Give these money-saving tips a try
If you are a student, you probably know what it means to live on a limited budget. Odds are, money is going out the window faster than it’s coming in the door! But take heart and remember: your education is an investment in your future. Living lean for a few years will be worth it down the road.
What are some ways to make your money stretch? Try these tips, and see if you end up with a little more money in your pocket by the end of the month:
1. Look for a part-time job
Depending on your class schedule, you may have time for a part-time job. Fitting a part-time job into your study schedule will make you busier, but it also may make you more disciplined in your studies and spending habits. Having a part-time job during school is also a great way to get a job reference once you hit the job market.
2. Pay off your credit cards every month
One of the biggest finance dangers for students is falling into credit card debt. Because credit cards let you spend money that you don’t have, it is a slippery slope! Don’t fall into this trap. If you cannot avoid this temptation, then cancel your credit card and use a debit card instead. Then, once you are working in a full-time position, you can open a credit card account again.
3. Track what you are spending
With credit cards, debit cards, Venmo, PayPal, and an Uber or Lyft just around the corner, it’s very easy to spend your money with the press of a button or the swipe of card. One way to help get a hold of this habit is to track what you spend every month. Look at your statements and records at the end of the month and tally up what you have spent. Were all of those expenditures necessary? What could have been cut out? How can you do better next month?
4. Make a monthly budget
Many people find that making a budget is a good way to stay disciplined about spending. Making a budget of all your expected expenses and income can take a little time at first, but once you get the hang of it, it can really be helpful. Try the Federal Student Aid Program’s tips for creating a student budget.
5. Separate the “wants” from the “needs”
Before you purchase anything, give yourself time to determine whether it’s a true “need” or simply a “want.” If it’s just a “want,” try putting it off until later when you have more money coming in.
6. Cut the trips to the coffee shop (and the soda machine)
Are you the type to start every day with a mocha latte? Try making your own coffee in a travel mug, and don’t forget to bring a water bottle to class. It’s better for your health and your wallet to avoid these expenses.
7. Set a budget for social activities
It’s important enjoy your educational experience and socialize during your school years. However, be careful what you spend. Restaurants, bars, watching movies, going to concerts—it all has a cost. You don’t have to say “no” to everything, but try to cut out the most expensive social activities. Instead, look for free activities in your community or at your school.
8. Buy used items (or items on sale)
If you are a shopper, you know that everything is expensive! One way to save a few dollars is to look for used items on Craigslist, eBay, consignment shops, thrift stores, and so forth. Not only do you save money, but you also might have fun treasure-hunting! Keep your eye on end-of-season sales, too. It’s always fun to find a bargain!
9. Cut out the vices
Vices like smoking, vaping, and drinking are not only detrimental to your health, but they are also costly. Try to cut back or eliminate these habits, and you will look better, feel better, and have a little extra spending money.
10. Wait to get a pet
For some students, living on their own means finally getting the pet they always wanted. But pets are expensive—food and veterinary bills add up quickly. There will be plenty of time to have a pet once you’re in the working world. Put this on hold for now!
11. Look at your living expenses/phone package
Your monthly living expenses are your fixed recurring expenses. Are they as low as they could be? Are you living with a roommate or two, to share rent? Do you really need to have your car, or could you save by ride-sharing? Could you get a better mobile phone package if you shopped around? Do you need that expensive cable package? Take time to evaluate each monthly expense and see how to bring it down.
These money-saving tips for students were provided by the Harris Casel Institute in Melbourne, Florida. We offer programs to become a home health aide, medical billing and coding specialist, nursing assistant, practical nurse, and more.
If you are looking for career training programs in the Brevard County area, be sure to check us out. Reach us at (321)-676-4066, or online through the Harris Casel Information Form. Or come visit us and take a tour of Harris Casel. We will be waiting for you!