How to Live Economically at College

Being a student is something that we will all only do once, however it is also a time when we are most financially stretched, with rising tuition fees and in many cases, parents who do not have the level of income or did not have the same opportunities as we have today.

The easiest way to save money is with regard to alcohol. I am by no means saying do not drink, but a bottle of wine at home can cost a lot less than going to clubs, whilst at the same time there is the advantage of getting extra work completed whilst having a good time. Sitting in a group with alcohol at home gives the opportunity to develop social and networking skills further, which may be an essential skill later on in life, especially with regard to work.

It’s also important to remember to save all college documents in at least two places, so that if a computer (which should be insured) is stolen or damaged, this can be retrieved. There is nothing worse than losing documents that you cannot get back the day before it is due, and the effects on your health that may follow having to type this up the night before or face losing important grades.

Search around for the cheapest mobile phone network, and in many cases, try to find a network that offers free minutes for a group of friends on that network. You’re not only helping one business between you, meaning that they can potentially offer the group even lower prices half way through the course, but you are also helping your own pocket. Search for non-typical plans for students, such as larger sharer plans for what you need, ensuring that the main person has the term paid-up in advance. This can halve phone bills and make going over these plans a lot cheaper than they traditionally would be.

Shop around for the best bank account, with the largest interest-free overdraft, and maybe free insurance for electrical and personal items. Make sure that you save the numbers that you may need in several places, and in many cases also look for freephone or fixed phone numbers. Sites to the national equivalent of (UK) will provide many of the numbers that you need for larger companies.

Another way to both earn and spend extra money is to get a part-time job. Whilst some educational establishments or visas may not permit this, or may only allow part-time hours, it’s another good way of ensuring that you are not straddled with debt after leaving college. I remember leaving university with four 95% buy-to-let mortgages and a business making profit, as the income that I had received working 30 hours a week and then freelance for the three years made me able to invest in myself and my future finances. When I graduated at 21, I was earning over £1,000 a week after tax, which was more than my parents were earning combined at this time, and at 24, I am now nearly mortgage-free on my own property, with equity of between 25 and 30 percent on the buy-to-let investments, with large savings and investments. I still only work between 25 and 30 hours each week, in a well-paid job that many people envy.