As a student, you live off your pocket money. Your parents give you a monthly allowance, which you spend on your needs. You must spend the money wisely. Otherwise, it will be difficult for you to survive the month without any extra money.
Your target should not be to spend all your allowance money. Instead, you should save some of it each month to use it for something good in the future.
Saving money is one of the best financial habits you can develop. It will come in handy throughout your life, not just during school or college days. Every student must develop this habit from an early age.
Saving does not mean that you avoid having fun. It is good to spend money on entertainment, food, and other recreational activities. But it is also essential to limit your spending on things you don’t really need. It is about setting your priorities straight and making wise decisions.
How you can save money as a student
This article discusses seven effective ways that allow you to save money. These methods are in no particular order of importance. If you use them, you will surely be able to create a healthy saving habit.
1. Use student discount cards
A student card (usually your identity card) can get you discounts in many places. For example, you can use the card in public vehicles, recreational areas, restaurants, shopping malls, hospitals, etc.
You should make use of student discounts. Carry your card everywhere you go, even if you do not intend to use it anywhere. Whenever you have to pay for something, ask if they give a student discount. If they do provide a discount, you will save money.
Student discounts might not save you significant money, but saving at least 5-10% of your expenses is still worth it.
2. Share your expenses
Try to share most of your expenses (if not all). For instance, if you are living alone, get a roommate. Similarly, when you go out to eat with your friends, share the bill. It is the most useful one. Instead of sharing equal amounts, you can each pay for what you eat. That seems more reasonable.
You can also share other things like online subscriptions and other things that both can take advantage of.
Another tip is to ensure that your friends pay back your money whenever you lend them. Don’t hesitate to ask for it. Just say, “Hey <your friend’s name>, could you return the money you borrowed last week. I currently need it for <your reason>.”
If your friend does not return it, never lend money to them again.
3. Limit your shopping
Shopping can increase your expenses significantly. Don’t run towards an “on-sale” sign. Remember to buy things only if you really need them.
If you spend Rs. 700 for something that costs Rs. 1000, you did not save Rs. 300. Instead, you spent Rs. 700.
Online shopping is even worse. Even though it has made our lives easier, it is not doing your financial life any favor. You see a list of products you like, the price seems reasonable, and you buy it.
A good tip is to always pay in cash while shopping. That way, you know how much money you are truly spending. If you pay using an online payment method or a debit card, it won’t feel like you have spent much money.
4. Buy used stuff
If you must buy something, see if you can get it second-hand. You can find used stuff in good quality and price.
Check if anyone is selling what you need before buying it first-hand. Hamrobazar and Facebook marketplace are good options to look for used stuff.
You can contact the seller and negotiate the price further.
5. Eat out less
For most students, eating out is what they spend on most. While it is okay to eat out and have fun with friends, it is also important not to do it too often.
Learn how to cook and eat at home. It is a healthier and cheaper option. Outside food is not likely to be very good for your health, no matter how good it tastes.
So, stop and think about whether you should eat out today. Is it worth spending so much money on food?
6. Track your expenses
Tracking your money might sound like a lot of work, but it actually isn’t. It allows you to become conscious about your spending, savings, and earnings (if you work as a student).
How do you track your expenses? It’s best to use Google Sheets. Write down the month and create separate columns for income and expenses. Whenever you spend money, come home and make an entry on the sheet. If you tend to forget the amount, take the bill with you so that you can do it later.
You will see how much you have spent and saved at the end of each month. It can be eye-opening.
Try this for a month, and you will see it.
7. Get a piggy bank
It is an old-school way of saving money. Yet, it can be the most effective one.
Get a piggy bank made of mud, not the steel ones where you put a lock. Every time you have extra money, put it in. It is better to decide on a fixed amount to save each month.
When the piggy bank is filled, you will have saved a lot of money.
Saving money as a student can be challenging. But it is crucial. You must develop a saving habit.
This habit will allow you to have extra money to use on essential things later. Further, it will teach you the importance of saving. It is a lesson worth learning that will come in handy throughout your life.
So, start saving from today. Try the methods mentioned above.
You can share your stories in the comments below.