Students can find it challenging to live within their means while earning their degree. The often rigorous classes and study schedules can leave little time to work a part-time job and earn regular income each month. In addition to books and tuition, students also need funds to pay for living expenses like rent and food costs. In order to make the most of your time away at school without breaking the bank, here are a few money saving tips specifically for students.
Useful Money Saving Tips
Keep Small Spending to a Minimum
One of the foundational principles of smart money management is making a clear distinction between required and desired expenses through the budgeting process. Students can make the most of the small amount of income they have left after paying necessary costs like rent, books and tuition by keeping a mindful eye on small, every day expenses. Cutting out the trip to the campus coffee shop each morning can save students nearly $30 per week, while avoiding extra items like snacks or fast food can also reduce your monthly output even more. Plan ahead and drink coffee at home or opt to invite friends over for a meal instead of dining out.
Find Free Events on Campus
Although having a busy social life is par for the course during college, it can get expensive quickly. Unexpected purchases for events like concerts and shows can make a sizable dent in a student’s budget each month. Instead of spending your extra income on costly tickets for events out in town, check your campus calendar to see what is offered each month through the school. Most universities have ample activities for students at little to no cost, and taking advantage of these events can keep your budget intact.
Avoid Credit When Possible
It may seem like an easy way to finance all the expenses you have during your time at school, but credit cards can negatively affect your financial future, long after you have graduated. Lenders often assess high interest rates for student credit cards because they pose a high risk of default. If you use your credit card instead of your bank account for every day expenses or extra purchases on a regular basis, you could end up with thousands of dollars in debt that you may not be able to manage after leaving school. If you are offered a card with a lower interest rate, take care to use it sparingly and focus on living within your means.
Each of these money saving tips are beneficial in achieving financial stability during your time at school, and will help you establish smart money management habits that you can use well into the future.