How to save money as a student?
Author: Julia Lasinska
Date of Publication: 10/01/2023
Although your time as a student is the best time of your life, it is way more expensive than it should be. You want to discover, learn, meet new people, try new food and go to new places. At the same time you aren’t earning your own money yet and your books are your best friends every evening . Therefore, even if you don’t have to pay thousands euros for your education every year, it might be difficult to manage and save some money during your student time.
Fortunately, there are some simple ways to save money while still having fun and enjoying being a student. But before sharing with you those tips, there is one thing that is even more important for you to remember: adopting a saving mentality. You need to realize that being economical is a mindset. So, if you are open to trying it, follow the advice we are going to give you. It doesn’t mean that you have to give up all the things you love doing because they cost you a lot of money. Instead, you need to find a balance between being economical and treating yourself from time to time.
1. Set a budget & follow the 50/30/20 budget rule.
Before anything, it is important to be aware of the money that you receive every month. The 50/30/20 rule is a perfect budgeting rule for beginners. It means that you split your money into 3 categories: needs, wants and savings. In general, it looks like this: 50% of your money goes toward your absolute necessities (rent, transportation etc.). Then, the 30% goes to things that you want but not necessarily need (eating out, going to a concert, buying a book). So, what’s left is the last 20% which goes towards your financial future: saving money aside to reach your goals and stay calm in an emergency situation.
2. Cook your own food & be smart at the supermarket
While eating out might be very tempting, it certainly won’t be beneficial to your wallet. Try to set out a rule of eating out for example once a week, or once every 2 weeks. Secondly, never do your grocery shopping when you are hungry as this is the easiest way to overspend your weekly budget. Last but not least, make sure to plan your meals in advance. It will help you estimate how much the ingredients will cost and also actually use the products that you will buy. And if you have a whole day of classes ahead of you, make sure to prepare enough food for the day.
3. Explore student discounts
Being a student has many perks, and one of them is student discounts. If you know where to look, you can easily save on movies, travel, food, retail, software and many more. In addition, when you are looking to buy something specific, try googling if there is a student discount on this product. For example, ‘Adobe Photoshop students’ sends you directly to a discount page for students and teachers. Or, if you are looking to buy a new laptop from Apple, definitely check the ‘back to school’ discount that the company offers every year.
4. Cut out unnecessary subscriptions
This one is especially important when you are planning out your monthly budget. By checking on all your subscriptions you can cut out regular payments you don’t use before the prices go up. Nevertheless, if for example paying 15 euro per month for Netflix keeps you from going to the cinema every week, you should definitely keep that subscription.
5. Find a side hustle
Although you don’t have time for a full time job during your studies, you can definitely afford to spend 10-20 hours a week by earning some money on the side. It can be a very simple job, such as working in a coffee shop or a restaurant but there are also plenty of online opportunities! You could become a virtual assistant, for instance. That means mainly helping your clients manage their day-to-day life by answering emails, booking flights and organizing their schedule. Or, if you are fluent in 2 languages or more, you could try freelancing as a translator on websites such as Fiverr or UpWork.
6. Share a flat with your friends
Another way of saving money while being a student is sharing a house or apartment with more people instead of living alone. By splitting the rent, but most importantly also all the utility bills you will save a significant amount each month.
7. Search for free entertainments & get creative
Social life is probably one of the most expensive things in your student life. Most of the activities cost money, but there are many less expensive ways to have fun with your friends. Why not have a picnic instead of eating out for the third day in a row? Or going hiking in the valley closeby instead of going to the overpriced party on Saturday night?
To conclude, even though you might not have enough money as a student, there are tons of ways to save what you have. In fact, you can even earn some money by doing a part-time job. Hence, following the tips mentioned above will help you create a healthy balance and good relationship with money for the future.
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