8 Super Smart Ways on How to Save Money as a Student
If you’ve just started college or university, you should know how to save money as a student. We understand that student life can be costly, especially when you have to pay tuition fees, meals, accommodation, and other miscellaneous expenses.
The truth is, student life is not easy when struggling financially. So you need to save as much money as possible by cutting your daily expenses. That’s why we have come up with the most practical ways to help you save money in college or university.
Let’s get started!
How to Make Money as a Student in Canada through Saving
Saving money is the most convenient and efficient way. So how is that possible? When you are a student, you have limited time to generate income from non-educational ventures. The best way to retain money is to save what you already have.
Thankfully, there are various ways to save money as a student.
1. Take Full Advantage of Student Discounts
Many stores, retailers, restaurants, movie theatres, and public transportation in Canada offer student discounts. All you need to do is show your valid student ID at checkout when shopping or paying for services. You’ll likely qualify for a discount.
Look out for stores offering the biggest discounts to help you save a significant amount of money on essentials. You can ask friends and fellow students if they know of any shops that offer discounts. Some stores may offer discounts on educational materials only.
2. Create a Budget for Monthly Expenses
Before you begin spending money, create a budget that captures all the items you will need, including utilities, groceries, and other essentials for the month. Use a budgeting spreadsheet with the columns representing each month, and include individual expenses in each row.
Don’t forget to include your living costs and educational expenses, such as books and classes. If you rely on a student loan, budget immediately the money comes into your account. Resist the temptation to treat yourself before spending on essentials.
While creating the budget might seem easy, sticking to it can be difficult. So ensure that you put your budget into action. However, you can update it when things change.
3. Track Your Monthly Expenses
Note down all the purchases you make to help you track how you spend money. This way, you’ll find it easy to pinpoint the expenses that account for the largest portion of your money and adjust it. Thankfully, many budget apps are available, including Wally and Mint.
The budget apps will help you keep an organized record of your purchases and notify you when you’re running over the budget. If you notice any unhealthy spending habits in the app, you can amend your budget accordingly. This way you can ensure that your spending matches your priorities.
4. Live with Friends Off-Campus
On-campus accommodation is the most convenient option for students. However, room and board can be more expensive than living off-campus. Consider renting a house near your campus at a cheaper cost. That way, you can save a lot of money.
To increase the savings, you can live with your friends to share the cost of the rent. That will also help you and your friends to save money on groceries. You need to ensure that the rental allows communal housing before living with your friends.
5. Apply for Student Funding
Bursaries, grants, and scholarships can cover some of your educational expenses, including tuition fees. Visit your school’s website and check for open student funding programs. Ensure that you apply for as many as possible to increase your chances.
Besides applying for the funding that your college offers, also apply for private scholarships, emergency funds, sponsorships, and grants available out there. To increase the chances of getting student funding, submit all the eligibility requirements.
When you qualify for student funding, it will cover part of your tuition fee or the entire amount. That will help you save the money you would have otherwise spent on the tuition fee.
6. Avoid Eating Out
The best time and place to learn, grow, and become an adult is in college. If you have never cooked food by yourself, consider learning to cook as it can help you save a lot of money. Going to eat out daily in restaurants or fast food chains can be very costly for a student.
Prepare meals yourself instead of eating out every day. If you are in a rush, consider buying fast food meals as they can be budget-friendly. Most fast-food joints now offer wraps, salads, and low-calorie entrees as well.
7. Prepare Your Coffee
You don’t need to stop at a local coffee shop each morning to buy coffee when you can make one by yourself. While it is an excellent way to support local businesses, buying coffee every day can be costly. By preparing your coffee at home, you’ll save a lot of money.
If you have to buy a cup of coffee, get it from a shop that offers discounts. Some shops will reward you when you buy a cup of coffee using your reusable mug. Another tip is to consider buying coffee at shops that offer bonus loyalty points.
8. Download Free Software
As a student, you don’t have to buy expensive software to perform the necessary tasks. Most apps and software are usually costly and aren’t ideal for students on a budget. Take full advantage of the alternative freeware to save hundreds of dollars.
You might need programs for typing, audio editing, image editing, and others like antivirus software to protect your files. Consider using Google Docs, Slides, and Sheets as they offer free alternatives to Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. AVG and Avast offer free antivirus programs.
Now that you know how to save money as a student, implement all the tips we have shared to help you maximize your savings. Create a budget for your monthly expenses, starting with the essentials. Tracking the costs will help you stick to the budget.