As college students, particularly those living away from home for the first time, it can be easy to lose track of spending. Between takeaways, nights out (usually) and generally frivolous spending, we’ve all felt the panic when your card gets declined at the supermarket. College is a great opportunity to get into good money management habits which will save you money and make it a lot easier to transition into the ‘real world’ of paying bills after you graduate. Don’t know where to start? Here are four financial tips to help you save some money and get into financial habits to last you a lifetime!
Take advantage of your student discount
While many students feel less than enthusiastic about their online college experience, there is one major upside about your student status: discounts! Many online and high-street retailers offer discounts to students on clothing, food, cosmetics, food and even technology. Apps like UNiDAYS and StudentBeans are completely free and makes getting student discounts online completely hassle-free, with discounts in brands such as ASOS, Apple, Urban Outfitters, Missguided and JD.
Set a weekly budget… and stick to it!
This is a must-do for all money-savvy students. While at this point in your life you are likely not saving for your future, it is very useful to monitor your spending to ensure you are spending within your means. A simple way of doing this would be to set a weekly budget from your current account and then transfer that amount into your Revolut (or student bank account) for day-to-day use. Revolut allows you to easily track each transaction, and if you want to save as you spend the vault feature takes a small percentage of every transaction from your balance and puts it in a ‘rainy day fund’.
Save money on college textbooks
As colleges are closed, many students no longer have access to physical copies of their required reading texts, and this can be a source of great stress for many students. Many textbooks have eBook versions which allows you to read and even highlight entire books online, and these are available for free through your college library. If a book does not have an online version available, you can find lots of books for sale secondhand on eBay, Depop, Adverts, and Buy and Sell groups on Facebook that are often organized by the university itself. These copies are usually barely used and in excellent condition, and a fraction of the original selling price!
Reduce your everyday expenses
Did you know that if you make coffee at home every day instead of buying your favourite oat milk flat white you’d save over €1,100 per year? Harsh, but true. Getting takeaways and going out for drinks are part of the student experience, but there are small ways to reduce your everyday expenses to make your lifestyle a little more affordable! Buying cheaper own brand alternatives in supermarkets, doing a weekly shop, batch cooking, keeping an eye on special offers and using a travel mug when buying coffee may seem like small changes, but your bank balance will thank you in the long run!
While making your money go a long way is important when in college, it’s equally important to have fun and spend time doing the things you love! You don’t need to become a minimalist to save money but try to plan ahead and research into where you can save!