With ever-growing tuition fees and the poor economic climate, finances are becoming tougher for students. Here are some smart budgeting tips for students.
For most students, money is in short supply. Rent, food, tuition, books, and, well, beer are all vital to any college or university education, so smart budgeting is pretty vital. Debts for graduates are just about inevitable these days, as is taking on a student loan, but there are tricks that can help to limit the damage.
In this post:
College Student Budgeting Tips
Simply write down every single transaction made at the end of each day: everything from a trip to the supermarket to buying a can of Coke.
This act of manually recording all money spent helps to rein in any free-spending tendencies a student might have. You can't spend the cash and forget about it; there's a physical reminder each day. Admittedly, it can take a bit of the fun out of uni, though.
Money-Saving Advice for Students
Reward cards, particularly for supermarkets, can be a real boon. The Sainsbury's Nectar Card or the Tesco Clubcard, for example, are great sources of vouchers, whether it's money off particular products or cash values to be redeemed in-store. Students and parents can share the same account and have separate cards, allowing kind parents missing their offspring to direct all the rewards to their grateful, impoverished kids.
Choosing a Student Loan
It should go without saying that any student looking to borrow cash should choose wisely and carefully. A bit of time spent looking at the various options on offer and the different repayment rates can save a lot of money in the long term.
These days there are many companies offering quick student loans, and while they look attractive and can be a reasonable ‘quick fix,' it is vital to examine the interest rates, which can be much higher than those offered by banks. It's certainly worth shopping around each summer to see which organizations have the most favorable terms.
Saving Money at University
Finally, a few quick-fire tips for students who need to save cash each semester:
Learn to cook a few smart meals. Soup is the best example. An enormous soup can be made from a few cheap vegetables, expanded with beans or lentils. Filling and healthy, it can be frozen for later (used and cleaned plastic soup pots are great for this), and one big saucepan of soup can easily make several servings. It's definitely possible to make four or five meals for just $5 or $6 this way.
Coupons, coupons, coupons. It may make you feel like a senior citizen to cut coupons from magazines, newspapers, websites, and product packaging, but it can make a genuine difference to any student budget. Plus, make sure to take advantage of any money-off specials aimed at students.
Walk. Even $1 bus journeys soon add up over the course of a month or two. Get your mp3 player going and stride around your University town, pleased to be exercising and saving money.
Exercise your creative tendencies. Any self-respecting student should soak up as much culture as possible, and this is a tremendous way of doing it without dipping too much into the bank balance.
If all else fails, giving up beer works wonders, too. But not many choose that route.