It’s a known fact that the life of a student can be reduced to that of poverty, simply because they are inexperienced at money management. Often a student who has a grant will overspend the money because they have it, rather than working out a budget taking into account what the overall cost per term will be in real terms. This article is written to help students to be better with their money and to find ways to save money, enabling them to finish college and to live to a reasonable standard during their studies.
*Working out a budget.
*Putting money out of harm’s reach.
*Deciding on a plan for accommodation.
*Being aware of economical methods of shopping.
*Going without unnecessary purchases.
*Putting the emphasis on study.
*Working part time to supplement study.
Working out a budget.
Parents will worry about students who study away from home. It will surprise and delight them to see the student sitting down and working out a realistic budget plan. Taking income and working out probable necessary expenses helps a student to put money into perspective. Parents can help with this if the student gets stuck, and will be glad to, as they will see that the student is taking responsible steps toward their future.
Putting money out of harm’s reach.
When a budget is set, divide the amount you have by the amount of weeks the term lasts. To ensure that you don’t touch amounts which are put by for another week, ask parents to transfer a weekly amount. It sounds kind of basic, though many students don’t think this far ahead, and fail because they don’t know how to handle their first step into freedom and are often led on by those students whose spending habits are questionable. If you only have so much, and cannot spend more, it teaches the student to realize the value of money. If they indeed find that they need more than their weekly allowance, this gives them a chance in the early days of study to find alternative means of gaining that money to pay for the lifestyle grant money won’t cover.
Deciding on a plan for accommodation.
Often sharing accommodation is cheaper than having independent accommodation. It also helps a student to learn to get on with others. Shared accommodation is something which is normal for students, and if the student can find others to share with, this cuts down the expenses of accommodation and allows them to share expenses to cover bills.
Being aware of economical methods of shopping.
A student who is savvy will be able to economize on the food they purchase, avoiding those foods which cost a lot. They can eat in a healthy manner by buying fresh foods instead of packet foods, and by sharing the meal preparation with their fellow students. Look for recipes suited to students which use natural ingredients. Eat less red meat as this always costs more than alternatives. Choose recipes which use basic ingredients such as rice, pasta, etc., as these are staple foods which cost relatively little.
Going without unnecessary purchases.
Often in a shared situation, students can rely upon each other to share resources. One computer used by several students isn’t that bad an option. Cut down on things which can be shared. A shared stereo is as good as every student having their own. Where possible share resources to save having to spend on luxuries, and learn to go without things which are beyond your budget. It’s hard work going through college and so it should be. What this teaches someone is how to decide upon life priorities, and that’s always a good idea.
If parents insist on helping, give them ideas of things which you need, rather than spending money you don’t have.
Putting the emphasis on study.
Instead of going out with the other students all week, use weekdays for work, and confine those fun activities to weekends. All students do need an element of leisure activity. It’s vital to wellbeing, though if this is limited to weekends, the student doesn’t have to spend a fortune to enjoy their time off. Many activities don’t cost money, and sporting activities and outdoor pursuits may cost less than you think and be every bit as rewarding as spending money on transient pleasures. For example, having the other students around for an evening to share movies costs less than going out to the movie theater, and actually offers better fun. Share expenses with others, one chipping in for the movie while others pay for the popcorn.
Working part time to supplement study.
It is not uncommon for students to get work. They do so to gain more money or even to experience work ethos. It’s a great idea and helps the student to appreciate the power of earning. Having earned money, this also teaches them values, and allows them to put money aside for emergencies or for events which are considered important.
There are always ways and means to get through college without incurring more debt. By being wise and money savvy while you are a student, what you do is set yourself up for a more secure future, and increase the likelihood of finishing college, without running out of funds needed for valuable study material or living expenses.