Top Saving Tips for College Students On A Tight Budget
College is that time of your life where you stand between a life of dependence and freedom. You’ve finally packed your entire life in a suitcase and left your childhood home, learning to live all on your own far away from your parents who have taken care of you all your life. At the same time, you still do rely on mom and dad for extra support. But 95% of the time, you’re in charge of your life, and it is during this crucial period in your life where you start learning about your finances. Because you live alone without a steady flow of income, you have to figure out how to budget a certain amount of money for rent, food, utility bills, and school requirements every month. Sometimes, you find yourself getting carried away, resulting in purchases you shouldn’t have bought and a gaping hole in your pocket. You fail to save enough money for your other needs, and that’s just a pain in the head. So, if you’re a college student and still learning the ropes of money, here are some tips on how to save if you’re on a tight budget:
Try to Rent or Buy Secondhand Textbooks
One of the first expenses you’ll find yourself facing is buying required school textbooks. It definitely creates a dent in your budget because of how ridiculously expensive they can be, ranging from $200 to $400 per textbook. Because of this, 65% of college students skip buying required textbooks because they simply couldn’t afford to shell out money. In case you find yourself in this predicament, try to ask your seniors if they have the textbooks you need for your classes because chances are, they’ll sell or rent it for cheap as it’s already secondhand. Another option you can go for is to look for a digitized copy online as these are usually cheaper than physical copies.
Take Advantage of Student Discounts
Various companies offer student discounts, and all you have to do is to show your school I.D. to avail it. Take advantage of this because some stores offer at least 10% off or as much as 15% off for students. For example, Apple stores give a special student price for Mac purchases — up to $200 off! Retail stores like Topshop and Banana Republic offer 10% and 15% discounts for students as long as you can present a valid student I.D. upon purchase. Though it’s not much, you can still save a considerable amount in the long run.
Keep Loose Change
This is probably the oldest trick in the book, and you’ve probably been doing this since you were a kid. If you have any loose change jangling in your pocket, keep it in a piggy bank or clear jar. You may not notice it, but as you keep setting aside change, you’ll eventually accumulate enough savings to buy yourself something nice at the end of the semester. Or better yet, you can apply for a savings account and keep your money in the bank until you need it for something important.
Don’t Go Out Too Often
Independence is often associated with college life, and it’s often tempting to go out every night with friends just because you can. No curfews, no nagging parents, no restrictions. You can paint the town red and have the time of your life! But if you’re on a tight budget, try to limit the number of night-outs every week. Instead of dressing up for a party, dress down in your comfy pajamas and have a movie night instead. Plus, it will be a great way to freshen up your mind and relieve stress.
Walk to Class
Transportation costs may not seem like much but if you add it all up at the end of the month, you’ll be surprised with how much you’re actually spending on that alone. So, in order to cut back on transportation expenses, walk to your classes instead. It’s not only good for your finances but also for your body. If you live a considerable distance from campus, opt for a bike instead.
Being a college student is a lot of work, not only physically but also emotionally and financially. It’s not easy, and at times, you’ll probably find yourself exhausted, asking for extra money from mom and dad. But try to emulate these tips in your life, and you’ll probably find yourself in a better situation financially after a school year. Good luck!
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