14 Tips on How To Save Money As A Student

February 17, 2024

EasyUni Staff

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Navigating finances as a university student poses challenges, yet it presents an opportunity to establish good financial practices.

With expenses like tuition, textbooks, housing, and daily needs competing for funds, mastering money-saving techniques becomes essential.

There are many strategies and tips tailored to help students stretch their budget further and secure a solid financial future.

In this article, we will explore 14 practical tips on how to save money as a student, covering everything from budgeting to managing expenses.

By adopting these approaches, students can alleviate financial pressure, allowing them to concentrate more on their academic pursuits and personal development without compromising their financial stability.

14 ways to save money as a student

In the face of current financial challenges, it's crucial for you as a student to employ effective money-saving methods. By adopting smart spending habits and applying the right techniques for saving money, you can ease financial pressure during your academic years.

Here are 14 tips for saving money for students:

1. Buy secondhand textbooks and resell them after use

To kickstart your money-saving journey, you can consider purchasing secondhand textbooks and reselling them once the semester is over.

This strategy can significantly benefit your finances. Opting for pre-owned books often means accessing them at considerably lower prices compared to new editions, effectively reducing your educational costs.

Once you've completed the course, you can sell these textbooks to classmates who haven't taken the subjects yet or offer them to juniors through online platforms like WhatsApp.

This approach not only saves you money but also provides an opportunity to recover a portion of your expenses.

2. Avoid grocery shopping on an empty stomach

save money

Have you ever gone grocery shopping on an empty stomach, without having eaten anything beforehand?

If so, it's crucial to recognize the potential consequences and consider making changes to this habit.

When you're hungry, you're more susceptible to making impulsive decisions and purchasing items you don't actually need.

These cravings often lead to buying excessive amounts of food that may end up going uneaten or opting for unhealthy, processed snacks that can negatively impact both your health and your budget.

To avoid these pitfalls, you must plan your grocery trips in advance by creating a detailed shopping list.

By outlining the items you genuinely require, you can avoid unnecessary purchases and stay focused on meeting your nutritional needs.

Additionally, sticking to your list helps you adhere to your budgetary constraints and ensures that you only buy what you need, reducing the likelihood of overspending.

Furthermore, selecting the right time to shop can significantly enhance your grocery experience. Opting for afternoon visits to the store can offer several advantages.

During these off-peak hours, the store is often less crowded, providing a more relaxed shopping environment. With fewer people around, you can take your time browsing the aisles, comparing prices, and making thoughtful choices without feeling rushed or pressured.

3. Reduce the frequency of dining out  

Reducing the frequency of dining out is another crucial aspect of managing your expenses effectively. If you thought the previous point about grocery shopping didn't pertain to you, consider this: dining out regularly can significantly strain your budget.

The cost of restaurant meals adds up quickly, often surpassing the expense of preparing your own meals at home.

By opting to cook your meals, even simple ones that require minimal effort, you can save substantial amounts of money over time. These small, homemade meals not only contribute to financial savings but also promote healthier eating habits.

Moreover, the cumulative savings from cooking at home rather than eating out daily can be significant, allowing you to allocate your funds more wisely toward other priorities. 

4. Use cash, not card

Opting for cash over cards is another effective financial practice. While having a debit or credit card for emergencies is wise, relying solely on cards for everyday transactions can lead to overspending.

When you swipe your card, it's easy to lose sight of your spending habits since you're not physically handling the money. This detachment from the tangible exchange of cash can result in making purchases without fully considering their costs.

Using cash provides a tangible reminder of your spending limits and encourages more mindful purchasing decisions. When you physically see the money leaving your wallet, you're more likely to be conscious of your expenses and prioritize your purchases accordingly.

Additionally, using cash can help you stick to your budget and avoid accumulating unnecessary debt from credit card transactions.

5. Shop when there are sales

Shopping during sales events is a simple yet effective strategy to save money. Whether it's back-to-school sales, holiday promotions, or clearance events, seizing the opportunity to shop during discounted periods can yield significant savings.

There's an undeniable thrill in discovering that your favorite item is marked down by half or more.

By strategically timing your purchases to coincide with sales events, you can stretch your budget further and afford items that might otherwise be out of reach.

Furthermore, planning your shopping trips around sales allows you to maximize your savings without sacrificing the quality or variety of your purchases. So, keep an eye out for sales announcements and capitalize on these opportunities to indulge in some guilt-free shopping while staying within your budget.

6. Look out for student discounts

Being on the lookout for student discounts can significantly enhance your ability to save money.

Other than the obvious places like restaurants and cafes, various establishments, including clothing stores and entertainment venues like theme parks, museums, and movie theaters, often offer special deals for students.

