Many students find that they spend a considerable amount of time tightening their belts when attending higher education. This often seems to simply be part and parcel of college or university life. However, it doesn’t have to be. This article contains a few handy hints and tips to help those in higher education to save – and even make – money, ensuring that they can still enjoy themselves and afford to live comfortably.
Get a Job
This may seem obvious, but it’s surprising how much working just a few hours a week can help with your budget. College and university towns often have multiple opportunities for part time, flexible work – whether in a supermarket, a bar, your students’ union or anywhere else besides. Good employers will understand when you need to switch shifts because of an upcoming exam – plus, you’re likely to receive some staff benefits, such as discounts, which will make your wages go even further.
Refinance Student Loans
Many people don’t realize that they can refinance their student loan. This approach can enable students to make changes to their repayment terms and the interest rates to which they are currently subject. Doing this may allow you to save a considerable amount of cash. The best way to determine what you might save by doing this is to use a student loan calculator.
Use an Automated Spreadsheet
The best way to budget is to have a document detailing all of your incoming and outgoing funds. Better yet, if you can create a spreadsheet to automatically calculate your total disposable budget for the week, you can type in your expenses in real time – copying them directly from receipts – and the amount you have left over will adjust. Be sure to include everything from water and electricity to entertainment to toiletries to get a clear idea of what you have available to spend each week.
Cut Back on the Luxuries
Attending higher education can be a bit of a shock to the system, not least because – for most people – it means leaving the comfort of the family home and fending for themselves. It’s at this stage that many students finally realize what certain things cost. Consider buying your clothes second hand, using own-brand ingredients and forgoing the latest game or expensive snacks. Better yet, if you can cook at home using fresh ingredients, freeze meals for consumption later and make your own coffee at home to carry around in a flask, the small amounts you’ll save each time will add up significantly by the end of the month.
Make the Most of Offers
Many franchises and chain businesses offer discounts to students when you show your ID card. Why not explore options online to see where you could save or make extra money? You should also take a look at opportunities for free or discounted entertainment at local cinemas and theatres. It’s also a great idea to look for bulk offers and check out end of line or short dated stock at supermarkets to find a bargain.