How to Save as a Student
Being a college student can be an eye-opening experience especially financially. You are now an adult with new financial responsibilities. For some, it’s your first time paying rent, a cell phone bill, car insurance and other miscellaneous expenses you didn’t have to worry about in the past. Whatever a student’s financial status is while in college, beginning to save is a good idea. Here are some creative ways to do so.
Spend Time in the Kitchen
It is very convenient to stop by the drive-thru to pick up lunch or dinner. With a load of classes and perhaps a job or internship, you are probably left with zero motivation to cook. The solution is to find one day of the week and meal prep. You can even save on groceries by looking at stores deals and coupons as well download the local grocery store’s mobile app to stay in-the-know with the deals of the week. These options are time and cost effective.
Invest in a Coffee Maker
Daily coffee drinkers this is for you. If you don’t have a coffee machine and are buying from your local coffee shop or on campus you’re spending an average of $2.15 on a small cup of plain coffee. Of course, a much fancier drink like a vanilla latte is probably costing you on average $4 for a small. So, if you’re buying one every day or five days a week you’re spending more than $500 plus a year. Making your own cup of coffee at home is not only cost savvy but also convenient.
Discounts are Your Friends
Everyone is just trying to cut you some slack! Companies like Apple Music, Amazon and local restaurants understand your financial struggle. For example, Apple Music gives college students a membership subscription discount of 50 percent. It is also very common of businesses like restaurants and movie theaters near campus to offer students a discount by simply showing their student ID. In addition, some bars may offer a college night with drink and food specials. National clothing stores also offer student discounts with some verification. Don’t miss out or overlook these discounts as they could save you money. Do some research and you might be surprised how many places offer discounts.
Get Creative with Transportation
If you can carpool, take the bus or live close enough to campus to walk try to do so. Not only do cars require repairs, maintenance and gas they also require parking permits. It can be extremely expensive to park on campus. If you live on campus or close to it you can take advantage of the school’s shuttles or ride your bike to class weather permitting. Get creative and find ways to cut down on the days you drive to campus. If you find alternatives to driving to school every day you will definitely save money.
Research Room and Board
Plenty of students either live on campus, in apartments with roommates or at home. According to debt.org the average cost of room and board at public universities is $8,887 per school year ($987 a month). This includes the room and utilities and in some cases a meal plan. Living in an apartment can be just as costly as living on campus. Rent could potentially be cheaper but you’re responsible for the utilities, cable, Wi-Fi and furnishing the apartment. For cost efficiency, do your research and see which option is the most convenient and cheapest. Be sure to consider utilities, miscellaneous expenses and transportation costs. And, if living at home with your parents is an option either for free or a small monthly payment, that will always be the best way to save money.
Monitor Your Fun
Going out and socializing can be a lot of fun, but an excess of it can hinder you from saving money. Make sure you’re spending your money moderately on entertainment. Try doing activities that are free or require little money. For example, find free public events like a concert at a park or school events like a soccer or football game.
Saving is very important and starting to do so at a young age is a good practice. Having money in the bank will give you peace of mind and help you in the case of an emergency expense. Following some of these saving tips and opening a savings account will put you on the right track to successful saving.