but preparing meals in this case, for example, may not be the best course of action.
Consider your circumstances.
Regardless of how much money you save per week, if you spend more than two hours on a one-way commute to school, then you may want to consider living away from home. Instead of using (and possibly wasting) this time on travel, these hours every week could be better spent doing homework, studying, working a paid job etc.
If you’re looking for specific tips on managing a student income, check out this blog post:
If you’re looking for tips on working as a student:
- How to Get a Job as a Christmas Casual
- What You Need to Know Before Starting a Casual Job After High School