*NOTE: This article does not contain information from financial experts; just a student who is sharing some strategies they found helpful!
Being a full-time/part-time student in today’s economy is no joke! From going to cute coffee shops for study dates to commuting to splurging on campus food to having to purchase costly textbooks, it all adds up quickly. And in a moment or so, before you now it, you’re in debt. There are many ways you can enjoy life while minimizing the amount you spend. I’ll discuss some quick and straightforward tips I find helpful that may be helpful for you as well.
1. Create a budget blueprint
Before you start, it’s essential to have a plan. Create a monthly budget by listing your income sources (including part-time jobs, scholarships, or parental support) and all your expenses. Include everything, from tuition and rent to your daily caffeine fix. This step can set the foundation for your financial success.
2. Transporting Alternatives
We all know that having to commute can be draining (especially during winter time) and also expensive. A good solution to this, for those that live far from campus, would be to find friends that are willing to take turns carpooling. This way you’re saving money, gas, and also helping the environment. Now, for those that bus or train to campus, always keep an eye out for Presto student deals or monthly discounts that York may offer or that you may just get for being a student.
3. Distinguish Needs from Wants
Imagine your budget as a magic wand with the power to sort your expenses into two categories: needs and wants. Needs include the necessities of student life – tuition, rent, groceries, and textbooks. Wants are the extra toppings on your financial pizza – those concert tickets, new sneakers, or that must-have gadget. Focus on your needs first, and then you can sprinkle some budget magic on your wants.
4. curb the takeout cravings
We get it. Those late-night pizza deliveries and takeout treats are temptingly convenient. But think about how much you can save by cooking at home. Not only will it be lighter on your wallet, but it will also give you an opportunity to flex your culinary skills. There are also many food and takeaway coupons that clubs give away, so make sure to keep an eye out for them. Moreover, meal prepping will be your best friend. Making nutrient-filled meals for the whole week can save you time and money.
5. love the library (and digital textbooks)
Lastly, your college library isn’t just for studying. It’s also a treasure trove of free knowledge. Borrow textbooks, read academic journals, and save a bundle. If that’s not an option, consider digital textbooks, which are often cheaper than their printed copies. There are also many second handed textbooks you can purchase and then resell.
So there you have it, 5 budgeting tips that I find useful and that can make managing your money as fun as a campus party. With a bit of discipline and some savvy financial decision-making, you’ll emerge from your university years not only with a degree but also with solid financial skills that will serve you well for life!