The basics
Study abroad : Applying to University

Setting a smart student budget

Almost every college student would be broke, or have a very tight budget going in. We’ve gathered some tips to help you save money.

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Being is college is a liberating experience in many ways. One of them would be managing your own finances. Another major thing that you’ll have to learn would be time management- juggling assignments, readings, revision, extracurricular activities, bills, AND a part-time job, is no easy feat in the beginning. Entering working life upon graduation will introduce you to different types of challenges and financial woes (from a burgeoning student debt) should be the least of your problems.

 

Here are six things that you can do to cut costs:

 

Don’t buy ALL of the textbooks

It’s a well known fact that some textbooks can cost even more than the entire module and that university/college bookstores are often the most expensive. So, be sure to check for the same textbook/s elsewhere you can probably get it at a cheaper price. There are also various websites online that both buy and sell textbooks at a truly discounted rate. Or you could choose to wait to attend your first class before purchasing your texts. More often than not, your professors would tell you which books you will need to have and the ones that you can skip. Alternatively check if these books are available in the library. The best situation would be to have a friend who has already taken this course and are willing to lend you their books!

 

Student cards are your best friend

Lots of local businesses in university towns offer discounts to students. This may also apply to other establishments outside of the town itself (should you decide to venture of out of your student town). Additionally, getting your necessities and coffee within the town means that you cut down on gas since they’re all close by.

 

Find more affordable alternatives

As much as it’s fun to hang out at the cool artsy cafe at your campus, the coffee’s expensive. Heading there once in a while if fine, but we suggest that you brew your own instant coffee at home. Or if the cafe happens to be the favoured haunt among your group of friends and project mates, just request for tap water the next time that you’re there. It’s free.

 

Prepare larger meals

Buying groceries in bulk is always a lot cheaper, so make a large meal and split the costs with your roommates. For instance, you could always make a big helping of chili or lasagna and place the portions into the freezer for future consumption. It’s a whole lot cheaper AND healthier. You and your roomies can avoid the dreaded weight gain.

 

Brand? What brand?

You don’t need that particular brand of organic cheese or vegetables if your budget can’t afford it. If you have some leeway in your budget, it’s fine to splurge once every few months or so on good food. Always look for store/generic brands, this goes for all of your daily necessities as well such as- food, toiletries, medicine etc. Generic brands are usually of the same quality as the name brands.

 

Acquaint yourself with a bike

Public transport is definitely cheaper than driving, but riding your bike is a whole LOT cheaper.  Especially from spring to fall, biking’s a great way for you to cut costs AND enjoy the beautiful weather and fresh air. Perfect way to wake you up in the mornings! Save the public transportation for winter or when it’s raining.

 

We hope that some if not all of these tips have been helpful to you. 

 

Contemplating studying abroad? Check out the courses available here.

Or download a university’s prospectus now!

 

Useful links

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About Author

A fan of anime and all things Japanese, Khai has been writing professionally since 2010 and “unofficially” for much longer. In her free time, you will often find her baking, reading, travelling and doing everything else in between.