Tips to Save Money for Students

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Being a student can be one of the most exciting times socially, while being one of the most difficult times financially. Whether you are working, depending on loans, lines of credit or parental support, trying to support yourself while paying for school is a struggle for most students.

Here are a few ways for students to save money:

  • Living in residence versus living off campus: While the allure of living on residence appeals to many first year students; it can be a costly endeavor. With living in residence, most universities make it mandatory to purchase a meal plan through their meal hall. This is often significantly over-priced and depending on the style of your meal hall, you can either pay a standard fee for each meal or you pay per item, both of which have pros and cons. While the idea of paying bills and rent can be frightening, it does often turn out to be much cheaper than living in residence.

  • The party atmosphere that many university students get wrapped up in can also be costly. Any given night out could cost between $40-$100 when you factor in taxis, cover charges, drink prices and those late night snacks. It turns into an even larger problem when some students repeat this outing several times a week. Limit yourself, if you have the money budgeted for it, then plan one outing a week or biweekly. Look for deals on drinks or free cover hours at different pubs and bars.

  • Take advantage of the services offered. Many universities offer a student food bank; unfortunately they are often the most unused service offers. It’s an easy and free way to stock up on non-perishable items that can save you a lot of money at the grocery store. The great thing is that most allow you to come back once every two weeks to stock up.

The stress of the financial burden that comes with being a student can be overwhelming, especially when mixed with the workload demands from the academic side of university life. By trying not to let yourself get wrapped up in the costly university atmosphere and by taking advantage of the services available to you, you can lighten this financial burden.