For many people, saving money is of high priority. Bills need to be paid, we all need to eat and everyone wants to be able to afford certain luxuries, whether that’s a trip away or a night out at a nice restaurant. Saving however, can be a challenge and even more so if you are a student. Students have to spend more time studying, meaning less time working and on top of this, they will have expensive textbook and tuition fees. This can make saving an overwhelming task, however having a plan and saving effectively can be achieved!
Here’s 5 great tips for better money management for students.
1. Find Freedom in a Budget
Budgets are often perceived as a constraint which means you’re limited with what you can do with your money. However, this is simply wrong. Budgets provide freedom rather than restrictions. Knowing where each and every cent of your earnings is going means you can plan what you can and can’t do, while still having enough money to build up your savings account.
Monitor your income and spending for one month. Write down exactly what you buy and how much you spend, and how much you save. Once you see where your money is going, you can begin to make changes in your spending habits and create a budget where you can save as much as you can. Of course, a budget doesn’t mean you can’t go out to the movies or a bar with friends. It simply means you have to budget for these events and stick to how much money you have allocated for each activity. Be realistic and prioritize!
2. Earn as much cash as possible
Obviously, a great way for better money management is to earn more money. The more cash you have, the easier it will be to save and afford what you need. Think about what you have that you can turn into a source of income. If you have an empty room, free space or even an empty garage, consider leasing it out to someone who needs space to store their furniture or cars! Your empty garage could be rented out as a long term parking space with Spacer. The best part about this is that you will be earning money while doing very little, leaving more time for your studies.
If you don’t have any spare space, finding a job that doesn’t hinder your studies is probably the next best option. Even a part-time job can help towards paying the bills.
3. Purchase used text books & sell your old ones
Textbooks can be very expensive and when the start of a new semester means you’ll be needing multiple textbooks, finding a way to save here can be crucial. Most universities will have a club or society where fellow students buy, sell and trade textbooks. Finding these groups can save you heaps of money, and if you have textbooks to sell, can even help you make a couple of bucks! There’s also heaps of sites that facilitate this same idea, so searching the web on sites like StudentVIP or Chegg Books is another great strategy.
4. Automate your savings
Once you have created a budget and found a way to earn a steady income, you should be allocating a decent percentage of your money towards savings. It’s a good idea to create a savings account which has the sole purpose of holding your savings. You should then create an automatic payment from your income that sends a consistent amount to your savings account.
To begin with this might feel slow or even a waste of your hard-earned cash. But over time this account will grow and it can be a rewarding feeling to see this happen.
5. Have fun for free
A lot of the time we fall into the trap of planning social activities around things that involve money. In a world where everything costs money, this seems impossible to avoid. But, there are ways to have fun without spending a dollar, or at least only a small amount.
Have a games night at home. You and your friends are sure to have a selection of board and card games to choose from. Or, you and your friends could plan a meal to cook at home! Buying the ingredients from the supermarket and cooking it at home is bound to be cheaper than eating out and cooking together can also be a fun activity in itself!
Saving as a student can seem difficult. However, with a bit of planning, and the motivation to start a budget, money management can be a breeze. These are just 5 tips to help you better manage your money. Save as much as you can and experiment with your budget to find the best options for you.
Emma Lewis is a loving mother, a devoted wife and a part of the team supporting Spacer – a company helping you find storage space whenever you need it. Emma is also a staunch supporter of the sharing economy and often mentions its benefits.