Being a student means that there’s not enough time for you to earn money of your own. Some students are more shrewd and can balance school and small businesses. However, if you don’t have the time or the means to produce more money for your budget, you’ll need to learn how to live on a budget. Here are some useful tips for living on a student budget:
- Make your own food.
When you make or cook your own food, you can save as much as 75% of your meal budgets. The reason is that you can store ingredients and use them to make more meals in the future. You can also make snacks, juice, and ready to eat meals if you live in a dorm.
- Invest in a bike.
Instead of taking public transportation, why not invest in a new bike. To save more money, you can also buy a second-hand bike. Just make sure that it is worth the price and is still in good condition. You don’t want to get in an accident just because you wanted to save some cash. Now, riding a bike is not just good for your pockets. It is also great for your health.
- Walk whenever possible.
Some distances between classes and establishments can be walked. If you have the time and energy, it may be better for you to take a stroll instead. You can also take a quick jog to school if you feel like it. Just make sure that you have access to a shower after your run.
- Shop wisely.
When shopping for anything, whether it’s food, clothing, or indulgences, make sure that you spend your money wisely. Whenever there’s a sale, consider if it’s a worthy purchase or if it’s just a way for shops to make the most money out of you. A true sale is a clearance sale, in which companies are getting rid of items that they no longer need. If that is the case, it is better to be out of season that out of cash.
- Consider bulk purchases as well.
When buying perishable goods, it is best to buy one product at a time or the ones that you will consume immediately. Bulk food sales are only good for families who will consume them immediately. You should invest instead in bulk sales of products that you use daily such as toiletries.
- Always use cash.
Even if you have a credit card, you must discipline yourself and use it only for emergencies. Always use cash, if possible. The reason is that credit card charges can take a toll on your budget. As a student, you may also not have the means to pay your bills in full. This will reflect on your credit score, which can also affect your ability to buy a car or a home in the future.
- Ask yourself if a purchase makes sense.
Food and daily use items are a necessity, but there will be times when you want to indulge yourself. You might want to go shopping or spoil yourself with a spa day. However, before you pursue that purchase, think about why you’re spending that money. Is it to reward yourself? Do you need that item? If the answer is no, you should walk away. Only purchase items that you need or the ones that you can afford.
- Save, save, save.
The most important thing you need to do, even if you are on a strict budget, is to save money for a rainy day. Although you can pay medical bills using insurance or ask for help from organizations to help with your finances, it is better to start your nest egg while you are still in college. You can use this in the future to pay your student debts, get your first apartment, or invest in a small business or venture to increase your income.
Now that you have some idea as to how you can save money, why don’t you start by starting a savings account or maybe even put a few dollars in a DIY piggy bank.