If you’re a student or if you’ve ever been one in the past, you’re probably aware that it isn’t exactly the most luxurious lifestyle in the world. And while it does depend on each person’s background, most students are generally broke and looking to save as much money as possible at any potential opportunity.
The sad truth, however, is that most of us are not that good at saving money, and constantly being bombarded by shopping ads everywhere you look isn’t exactly helping this situation. I’ve been there, and I know how hard it is to save up when you’re living on your own and constantly have to worry about paying the rent and the huge amount of student loan debt you probably have going.
Over my years as a student, I’ve gained quite a bit of experience with saving money, through my own mistakes as well as the advice of other people, and today I want to share my advice with you. So without further ado, here are the five ways in which you can be more frugal as a student, and potentially save up a lot of money.
The easiest way to throw money down the drain is to commit to a credit card purchase that you’ll have to pay interest on. Don’t get me wrong, credit cards can be extremely useful in certain circumstances, but you should absolutely avoid making this your default way of paying for things. Interest can add up extremely quickly if you’re not careful, and you can completely unnecessarily lose a lot of money. So go for debit or cash, and save credit for emergencies – you’ll thank yourself later that you did.
Buy It Nice, or Buy It Twice
This age-old saying has way more truth to it than you might think. Why? Because cheap stuff breaks and stops working – end of story. Whenever you’re out to buy something that you want to last you a while, like a desk, a pair of headphones or even minuscule purchases like a simple notebook, don’t fall into the trap of buying the cheapest one. It’s the cheapest one for a good reason, a reason I already mentioned – it simply isn’t going to last. I’m not saying that you should buy expensive stuff just for the heck of it. I’m saying that you should be skeptical of cheap products and services.
Search for Deals
Whenever you see a deal that you can potentially take advantage of, take your phone out and make note of it. Search for deals online, collect coupons – anything you can do to get a discount that can save you money is worth doing. If you tend to shop online, use a ExpressVPN to see if you can get a better price on larger purchases if you change your IP (this actually works sometimes).
Want it or Need it?
Your “need” list should always hold priority over your “want” list, and when buying a product or paying for a certain service, it’s very important that you make this distinction. It’s perfectly okay to want something, just as long as you’re honest with yourself about why you’re buying it. It’s very easy to fall into the trap of making the “I need it” excuse, and once you do it’s very difficult to stop buying things that you could absolutely do without.
Keep Track of Expenses
This is perhaps the most crucial point on this list. Your income and all the monthly expenses that need to be taken care of should be written down, analyzed and calculated as studiously as possible. It’s incredibly easy to do this nowadays – all you need is an app like Google Sheets, although if you don’t want to fiddle around with a smartphone, a calculator and a piece of paper will do fine.
First, input all your fixed expenses: your bills, your rent, the stuff you know you will have to pay for each month – and deduct all that from your average monthly income. Every time you make a purchase, write it down, deduct it from the total. Being aware of how much money you have left at any given moment gives you a much better idea of how much you’re spending and whether you need to slow it down.
Adam Ferraresi is 23 years old, but he first became interested in writing when he was in high school. Today he’s a successful web developer living in Dallas, Texas, and one of the most trusted writers at wefollowtech.com. In his free time, he’s an avid mountain climber and enjoys playing basketball with his friends.