“Student life is hard,” they say. “Being broke is part of being a student“, they chant. “They”: the naysayers, the ones who accept the status quo and fail to think of a way out. Don’t listen to them. There is a way out.
While these 40 money-saving tips may not transform your life at the get go, they will save you money and teach you to think of innovative life skills. They may even change your perception of money matters and budgeting, making you confront your inner beliefs and ideologies.
Save Money Now!
- Don’t make impulse purchases – including those luring online “75% OFF if you purchase in the next 20 minutes” discounts from popular discounted imported goods websites.
- Eat and drink before you go grocery shopping.
- Going grocery shopping without budgeting and a shopping list is a big no-no.
- Drink water instead of costly and unhealthy beverages.
- Just by paying your bills on time, you avoid late fees and a negative credit record.
- Walk, cycle, carpool or share a car when safe to do so.
- Go to the library to get your textbooks, especially the ones you will use for short periods.
- If you must buy textbooks, opt for second-hand ones or rent them.
- Sell your unused textbooks.
- Open a student savings account that earns interest.
- Avoid bad credit, such as taking a loan to buy branded clothing, expensive hairstyles, and so forth.
- Step out of coffee shops and make your own damn coffee.
- Exchange that expensive spring break, pens down party or spring bash for other alternatives like visiting family, volunteering, or doing an internship.
- Seriously now, how many blue pens do you need? Why buy writing pads when you can type notes on your cell phone or laptop? Cut down on unnecessary school supplies.
- Opt for free campus activities instead of paying to go out. Think of campus museums and free social events.
- If you can help it, get a pet after university. This will save you on costly meals, veterinary bills and time. If you’re an animal lover, you can always volunteer at an animal shelter.
- Learn some DIY skills from online videos or ask your friends to teach you. This can help you to skip the hairdresser by shaving your own head or styling your own hair.
- Shop where they offer student discounts upon presentation of your student card.
- Cut out on binge drinking and eating out unnecessarily.
- Use your skills and talents to generate income. For example, you can charge your mates to do their hair, clean up after a party, walk their dogs, glam up old clothes, or even be a jogging buddy.
- Cancel or alter your TV subscription, especially for the channels you never watch.
- Update your apps and catch up at free (and safe) Wi-Fi spots on campus and other public areas.
- Choose pre-loved goods (second-hand) as opposed to new gadgets, clothes and stuff.
- Change your hobbies to reading library books and swimming at a public pool.
- Use Skype, WhatsApp or other call and texting apps that minimise your phone bill.
- Ditch the expensive phone contract with runaway costs for discounted pay-as-you-go options.
- Unplug unused devices like your computer, TV, charger, and so forth. This can save you electricity.
- Wash your laundry in cold water to save on electricity bills.
- Line-dry clothing instead of opting for a dryer – and it goes without a saying that you can do your own laundry.
- Instead of taking your only power suit (that you wear for job interviews, weddings and all other special occasions) to the dry cleaner, you should opt for a home dry cleaning kit.
- Request free samples.
- Ask your doctor for generics where available.
- Use coupons and promotion codes.
- Try a free or discounted student gym, as opposed to expensive gyms.
- Prepare your own meals and take a lunch box instead of eating out at the cafeteria.
- Eat out less.
- Get a roomie or share your digz – apart from saving money, you have someone to help with the chores.
- Go to class, learn and get good grades. You’ve already gone through the stress of applying, paying for it and enrolling, so you might as well just ace it by giving it your best shot.
- Enjoy the simpler things of life like breathing in deeply, going for a walk, getting enough sleep and applying your mind.
We hope that this list will show you that you have rights and responsibilities when it comes to shaping your financial wellbeing. Better still, we trust that it will inspire you to act, now. Do what you can with what you have. May it inspire you to think of a positive way out. You are never helpless!
Like these somewhat easy money-saving tips that you may or may not have been aware of – the path to financial freedom resounds to those who truly understand: “there is always one more move!”