Most students have to operate on a tight budget. Whether you are learning on a grant or you are being g sponsored by your parents, it is common for students to lack money. I remember my student days, where we were on a tight budget almost the whole of student life. We used to live out of noodles on days when the dorm kitchen was closed for some reason. We used to pool money for buying books and supplies.
I studied in India we had subsidized education there. I didn’t have to take a loan to study tuition was negligible, all we had to pay for was the living expenses. But still, as my father was retired I didn’t have any other choice but to make every penny count. Now my nephew just got into a grad school. He’s studying in the USA, he got all the scholarships available for him. But still, the loan was not small.
He will have to live frugally from now onwards. The other day we were talking about it. He’s a good kid and I know he won’t splurge and he will try to get a part-time job as soon as he can.
Students make financial mistakes and often run out of pocket money earlier than anticipated due to a poor, or, no financial planning. No matter how little your pocket money maybe, you can still have a good life and save some amount to take you through the semester.
My nephew and I had a few conversations on how his lifestyle should be. We spoke about personal financing for a student. Here are some money-saving and budgeting tips that I gave him.
Open A Bank Account
The first thing you should do as soon as you set your foot in school is to open a bank account. Open an account that is friendly to a student. Many banks offer bank accounts that are interest-free for students.
When you have an account, you reduce the amount charged on withdrawals. You should open an account with a bank that is accessible to you while at school. The account will help you achieve your savings goals in many ways.
Create a Budget
If you want to manage your money, you must create a budget. Create a budget as soon as you set foot in a school for the first month. Plan the amount you intend to spend on food, books, entertainment, and other important aspects of your life.
It is important to remember that your budget must relate to the amount of money you receive from home or a grant. When setting your budget, prioritize the important aspects such as food and books before thinking about entertainment or travel.
Cook Your Food
Most students spend a lot of money on fast foods. The best way to save money as a student is by cooking your food.
It may be a bit tricky for some students since the habit of eating outside takes root fast in college. However, you should discipline yourself-especially if you are running on a tight budget.
Instead of spending money on quick bites, cook a healthy meal that will keep you going throughout the day. Find a food store near you where you can buy foods at an affordable price and budget for your monthly foods in advance.
Don’t Forget Books And Study Material
Most college students spend a lot of money on food and entertainment forgetting about printing assignments, buying books, and other learning materials.
You should inquire in advance and try to find out the learning resources you will be required to have during the semester. Set aside a budget for buying books and other materials.
You can reduce the amount spent on books by buying used books from graduating students. Get most of the resources you need from students who no longer need them to save on the cost if possible.
Even if you open a savings account but do not have any money to save, your efforts will be futile. If you know that your financial flow is at a very low rate, try finding a part-time job.
Most universities give students the chance to work in several departments within the campus. Look for such opportunities to try and increase your income. You can also find a part-time job outside the campus.
Look for a job that does not interfere with your timetable. If you can get good money from your job, set long term and short term goals to help you save more. Track your spending to find out if there is any money that is not accounted for.
Don’t Forget Your Social Life
When you start saving, it does not mean you have to forget about having fun. You are young and you need time to enjoy your life. Track down your spending to see if you have any money left. Every student must have a social life.
Use the remaining amount to treat yourself once in a while. However, you should not spend too much on entertaining yourself. Just that much what’s essential to keep you motivated and in good spirits.
Do not die in silence if you are completely out of funds. Most high school and college student bodies and other organizations offer help to financially unstable students.
Apply for scholarships and facilitation through college programs. If you can’t get financial aid, capitalize on student outlets such as cafes that offer discounts. This will help you save more.
Besides the need to save money, students also lack time to deal with many assignments. If you have to take a part-time job, you may not get time to complete assignments.
If you are a student in financial constraints and lack the motivation or time to complete your assignments, get help doing your essays.
So make informed decisions and be prepared to change course while you’re in a job. Getting the degree should be the only goal at this time of your life. Lastly, keep in mind that a degree doesn’t always guarantee a job. Doing some credit courses through community colleges or saving some money before going to college is not bad ideas.