14 Money Saving Tips For Students
Are you enrolled in an academic program and need a bit of extra money? Are you a little unsure with what you can do or what habits you can change to leave money in your wallet? Here are some tips on how you can make your money stretch a little further:
1. Only carry large bills around with you
Many people may rely on their debit or credit cards for making even the smallest purchases. However, if you condition yourself to carry large bills around and avoid using any cards, you will be much more aware of what you are spending your money on. You may also find yourself hesitating to buy single items because of having to break a large bill because of it.
2. Avoid using credit cards
Credit cards should only be used in the case of an emergency or when you know you have the money to instantly pay a purchase off. People will often abuse credit cards, treating it like free money, and will put themselves into debt. Try to use a credit card by only using the amount of what you know you have in your bank account.
3. Only use your student loan for what it is intended for
Students may often get excited with a student loan because they figure that any extra money not used in school costs can be used elsewhere. However, you must keep in mind that you will be expected to pay back every bit that you use. It is recommended to only take out a loan for as close to the amount needed so that you can resist the temptation to purchase unnecessary things with the leftover money.
4. Avoid impulse buys
Buying an item just because it is there can be brutal for budgeting. Instead, train yourself to know what you can afford and stick to the budget. Just because everyone else has it or it is just there doesn't mean that you need to purchase it. If you really want to treat yourself, wait to see if the particular item might go on sale or generally decrease in price at a later date.
5. Rid yourself of bad habits
Whether you smoke, gamble or drink, these are expensive habits that can really eat away at your wallet. If you can, try and cut them out of your life to not only save money but to also promote healthier living. Other bad habits may include collecting certain items or consuming energy drinks, which can also be just as financially crippling.
6. Search for bargains
Although most people may tend to throw away coupons in the mail as junk mail, they can actually save you a fair bit of money when combined with in-store sales as well. Saving a couple of dollars here and there will add up over time and you will see the difference.
7. Give up brand loyalty
If you are purchasing food or cleaning items, often there will not be much of a difference between the taste or ability to clean. When you are buying a brand name product, you are essentially just paying extra for the name. Many stores carry no name products that are just as effective at even half the price.
8. Browse thrift stores for new clothes or items
Thrift stores are wonderful for students or people with low income. You can often find clothes or items that are like brand new for a very low cost as compared to other stores. You can even find brand name items but for a lot less. Just be aware that some thrift store items may show a little wear and tear so be alert when you are looking to purchase.
9. Pawn unwanted items
Most people have items laying around that are just collecting dust. You can make yourself a little bit of extra money by selling them at a local flea market or advertising online. You may be surprised what some people are willing to pay for items you considered to be junk.
10. Stay in
It may be fun to go out every night with your friends, but it can take a lot out of your wallet. Instead, try and invite people over to play games or watch movies. This will save you and everyone else a lot of money but allow you to have the socialization you need.
11. Check out movies or other forms of entertainment from your local library
Many libraries will allow you to check out different forms of entertainment, like DVDs or CDs. Doing this will allow you to save money on renting or purchasing movies and other items for a night spent at home.
12. Try going to a matinee
Everyone enjoys a night out, but it can be especially costly when it comes to going to the movie theatre. When you can, try going to an afternoon matinee, which often costs considerably less than its nighttime counterpart. Just because it's an afternoon showing doesn't mean that the only movies available will be for children.
13. Don't turn away hand-me-downs
If someone is willing to give you clothes or items that have been used previously, don't be too proud that you can't accept the generous act. This will save you a lot of money and will also give you a chance to return the kindness to another when you are more financially stable.
14. Purchase secondhand textbooks for your courses
Anything you can do to help keep your fees down should be a top priority. You may be able to find textbooks being sold for cheap through secondhand bookstores or from students who have already completed the coursework. When you have multiple textbooks that you need to purchase, getting them at secondhand prices will leave a lot more in your wallet than purchasing them all brand new.
Following these tips will help you avoid getting yourself into further debt and will also allow you the chance to enjoy what college or university life has to offer.