Are you a college student struggling with money?
Keeping my college experience in mind, I will try to point down ways I used to save
money during the time of my studies.
What do you think a student will spend most of their money on (except rent and tuition)?
Now, when I first started, I had no idea how much these books would cost or how to find cheaper ones. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars, euros, pounds (wherever you might live) at the local bookstore, spend a little time doing research. Some of the ways to save money on books could be:
• Renting the book from the university’s library.
• If there isn’t any new edition out, you could make an announcement on student groups on Facebook (or in other platforms designed for student interaction) that you are looking for used books from the students that are one year older than you.
• Amazon! You could find books at lower prices on Amazon than your local bookstore and in different formats such as e-books that could read on your tablet.
• Be sure that you need all the books that you were assigned. I was sometimes asked to buy additional books, but then found out that we would need to study only a few chapters from it. It is not copyright violation if you only photocopy a small amount, as in a few articles.
An additional way to save money in university is on rent. If you are lucky to get into a dorm, then great. If you are a bit older and want to have your own room and a more homely place then maybe it is better to rent.
One of the most important things is to start looking several months (or at least weeks) in advance. This way you would have the time to go and see the houses and the areas they are in, but what is more important, to get the ones with more affordable prices.
In my first year, I made the biggest mistake to start looking just a week before the semester had started. There were only old and run down houses left and the prices in the areas close to the university had skyrocketed.
This also takes us to my other mistake. It is a good idea to search for a house that is more than a five minute walk from the university. You would be surprised on how much rent prices vary according to the area. Just make sure it is a safe neighborhood and you could bike, drive or take public transport for a few minutes a day to get to school.
I know some think that they have cracked the code and found out that they can eat instant noodles everyday, but that is actually very unhealthy. Make a list of everything you need and stick to it when you go to the grocery store. Make sure to include grains, fruits and vegetables because you need to stay healthy in order to be able to study well.
The easiest thing would be to throw a party at your place and ask your friends to bring either food or drinks and you will have a much better time than going out.
Other entertainment ideas would be movie nights, or just going for a walk outside.
Make sure to see what free events are available in your town and university and you could attend those, too.
Make use of student discounts
I have used student discounts for almost anything, starting from my public transport pass, Microsoft Office, Asos, local movie theatres, zoos, libraries etc.
I once got a 30% off on reading glasses just because I had a student card.
I hope this article was helpful to at least some of you.
If you have more suggestions to add to the list or to give ideas for another blog post that I could write, make sure to leave a comment down below!
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