Are you a student who didn’t get a lot of student loans? Are you just starting out in college/university? Check out these tips to make sure you don’t go broke before the end of the school year.
1. Make a budget plan.
Check out the amount of money you have and divide bits of it up into categories such as necessities and entertainment. Set aside a bit of the money for both categories and you will be able to buy what you need and want without going overboard.
2. Look for sales, buy bulk, and price match .
Are you going grocery shopping, but the things you need are expensive? Pick up a flyer and start looking at whats on sale–you will end up saving money. It’s even better if you buy in bulk while it’s on sale. Places like Costco and Walmart tend to sell in bulk. Although it might look more expensive to buy 6 tubes of ground turkey in one pack than a simple 1 tube of ground beef that you need, consider this: you wont have to go shopping for more when you need it again. Do you see something that’s more expensive at Walmart rather than Food Basics? Let them know and they will price match. You end up saving a lot of money in the long run.
3. Buy used, rent or buy textbooks online.
You walk into your school’s book store to get the textbooks you need and you see that it’s going to cost you around 100 bucks? Consider buying a used textbook. Ask around the college if the book store doesn’t have any used copies. Chances are a upperclassmen will be trying to sell the book you need. Your book store should also give the option of renting textbooks for the semester. Its cheaper than buying a brand new textbook. Checking out websites like Amazon for deals on textbooks can also save you a good amount of money. It might cost you around $60 instead of a hundred.
4. Use the bus system, walk, or bike to get around.
Don’t have a car and can’t afford a taxi? Well, good news! Buses are a lot cheaper. A bus pass a month might cost you around $60 if you don’t get a free one from your school. If you don’t have a pass then buses are usually around $3 a ride. If you do have a car then insurance and gas will drain your bank account.
5. Avoid eating out/eating the cafeteria food.
If you insist on eating out, you better have coupons because it will add up in price. Buying the ingredients for a home cooked version of what you would have ordered saves you money in the long run and you get leftovers!
6. Avoid using a credit card as much as possible.
While having a credit card may seem cool and great, if you don’t have the money to pay it off, your interest will go up and that can cause problems in your future. You can always try to receive gift cards or prepaid credit cards instead so you don’t spend your own money.
7. Find an affordable place to live with some friends.
If you have to find a place to live for school consider finding a nice but affordable, small apartment or get yourself some roommates to help pay the bills and pitch in with groceries. As a student, avoid places that ask for you to pay things like hydro because you won’t be able to afford it.
8. Get a job.
Easier said then done, but if you have free time during the week and you need money, getting a job is a good way to get it. Attend job fairs around your city or at your school. Get writing tips for your resume to allow it to stand out. If you or a friend have connections to someone whose workplace is hiring, use that connection!
9. Dollar store shopping.
The dollar store has a lot of helpful things. The dollar store can also provide affordable things you need such as cheap school supplies, cooking supplies, and household supplies.
10. Look for student discounts.
Some grocery stores like Loblaws give you a student discount. Your college might have deals going on for the movies, or they will hold affordable events and will most likely give you a discount since you are a student.
Do you have other tips for surviving college and university on a budget? Let us know in the comments!