Being a college student and saving are two realities that rarely meet, and sotoday we bring you some tips to help you with this task.
Few are those who can tell you that they are college students and don’t live on a budget tighter than skinny jeans. That’s why we’ve put together some tips that will help you perform the miracle of multiplication or, in the worst case scenario, not have to call your parents in the middle of the month asking for more money.
- Set limits (and stick to them, preferably)
Making a budget is a bit like going on a diet: if you don’t stick to it, you’re only cheating yourself. So, if your goal is to save, budgeting needs to be taken seriously and planned consciously. It’s important to take into account what you can and can’t spend, but more importantly, take into account the expenses you can and those you really can’t avoid.
So, you have to start by understanding what your fixed expenses are and, after that, understand how much you have left over to spend on those little luxuries (whether it’s going out to eat or buying a new outfit).
- Second-hand purchases
The second-hand shopping market is growing more and more in Portugal. Whether you really need to buy a book for a subject, or just because you need a “new” coat for the winter, shopping second hand is a sustainable option on all levels.
You can always try to find the book you need at your educational institution’s library or a public library, but we all know that unless you make a run for it there most likely won’t be any copies available anymore. The truth is that you can find like-new products, often at half the original price. While saving your monthly budget, you’re also helping to save the environment.
- Saving while you walk
Traveling not only takes time but also a significant part of the budget. Sharing rides can be a good option if you know someone who goes to the same area as you.
Using public transport is also an option to consider as compared to using your own car, you not only save money, but you also save the environment. On the other hand, if you even live near the college and you’re just lazy to walk it’s easy: stop being sedentary and walk, you’ll save on the gym tuition because you get free exercise and save the money you were going to spend on the trip to go out to lunch with friends.
- Goodbye, loneliness! Hello, savings!
Sure, living alone can be more comfortable (especially if you’re a shyer, more reserved person), but if you’re a displaced student, sharing a home is beneficial on many levels.
Besides being much more fun because you’ll have company (especially when you’re sick, you’ll appreciate having a roommate), the expenses will be split and therefore, you’ll be able to decrease your fixed expenses and have some more money to spare.
It is certain and known that food is one of the fixed expenses that takes a large part of the monthly budget and, we do not want you to go hungry, but we want you to learn how to make choices friendlier to your pocket.
Spoiler alert. you can’t eat out every day if you want to reach the end of the month with a positive balance. So, adopt a packed lunch and cook your own meals or opt for the canteen and you’ll save a lot of money.
Another good option for saving on food is to make a weekly meal plan and make a shopping list of what you need to make those meals. This way, you avoid buying products you don’t need when you go to the supermarket.
As you see, you don’t need to make tragic changes in your routine to be able to save and save some money at the end of the month. For that, just follow these tips and, above all, do not make impulsive purchases.