Here are some tips on how you can save money as a student:
1. Plan ahead.
If possible, do this even before you move into your dorm room.
Check if you are eligible for scholarships and other grants before signing up for any form of student loan.
Construct a cash flow. First, where do you expect to get money from? Make a list of your “income”, be it from your parents, your student loan or your part-time job.
Then forecast your expected monthly or weekly expenses for food, books, etc. Once you have set aside a budget, be strict with yourself and stick to it.
You will never know what unexpected expenses would come your way so it is better to have a downfall for financial emergencies.
2. Save on food.
One of the major expenses that you have as a student which you might have ignored when you were still living with your parents is your food allowance. Avoid eating at fast food outlets, as this is most likely to ruin your budget. Pack your lunch and plan your meals as much as you can.
3. Take full advantage of student discounts.
Those ID’s in your wallet are not just for show. Student ID’s and memberships in organizations are honored in several establishments which offer discounts.
Also, patronize a certain establishment regularly and you are bound to get bonus cards for being a loyal customer.
4. Use your cash as much as you can.
Since you already have a draft of the items where you will spend your money, it is easier to monitor your cash flow. Avoid using your debit card when you have cash with you. Use your credit cards or write checks only in emergencies. Having debit cards, credit cards and checks handy might lead you to overspend.
5. Keep yourself busy.
Join clubs according to your field of interest.
Keeping busy will let your mind wander and help you stay away from things that you are likely to spend money on when you get bored. Examples of these are snacks, movie tickets or game rentals.
You will be surprised at the amount of money that you will actually save by spending less on luxury items, following your budget plan and saving for financial emergencies that you are most likely to get as a college student.