We all know about the stereotypes about being a student and having little money – they’ve been doing the rounds for years. Unfortunately, these aren’t really exaggerations, the vast majority of students are struggling financially and need every bit of help they can muster.
It would be a blatant lie to suggest that by the end of this blog post you will suddenly be able to put all of your student financial woes to bed. However, you should hopefully be armed with a few nuggets of information that can make your life as a student a little easier for your bank account to bear.
Taxis can be the death of your wallet
Sure, there will be occasions where taxis are an absolute necessity for you, and when it comes to your security and getting home you should never take a chance.
However, far too many students spend extortionate amounts of money in transport costs. This comes despite the fact we are in an era where college ride sharing is a big thing. In other words, you can quickly find others to share your ride with and ultimately slash the costs substantially.
Again, it’s not something that is going to work every time, but the difference by the end of the month could be notable.
Don’t fall into the college book trap
Let’s be honest, you are attending college to advance your knowledge. For this reason, you do need to invest in your course materials – but you need to do this wisely.
Far too many students spend a small fortune buying their course books brand new. These books never tend to have low price tags, and can be picked up second-hand for a fraction of the price. You don’t usually have to worry about being one edition too old either, unless you happen to be studying around legal topics which need to be up-to-date.
Food will be your biggest expense
If you were to crunch the numbers every month (this is something we most definitely recommend, by the way), it would soon become apparent that food is your biggest expense. This is the thing that will drain your finances the most each month, so it pays to shop smartly.
This means that you might have to sacrifice the brands that you were used to whilst living at your parents. It also means that you might have to time your shops shrewdly. Most supermarkets start to discount their items heavily as they approach their expiry date – and they will usually mark such items up in the evenings.
Know discounts like the back of your hand
On the subject of discounts, it’s not just about your weekly food shop. Most retailers provide discounts for students, and it pays to know which ones offer this before you start any shopping trip. Some of these discounts can be as much as 25%, so it pays to be aware of them so you can choose your shops wisely beforehand.