These discounts can range from discounted meals to reduced admission fees and even exclusive student specials.

It's essential to take advantage of these opportunities while you're still eligible. Your student ID card serves as more than just identification; it's a valuable asset for accessing discounts.

By showing your student card at participating establishments, you can enjoy significant savings on various products and services.

7. Compare prices of expensive items online

Prioritize smart shopping practices by diligently comparing prices of expensive items online. If you find the same product available at another retailer for a significantly lower price, it's a clear indication of where to make your purchase.

This principle applies not only to big-ticket items but also to everyday essentials like groceries.

It's worth noting that even seemingly minor price discrepancies can add up over time, especially with regular grocery purchases. High-end grocery stores often inflate prices by small increments across their entire inventory.

While these increases may seem negligible individually, they can collectively result in significantly higher expenses over the course of a semester.

8. Use public transport

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Opt for public transportation instead of relying on taxis or driving for every journey. Not only is public transport more cost-effective, but it also contributes to a healthier environment by reducing carbon emissions.

In addition, driving your own car entails ongoing expenses such as petrol, which can significantly increase your overall transportation costs.

By opting for public transportation, you can avoid these additional expenses associated with owning and maintaining a vehicle, further contributing to your financial savings.

9. Get a bicycle, or even walk—it’s healthy and inexpensive! (For short distance)

Have you considered utilizing alternative modes of transportation such as cycling or walking, particularly for short distances?

Not only are these options cost-effective, but they also promote physical activity and contribute to a healthier lifestyle. Cycling and walking serve as environmentally friendly alternatives to driving, further reducing carbon emissions and alleviating traffic congestion in urban areas.

However, it's essential to prioritize your safety when choosing these modes of transportation, especially in potentially risky or isolated areas.

10. Sell items you no longer need

save money

Do you have items that you no longer need or use? You can sell them on online platforms.

There are many marketplaces specifically catering to students, offering platforms to sell a variety of goods. Especially when you have completed your semester, you surely don't want to bring so many items back home, right?

Selling these unused items would not only bring you benefits and extra money but also free up valuable space in your room, making it more organized and conducive to studying and comfortable living.

11. Use your university’s gym or go for a jog outside.

Avoid investing in an expensive gym membership; instead, take advantage of the fitness facilities provided by your university or opt for outdoor activities like jogging.

Since you're already paying for campus facilities through your tuition fees, it makes sense to make the most of them.

Many universities offer fully equipped gyms and swimming pools that are accessible to all students, so consider utilizing these resources rather than splurging on a pricey gym membership.

Not only does using your university's facilities save you money, but it also offers convenience. With the gym located on campus, it's easier to incorporate workouts into your daily routine, as it's close to your classes and dormitory.

Additionally, exercising on campus provides an opportunity to socialize and motivate each other. You can bring a friend along for workouts, making exercise more enjoyable and encouraging accountability.

12. Save electricity—turn off lights, unplug chargers and turn off electronic devices when not in use

Conserve electricity by adopting simple habits such as turning off lights, unplugging chargers, and powering down electronic devices when they're not in use. 

This not only helps reduce your energy consumption but also contributes to environmental conservation efforts.

Whether you're living off-campus or responsible for utility bills on campus, it's important to be mindful of your electricity usage. 

By minimizing unnecessary energy consumption, you not only save money on utility bills but also reduce your carbon footprint, benefiting the environment.

Even if you're not directly responsible for paying electricity bills, practicing energy-saving habits is still worthwhile. 

13. Start collecting loose change in a jar

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It's easy to overlook small amounts like 10 or 50 cents, but by consistently storing them in a jar, you'll be surprised at how quickly they accumulate! Instead of disregarding loose change, make it a habit to empty your coin purse into a designated jar every few days.

This simple practice not only helps declutter your wallet but also serves as a practical way to save money without much effort.

As the jar fills up, you'll realize that those seemingly insignificant coins can make a significant difference in your savings. So, start collecting your spare change today and watch your savings grow steadily.

14. Make a budget

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Having a budget is essential for keeping track of your spending and ensuring financial accountability. 

Without it, it's easy to lose track of how much you can afford to spend on various categories like dining out or entertainment. 

Similarly, without actively monitoring your expenses through an account, you may unknowingly exceed your budget and jeopardize your financial goals.

By setting up a budget, you establish clear guidelines for your expenses and allocate funds accordingly to different categories. 

Additionally, regularly monitoring your accounts allows you to track your spending in real-time, providing valuable insights into where your money is going.

Regular financial reviews enable you to identify any areas of overspending or potential savings opportunities. 

By analyzing your financial performance, you can make necessary adjustments to your budget and spending habits to ensure you stay on track towards your financial goals. 

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