Going to college is an amazing experience and a big chapter in your life, but it can also be challenging for students to manage financially when you factor in tuition, rent, bills, food, travel, books and keeping yourself entertained. Many students struggle to make their loan last the term which can make life difficult in the last few weeks, which is why it is helpful to be aware of a few financial tips which will hopefully be of use. If possible, you should try to avoid picking up a job as this can interfere with your studies and drain your energy.
1Up a Termly Budget
The first step is to draw up a termly budget so that you can spread out your loan across the entire term as opposed to spending lavishly in the first few weeks (although this is always tempting). Work out how much you can afford to spend each week to make the money last all term and you can then find ways to fit within this budget.
If possible, you should look to share accommodation with other students which will make it much more affordable and could allow you to get more for your money – this is also a great way to have fun and be social too.
3Find Ways to Spend Less
It is then a case of finding ways to spend less, and there are lots of good ways to do this while still ensuring that you have fun and that your studies will not be affected. A few good ways to make savings as a student include:
- Buying food in bulk
- Cooking meals from scratch
- Batch cooking
- Making packed lunches
- Second hand textbooks
- Socializing at people’s houses
- Walking/cycling instead of driving/public transport
4Earn Money Online With Surveys
As mentioned, picking up work is not usually a smart idea because it can interfere with your studies, drain your energy and be hard to juggle. A great alternative is to take paid surveys for college students as you can easily fill these in during your free time and from home, and it is a great way to earn some extra cash – every little helps when it comes to college.
5Take Advantage of Student Discounts
It is important to be aware that you can often make huge savings with student discounts so you should always shop around for these before spending. Students can often enjoy discounts on gym memberships, bars and restaurants, clothes shops and many other places so it is always worth looking into this (although you should not spend for the sake of it).
6Have a Small Emergency Fund
Having a small emergency fund available is smart because the unexpected can happen whether your car breaks down, you have to visit back home one weekend or you need to buy a new coat. An emergency fund can make this easier to manage and reduce financial stress.
These tips should help any student to manage their finances while still enjoying their college experience and making the most of it.