Student life is about having a lot of time in your hands but lacking the money to fund all the things you’d rather do with the time. While being in college comes with a lot of financial challenges, you can still live a fairly comfortable life on your student budget.
If you don’t come from a rich family background, then the quality of your college life boils down to how good you can manage your money and if you can find ways to earn money to supplement your student loans.
Here’s how to survive on a student budget.
While you don’t have huge financial responsibilities, you still need to budget to ensure all your needs and expenses are well covered. This is especially important because your income as a student most likely comes in a lump sum to last you the entire semester and you will have a very rough time if you squander all of it in one month.
Set aside money to cover your accommodation and tuition fees so as to reduce the temptation to spend it. If you can, pay all of them in advance.
Then budget for the remaining funds to cover your living expenses for the entire duration of the semester.
Cut your Expenses
Avoid unnecessary expenses in a bid to keep up with your peers. Live within your means. You don’t have to buy designer clothes if you can’t afford to.
Always scour the web for discounts when shopping and avoid making impulse purchases that mess up your budget. Whenever you can, use coupons to pay for products or offset a portion of the price tag.
Dollar Cents has more tips on ways you can save while in college.
Use your Student Status
You should take advantage of your student status to get discounts and makes purchases at lower prices. Most stores and service providers have discounts to act incentives for students. Some stores are more open about their student offers while for others you have to ask. So whenever you are shopping, carry your student id with you and ask if the store has student discounts.
The same applies to most social events like music concerts.
Earn Some Money
Working part-time is a great way to earn some income to help meet your living expenses while in college. You can work a few hours every week and earn $100 which will go a long way in giving you some financial freedom. Do not however work at the expense of your studies.
Also, most universities and colleges have a work-study program to help students earn some money by helping out in the faculty.
Additionally, you can make some extra money by being a freelancer and using your skills to offer services to those who need them. This can be being a web developer or a photographer or pretty much anything as long as you have the skills to deliver on the job.
The advantage of using your free time to earn money is you then have less time to spend it.