09 Jan How Students Can Save Money?
Heading off to university can be a stressful time in general but when finances are added into the mix then the worries can really pile up. Studying can be an expensive business so it’s a good idea to do some research and see where you can save a little money here and there. Small changes can make a big difference over time so be proactive and plan ahead before you find yourself out of pocket.
Get a job
Not the most popular suggestion among students, this. While the university years are generally seen as a time to party hard as well as work hard, the financial reality of the situation means that landing a part time job could be the difference between scraping by and actually being able to enjoy yourself while you’re away. Bar work is always a good idea if you can get it as it gives you the opportunity to socialise as you earn. Even if you just choose to work in a shop for a few hours on a Saturday then it’s all bonus money that can go towards a few more drinks in the week or ensuring that its not beans on toast for dinner five nights in a row. If you’re able to spare some of your earnings, even better – put whatever you can into a high interest savings account and you’ll have a nice little pot there over time for emergencies.
Go second hand
One of the biggest expenses at the outset of university comes with buying recommended text books for your course. Consider buying used books rather than new copies – remember that many people will have no use for their books once they’ve finished their course so you could be in line to snap them up on the cheap. If you can loan the books, even better. Or, find some like-minded people from your course and buy one book each with the understanding that everyone in the group can borrow each other’s books when the need arises.
Draw up a plan
Coming up with a realistic budget that you can stick to may sound like a dull activity but it’s one that you’ll thank yourself for further down the line. Many students decide against sticking to a budget, confident that they can regulate themselves efficiently on the fly – and a large number of them find themselves scratching around for money a few months down the line having spent everything. It’s not surprising when you think about it; students are generally away from home for the first time and are having their first experience of financial independence. Note down how much rent, bills, food, entertainment and any other outgoings are going to cost you over a given month and make sure that you’ve going to be able to cover them all. If not, it’s going to have to be the entertainment figure that gets chopped down a little.
Be careful with credit cards
Credit cards are a great way to manage your money – but only if you’re completely on top of things and are able to pay off your balance every month without fail. In any other situation the interest you’ll be charged make credit cards an extremely inefficient way to borrow money. It’s easy to pay for things on a credit card and just forget about them but this is a dangerous road to travel down. If you won’t be able to pay the bill in full at the end of the month then don’t use the card. If you are in a position to use a credit card the right way then think about applying for a cashback credit card for a little extra bonus. Every transaction you make with the card will see a certain percentage come back to you, meaning that you should use the card to pay for anything and everything you can for maximum benefit – provided, again, that you can pay the bill in full.