Student life is great fun, but it presents its little financial challenges at times. Read on to find out neat ways to save money as a student!
Scanning under sofa cushions for coins, depending a little too much on instant noodles for all three meals, walking to college not because you’re big on fitness but because you’re too broke to get your bike serviced – if these things sound familiar to you, you probably know what we’re getting at.
Yes, students, the struggle is real. Broke days are hard. Student life is not a great financial phase for anyone, unless you’re a millionaire’s offspring, in which case this article is not for you. On the other hand, if you’re a regular-joe student, you’ll surely agree that life would be better if you faced fewer broke days, right? Well, here’s our effort to help you deal with finances a little better… scan through our definitive list of money-saving hacks – you may thank us at the end of the month!
Embrace second-hand goods
So, you’ve moved to your university town and are just setting up your place with the roomies. Let’s assume your new home is not equipped with appliances like a washing machine or a fridge. Obviously, you’re going to need to buy them. Before you step out to shop, just remember that college life is mostly 2-3 years long in most cases, so it’s not imperative for you to buy brand-new home appliances that promise frills and thrills.
If you explore your neighbourhood enough, you’ll surely chance upon a second-hand store nearby where you’ll find home appliances in decent condition – at least good enough to last a couple of years. Instead of spending on new appliances, you can get decent second-hand appliances at half the price! Thus, money saved!
Store food for reuse
Now that you’ve got yourself a fridge (a second-hand one, we hope), you can actually store extra food from the previous night and heat it up for lunch next day – bam! Money saved again. This practice not only helps you save but also reduces the amount of food you’d otherwise throw away. Also, though it may not seem like you’ve saved much money overnight, you’ll be surprised to see how much you’ve actually saved over the whole month!
Coupons, coupons, coupons!
You may have taken promo coupons for granted, but that’s about to change – we’ll tell you why! Coupons are a great way to enjoy good food, movies and much more at discounted rates. If you wish to save money, we highly recommended you strengthen your coupon radar and collect them as and when you cross paths with them – they can come in handy when you least expect it. Though we wouldn’t ask you to cheap out on a date by paying via coupon, we strongly suggest you use them whenever you’re spending on yourself; these days, you get coupons for everything from parlour services to mobile talk time.
Learn to cook basic stuff
While it’s okay to order in every now and then, you’ll be amazed to discover how much you can save on cash once you actually start cooking. If your roomies are game, you can always take turns to cook and save so much on food costs! With this system in place, you’ll just have to pool in to buy ingredients – these costs won’t hurt your wallet too much!
Besides, cooking is better for your tummy anyway – how long are you going to depend on restaurant/canteen food?
Travel like a semi-hippie
It’s natural for you to want to take off on a weekend trip and explore regions just off your university town; nobody wants to stay cooped up at home all the time! Besides, travelling with friends is an experience in itself, so you should certainly do it. But, do it smartly.
Since you’re not earning an income yet, be realistic and OKAY with public transport even if you have quirks about travelling with crowds; as long as you have your friends around, you’ll surely have fun. Besides, a little adjustment can do you good. Now’s the time to get out of your comfort zone and experience things you haven’t before!
Additional Reading: 12 Clever Ways Indians Save on Travel
Spend on things you REALLY need
Let’s assume you stay two kilometres away from college and your home is centrally located to most spots in the city. Do you think it makes sense to buy a superbike in this scenario? It helps to make a list of things you need and things you want; the former will identify your necessities and the latter your luxuries. This will really help you streamline your budget and also help you get into the habit of saving money!
Now we know that you really don’t need to worry too much about saving for the future while you’re still studying, but how about saving for the present? Yes, for the fun stuff! Got your attention, didn’t we?
For instance, let’s say you’re planning a road trip with friends two months from now; that’s 8 weeks approximately. You can start saving a small amount of money every week; you’ll be glad to see your piggy bank when you open it up in the eighth week!
Additional Reading: Money Management Tips For Millennials
Try sticking to a prepaid mobile plan
The thing about a post-paid mobile connection is that you don’t feel the pinch of your costs because of its uninterrupted service. As a student, you should feel the pinch way before you get that horrific phone bill! This is why we recommend you stick to a prepaid phone connection. This kind of works like a Debit Card; your money gets deducted as and when you consume it!
Speaking of Debit Cards…
While Credit Cards are great for working professionals, Debit Cards are ideal for students. Why? Two reasons; one, Debit Cards make you spend more responsibly; and two, Credit Cards only make sense if your expenses are large. For students, expenses are mostly limited to basic living costs. Get a Debit Card and enjoy its convenience while also tracking your debits as and when they happen!
“Colour me intrigued! Show me debit cards”