Life as a student is a challenging one. Going to classes daily, working on assignments, projects and preparing for exams can be quite demanding.
On top of all that stress, you’ll probably feel like you don’t have enough money to do anything or buy the things you want the whole time.
Although people often say that this phase of your life is the time to take responsibility for your future, the closest most college students get to ever learn about money management is probably when they’re getting finance homework help or taking a course related to money management.
Yet, managing money is a real-life skill that students in particular need to master, the following are a few money management tips for students will find helpful.
1. Learn to Budget
You’ll find this tip in pretty much every financial advice book you’ll ever read. The idea might sound cliche and a bit overwhelming to follow. But creating a budget to keep track of your spending habits will do your finances a world of good in the long run.
By following a budget, you’ll know exactly how much you’re getting and how you’re spending it. Contrary to common misconceptions, planning your budget does not mean you won’t get to have fun or buy the things you desire. It only ensures that you do not live above your means.
You’ll also be able to better plug the holes in your expenditure and maximize your income when you make a budget and follow through with it.
2. Save Money
A lot of students struggle with saving money, so if you do, you’re not alone. When it comes to saving money, one common mistake people make is that they try to save from their leftovers instead of saving first and spending what’s left.
Setting aside a specific sum of money should be part of your monthly budget. The correct order is to pay your bills first, remove your savings, then you can spend the rest on yourself as frugally as possible.
Saving money is easier when you have a budget in place. You’ll also find it easier to save money if you follow the tip we’ll be talking about next.
3. Find Creative Ways to Cut Cost
Money is never enough. This is why most people suddenly realize that a considerable increase in income did not solve their financial worries. Even if you start earning more, you’ll still be struggling financially and you’ll be unable to save enough if you don’t figure out how to cut costs.
As a student, there are several creative ways to reduce your expenses. For instance, the cost of books and study materials is one of the major expenses you’ll have to deal with. One simple trick to reduce your expenses here is to buy or rent old books instead of getting new ones. You may even strike a deal with a retailer that will buy back the books after you’re done using them for the semester.
The same applies to new study tools and that you’ll only need for a semester or academic year. You can buy an old one or borrow one instead of buying a brand new one.
Another cool way to cut costs is to take advantage of your status as a student. Look out for vendors and deals that offer reduced rates for students. There are restaurants, movie theatres, and retail stores around you that offer deals like this. With your student ID card, you can get the things you need or have fun at a fraction of the cost.
Pooling with friends on transportation or when you need to buy stuff instead of paying for it on your own is another smart way to reduce expenses. There are numerous other tricks like this that can help you become more frugal with your spending.
4. Spend Less on Buying Food and Drink
The money you spend on food and beverages daily may not seem like much, but it quickly adds up in the long run. As a student, you can save money by cooking your food instead. Eating before leaving your dorm room or packing your lunch can save you a few extra dollars. Plus it is healthier and more convenient. Making little changes to your habits like this can turn into big savings with time.
5. Start Investing
As a student, it is not too early to start investing. Instead of tying up all your money in savings, you can withdraw part of it and put it in an investment that will earn you interest over time. There are numerous options around for this. You just need to do your research and find an investment portfolio. Your investment will grow over time and you’ll have something substantial by the time you graduate.
College is the time for students to learn responsibility and learning to manage money is one of the most important things at this stage. Truth is, it takes time and discipline to learn healthy money management habits. But when you do, your future will thank you for it.