When you’re a student, financially, things can be pretty tough. Your income is reduced as you study, especially if it is full-time. Plus, you might be a little plagued with the thought of leaving University with a lot of debt. So some people can be left feeling quite anxious about it. You might be counting the pennies, but with some planning, there are plenty of ways to help your money go further. So if you’re a student, or are going to be a student, then here are a few ways that you can save and spend your money more wisely when you’re a student.
Be Selective When Choosing a Bank Account
When you look for a student account, there are some things that you need to look out for. They will entice you with some gimmicks, but you need to look at what they are offering you when you open up a student account. Do they offer things like insurance, for example? Something that will save you some money from having to buy your own. Do they also offer a good rate for your savings? More than likely, though, you’ll need to look at the interest rate for borrowing. If you were to go into your overdraft, would there be a charge or are there a couple of days grace? When you are charged a daily rate, it really can add up. So look for an account that can offer you the right rate that you need, as well as the overdraft that you need. Anything unplanned can end up costing a lot of money. So make sure that you budget, and pick your bank account accordingly.
Check Accommodation Fine Print
If you are living away from home, then you’ll need to check the fine print of your accommodation contract. Even though you aren’t going to need it for the whole year, will you be a charge for 52 weeks of rent? Bear in mind that University semesters are pretty short and you get several breaks spread throughout the year. Will you be charged half-price when it comes to the summer months, for example? If you will be charge full price, but won’t be needing to live there during those months, then it might be worth considering some short term accommodation instead. Then you can just use the accommodation for when you need it during the semester. It might mean a bit of moving around, but in the long run, it could save you some money.
Check Your Bank Statements
When you know your spending habits, and you know how much you spend, it helps you to stay on track. So one way to stay on track and keep on top of your budget is to check your bank statements regularly. You can see where you can make changes (such as buying coffee on the way to class every day). Or you can look at ways to spend less, such as at the grocery store. So make it a habit to check your statements and go through your receipts. Otherwise, you can overspend quite easily. Don’t bury your head in the sand when it comes to finances.
Pay Bills On Time
One thing that can affect your credit rating is if payments are missed. So if you have bills to pay at a certain time, even just something like your cell phone bill, can make a difference if you don’t pay on time. So make sure that you mark in your calendar when the payments are due. If you can, then setting up a direct debit is the easiest way to do it. Then the money gets taken out, and you don’t have to think about it. As long as you’re staying on top of your budget and your spend, you’ll have money in your account to pay the bills.
When you are a student, you have to adjust to life as a student. You can’t necessarily go on with life as it was before, where your parents provide the majority of the things for you. You do need to get on with it yourself. You also need to think about what is important to you. For instance, do you need a car when you’re away at University? If you’re on a campus University, then it could be an easy decision to sell your car or to mark it as off the road and leave it at your parent’s house. There are many other things to decide upon too. Are holidays and luxuries needed when you’re at University? If you plan for them, they could happen. But you might have to make cuts elsewhere. So have a think about your priorities and what wIll work best for you.
Look For Freebies
Why send money when you don’t need to? Take books for school, for example. Do you know a previous student that might have some of the books you need? How about furnishing your home, if the landlord doesn’t provide any? There are many giveaway (or cheap selling) sites online, so have a look for some freebies that will tide you over until you graduate. Again, you need to set your priorities. Choose what is most important to you; getting your degree or living in a luxury apartment as you study.
Join With Housemates
If you have housemates and roommates, then it can make it cheaper and more cost-effective for everyone if you join together on some things. It might be that you join together to cook your meals. It can be much easier and quite a lot cheaper to cook in bulk, rather than to cook individual meals. It can be cheaper and more cost-effective to divide up the cost of household items like cleaning products or toilet paper, for example. Again, as has been said, these things can be bought in bulk and then the cost divided. So it does make complete sense. So arranging something like that with housemates can be a great way to save money when you’re all students.