Are you living off ramen noodles and saving money in a tip jar? Let us guess; you must be a college student! Living on your own can take its toll on your already non-existent bank account. Money is hard to come by, and you end up doing a couple of odd jobs just to make your ends meet. Countless of pictures shared on Facebook show students improvising on plates, spoons, and cutlery or bringing their laundry home to save up on the detergent money.
However, difficult it may seem, there are numerous ways to manage your finances and save money.
Want to know how? Read the following tips:
Plan a Budget:
Make a list of things you will need monthly. Include food essentials like milk, flour, eggs, and meat. You must include toiletries such as toilet paper, shampoo, conditioner, soap, and toothpaste. Look up the prices of these essentials and note it down. This counts as your budget for necessities that you need throughout the month. Make a budget for weekly groceries. Consider your monthly bills and expenses and set that amount aside to clear rent and bills as soon as they come in. After your expenses budget is decided, draft up an amount that you will save and the amount you will spend on other expenditures including traveling, printing, stationery, or other items.
You might be highly tempted to splurge on a few goodies for yourself or to party with your friends. However, things can get out of hand especially when you are going out. You can easily cut down on expenses by being smart. Limit going out to eat, use public transport, get a roommate to share bills and rent, cut down the cable and phone packages, and indulge less in vices like drinking or partying. Look for events or parties that charge no entry. Being wise in your decisions can help you save.
Being resourceful means being smart in thinking up alternatives. Buy used or old textbooks or search up an online pdf if it is available. If you know only a few chapters are useful for your course, borrow it from the library or someone who already owns one and photocopy those few pages. Use free online services like music and movies, do not use websites that make you pay for it. Further, check for places that offer student discounts for their services of products. Use water rather than other drinks, make your own coffee instead of going to cafes and use a bike if you have one.
Use Online Guides:
When buying products, ensure that you are buying the best ones or the ones that live up to their price while fulfilling your needs. How to do that? There are online buying guides available for almost all products. You can compare specs and prices of different products. Pros and cons can be discussed as well. They also feature a “What to look for when buying so and so” sections. These sections help you realize which specifications would suit your needs best.
For example, you wish to go on a hiking trip with your friends. You need to buy hiking boots. Do not just go into any shoe store and ask for one. Do some research first! Websites like The Habitual Hiker feature a buying guide on summer hiking boots. You can easily go through it and compare different boots to find the one that serves you best. They will help you decide which specifications you want in the first place by elaborating which spec means what.
So, there you have it, folks! Follow these tips, and you will be saving enough for the future in no time!