“This is your pocket money for the whole week, use it wisely and don’t come back to me in two days, like the last time”.
“Dude! I’m completely broke, I literally ate out the whole time this week…”
“I have no clue how my friends can save up so much while I’m literally at the mercy of cheap food every weekend.”
If you have been in or experienced any such kind of a problem in your college or especially hostel life, then you are reading just the right blog post! It is a fact that college students have so much going on simultaneously. There is so much to try out, so many places to visit and so many cafes or restaurants to eat out at, so many new trends that we would rather die than miss out and literally so much to explore, that our finances would always seem low. Also, let’s not forget the pressure to be cool in college and the distractions which we encounter sooner or later.
Obviously we can never stay satisfied. And during those times of our lives, where we are expected to learn about the value of money, we spend it recklessly (mostly on worthless objects) and never learn wise ways to save money in college life.
It isn’t easy to have fun and be experimental while saving up money at the same time, right? WRONG – Because it is definitely possible.
Being a college student myself, I have discovered and observed some little changes that we can make in our lifestyle to make our pocket money last much much longer. So, I came up with some clever ways to save money during college life. Here they are:-
How to effectively save money:-
1. Avoid Binge eating while binge watching
We all know how much we are on our laptops as a college student; whether we are preparing for a presentation, or binge watching those new series or movies on your laptop. There’s nothing wrong with that, unless we are not continuously munching up your whole week’s food in those few hours.
We don’t realize how much junk we eat while sitting on that screen all day, either ordering food from the nearest McDonald’s or finishing 3 bags of Lays.
It is time to slay these habits and keep a check on how much food you order. Try not to eat while watching because that’s the worst thing to do and if you do feel hungry, then just get up a little, flex your muscles, wash that apple and chew up on that instead of spending the triple on getting unhealthy food home.
2. Slay those temptations
Try to fight off temptations to buy that new Forever 21 dress at the mall costing you 2000 bucks or more, which you know deep inside, you’re never going to wear.
Spend wisely on things you ‘need’, not on things you ‘crave’. And while out shopping something for a friend, know that you don’t need that cute pair of shorts or that cool shirt, however tempting it may be! Of course a Sale is such a pure blessing, but it actually makes you spend double of what you would initially. When you fight off that urge, trust me, it makes you so proud of yourself! (And you can always gift yourself something later, with your little savings every month!)
3. Make street shopping your new best friend
Ever tried street shopping? Well you should. If you’re a shopping freak and can’t stay away from shopping at all, go for street buys instead of shelling out on branded items.
Unlike the popular belief, you can get really good quality stuff at half the price and all the looking, searching, bargaining and matching makes you street smart as well!
4. Install smart finance apps
Have smart apps on your phone that’ll help you to keep a check on how much you get and how much you spend in a fixed period. These not only tell you what you are spending the most on, but just inputting those expenses everyday really makes you aware of when to hold back your overspending horses.
Also, develop the habit of properly investing your savings to benefit from a good savings account. You can use long-term investment or Forex trading to compound your savings.
5. Travel the local public way
Learn about the local ways of traveling, such as buses or trains or metros which are super cheap and make you more efficient and active.
Yes, there are some situations when taking a cab or an auto rickshaw becomes a necessity, but do not make it a habit. Even if you have your own vehicle, try to take local transports as much as possible. Make this simple change and you will definitely see how you end up richer at the end of the month.
6. Make use of the libraries
There are so many textbooks to be referred during the college times and while it’s easily available in the libraries or as eBooks, many of us still buy these huge expensive books for their personal use and ease.
It’s not a smart thing to do and will end up costing you so much more. Study at the library and keep yourself updated with the book’s online versions.
7. Try this feel-good therapy
Keep a diary and write in it whenever you resisted the urge to eat out or the urge to buy something. It will make you feel more responsible and really good. And obviously, not eating out that often will keep that waistline in check!
8. More the coupons, more the fun
We can’t always avoid eating out or ordering in and that’s understandable. But try to keep yourself aware of new vouchers and discount coupons for food places and be a smart consumer.
Do try to order as a group, you get more in quantity along with great discounts and future offers too!
So, these are some ideas that we all mostly know and desperately want to adopt. It’s only a matter of taking actions sooner than realizing when it is too late.
Nevertheless, college is a time to lose and find yourself and it is more important that you make mistakes and be broke sometimes, for that’s when you realize how great the happiness of saving is!
These were some of my smart ways on how I slay college and also balance my finances. There are many more ways and I am sure all of us follow one or the other tips n’ tricks. Definitely comment your ideas below and let’s help each other in this ‘sometimes-sad-sometimes-crazy’ journey of life better known as ‘College’!