As a student, you are probably prepared to learn a lot of new things. Saving money is one of them! The words ‘college’ and ‘broke’ often go hand in hand, but it is never pleasant to not be able to pay for your coffee. Full time students, who come from average-income families, are often on a very tight budget. When everyday expenses come into the picture, the students themselves are responsible and they have to learn how to manage them properly.
Whining about your situation won’t get you anywhere, so the first step towards improving your life is learning how to save money. This article has got you covered with ten easy money saving tips that can literally change your quality of living.
1. Forget about the expensive habits
Drinking expensive coffee, hitting the bar on the weekends and smoking are habits that add up quickly and have a huge impact on your budget. I’m sure that your day starts better with a gourmet coffee from a fancy coffeehouse, but that eats at your income with $100 a month; and it’s just coffee. If you make your own coffee at home, you will only spend around $10 a month and you can still choose high-quality coffee. Don’t let me start on smoking, because it is ridiculous to waste your money on cigarettes and find yourself in a tight budget situation when it comes to the really necessary things.
2. Don’t rely on the credit card
Yes, we have all heard the stories of students who don’t limit their credit card use and get in real financial troubles. Use the card only for emergency, because building a bad credit score is done easily when you’re in college, and that record will follow you for the rest of your life!
3. Take control over your budget
If you spend uncontrollably, you shouldn’t wonder why you’re short on money at the end of each month. Take your time to make a monthly budget and decide how you will be spending your money. Determine a reasonable budget for transportation, budget and all other expenses you have, and make sure to stay on track.
4. Don’t try to keep up with your friends
If your friends have the opportunity to go shopping every week and spend limitless amounts of money, you shouldn’t feel bad about it and you mustn’t fall into the trap to join the fun. Each student lives in different circumstances, so you should focus on your own possibilities and tailor your lifestyle in accordance. This is the most important tip of all: spend only what you can actually afford!
5. Stay away from the mall
A college student in a mall is like Alice in Wonderland. Everyone has a weakness, and all those weaknesses can be found in shopping malls, where impulse spending comes on stage. Spending a lot of time in malls will really affect your budget for the necessary things, and you might even find yourself unable to pay the bills. Identify your weaknesses and stay away from those stores if you don’t really need to buy anything new.
6. Hunt down the bargains
You may not like the idea of wearing secondhand clothes, but you would be surprised with the great stuff that can be found in those stores. Thrift stores are worth to be considered not only for clothes, but also for home décor and accessories, furniture, books and shoes.
7. Staying home can also be fun!
You don’t have to go out all the time in order to have fun. There are many inexpensive and fun ways to feel great at home. Most students are in the same situation of financial troubles, so your friends may also enjoy a night in. Watching a movie with a tasty pizza and some beers can be a great occasion to bond and have a nice time together.
8. You don’t really need a car
Sure, there is no student who doesn’t want to have a car, but the costs of having a vehicle are extreme for the tight student budgets. If you work and live on campus, there is really no point of having your own car. Everything is in walking distance and besides saving money, you will also stay fit.
9. Machine wash your clothing items
When you buy clothes, always make sure to get that you can machine wash yourself. Paying for this kind of service is not only unnecessary, but it is also very expensive. If you purchase a box of detergent for only $5, you will be able to wash 20 loads of clothes and have them just as clean and fresh.
10. Discounts are your savior
When you know that everything is going to be discounted in near future, there is really no point in paying full price. Value your money greatly and search for deals in retail stores and restaurants. Coupons are great for students; and you will realize that as soon as you start using them.