In the 11 ways to save money as a student, I am going to share some tips and tricks I apply in my daily life that have helped me stay disciplined and on the right track with my finances.
The benefits of these tips and tricks:
– You will become aware of your money
– You will start enjoying cooking for yourself (Hello Chef)
– You will start having fun without spending tons of money
– You will fatten your savings
Enough of me selling my article, Now, let’s get to what you all came here for.
1. Plan ahead
Making a budget sounds tedious. However, having a habit of budgeting will eventually save you from many bad financial decisions. Budgets are a great tool most of us ignore.
As I explained in my article ” How to manage monthly budget as a student” Planning spendings ahead of time will allow you to see where your money is going. Being able to see where your money is going, will help you cut down on expenses that are not necessary.
Tips: Plan and stick to it. If the temptation to spend comes, wait for at least 24 hours. If you still feel like buying the item and you can afford it, then go for it. Try this technique and thank me later.
By far the greatest cost for students is housing. Most students in Europe burn their money here, unless they get a study grant or a housing allowance, like students in Finland.
A yearly global student housing report by specialist market research and advisory firm Bonard stated “The demand is growing faster than in other asset classes and even during economic downturns, making it a counter-cyclical asset class.”
The student housing boom is not going away anytime soon.
Tip: If you decide to rent an apartment, try to pay less than 60% of your income. If you are not too strict with your personal space and don’t mind others around, you might want to consider sharing an apartment. Doing this might help you save up to half of your housing expenses.
3. Eat less outside
t’s trendy and easy to eat outside, who doesn’t like it? however, every time you eat that pasta a la mozzarella you shrink your wallet. Unless you live in Maya’s empire…there is no free lunch or dinner. Consider eating out only a few times per month, if you can afford it.
Tip: The goal here is to not make it a habit. When it comes to your nutrition, try to rely mostly on yourself, because you know best what your body needs.
4. Cook at home
Knowing how to cook will help a great deal with the previous tip. Okay, fair enough, not everyone is a master chef. However, every master chef had to start from somewhere. Thanks to technology, learning how to cook has become pretty easy.
You can find endless amounts of recipes and tutorials on Google and Youtube. Some of them so fool proof even a child can follow along.
Tip: Learning how to cook is a skill that will serve you for a lifetime. After learning this skill, both your bank account and health will thank you, as you will spend less and have more control over what goes into your body.
5. Stop useless subscriptions
We will start this one with a little 30-second test. Let’s see if you’ll pass: “How many subscriptions do you have? And “how much does it/ do they add to your monthly expenses?
Many of us will be shocked to discover that we still pay for services we barely use. Even though most of us don’t pay much per subscription, it eventually adds up, especially if you have multiple of them.
Imagine if you put that money every month in a savings account or an index fund with a return of 5% annually for 10 years. I’ll let you do the math for a sec. In 10 years, you’ll pat yourself on the back for a job well done.
Tip: Pay only for services that are important to you and you truly use.
6. Start a cheap or free hobby
This is where I personally fall short at times. My best friend once told me that everyone has something that drains their pockets dry. Maybe yours is shopping, partying or you’re a foody. As a gym rat, mine was spending recklessly on fighting clubs, fitness, and other related activities.
As a result, I was draining my bank account. Even though I love fitness, I had to realize I could not afford it all.
Now I pay only for one gym with a student discount, of course. With the rest of my free time, I learn new skills, like a new language for example. Now It’s your turn to find an activity you are overspending on.
Tip: try to find better deals to cut down on the cost or cut it out if it is of no value to you. Find out various ways you can enjoy your free time where you live with less or no expenses.
7. Make use of your student status
The good thing about being a student is that almost everyone knows we are tight on money. Yes, retailers, movie theaters, some restaurants, transportation and so on…
To attract more students as costumers, a lot of these establishments offer student discounts. Now my question is “are you using this privilege?”. If not, bravely check out places in your city that offer these benefits and start utilizing them.
In some countries like Finland as I mentioned earlier, students receive monthly assistance from the government.
Tip: Check if such opportunities are available in your country and make use of them.
8. Buy used books or borrow instead
Should you buy all the recommended books for the academic year? The answer is, No. You shouldn’t buy them all. Don’t get me wrong, I love books. They are my second favorite things, right after food of course. However, you should buy only mandatory books.
Also, remember to make a bargain when buying them. With my experience, most school books are full of theories no one will remember and are usually also boring. There is a big chance students before you are not going to need them after the course and neither, will you.
That is why it is best to buy these books used. Also, don’t forget to sell after the course as well.
Tips: There are many websites you can buy and sell used books. Did you consider borrowing instead of buying? Have you checked your University library? You’ll be surprise how much you can save doing this.
9. Buy second-hand stuff
This might sound a little bit hippie for some of you, however, this move is going to save you some bucks. There is a great chance you’ll find good quality items at a competitive price and it is also good for our planet.
Tip: Check out websites like Amazon.com or even better, check out your local thrift shops.
10. Welcome free stuff
Sure, you are an adult, independent and can make it on your own. However, you should let the door open for people willing to help. Why should you refuse a gift card from your friends? Or your favorite meal from your mom or dad every so often? Come on!
Tip: Don’t forget to show gratitude and give back too. It can be as simple as helping your mom or dad clean up after the wonderful meal.
11. Start a card- free strategy on nights out
Have you noticed that you actually spend more money when using your card than you do using cash? If the answer is yes, be assured you are not alone. In 2001, Drazen Prelec and Duncan Simester of MIT published the results of their research in Marketing Letters.
They found out shoppers spend up to 100% more when using their credit cards as opposed to using cash.
Tip: As a rule of thumb “always leave home for a night out without your card”
I hope you found one or two tips that will help you improve your financial ninja. Until then keep getting better and grow wealthy.
Here are the links to some of the information that helped me in writing this post:
1. Board report by specialist market research and advisory firm Bonard:https://bonard.com/latest-study-student-housing-booming-in-europe-and-australia-592-projects-in-the-pipeline/
2. How to manage monthly budget as a student https://willing2bewealthy.com/2019/11/09/how-to-manage-monthly-budget-as-student/
3. Drazen Prelec and Duncan Simester of MIT results of their research in Marketing Letters https://link.springer.com/article/10.1023/A:1008196717017