Money is hard to come by when you’re a student. Even with student loans and grants, most people struggle to get through each term without having to borrow money from parents or take up a part-time job. Yes, you can save money by never drinking alcohol or indeed going to any social event, but that’s no realistic. Here are some actual ways that you can save money while studying.
CONSIDER ALTERNATIVE METHODS OF STUDYING
Nowadays, there are lots of ways to take a course. Some of these can be cheaper. For example, you can study many courses online nowadays, which can allow you to stay at home and prevent you from having to pay for accommodation. Studying online can lead you to miss out on much of the social university experience, but for those with commitments that are merely interested in gaining an education, this is a perfect way to study
Studying abroad might also be a way of bringing down costs. In individual countries, the cost of living might be less and university fees may also be cheaper.
Another option to consider is a sponsored course. A sponsored course is ideal for those that don’t want the debt of a student loan. A company sponsors such courses in the agreement that you then work for this company once you’ve attained a degree. It’s often a competitive process to get onto one of these sponsored courses. You also have to be sure that in three years you’ll want to work for that company (it can offer job security, but does take away the freedom to choose your career path after university).
LEARN TO COOK
Microwave meals and takeaways may be convenient, but they’re also a lot more expensive than cooking with raw ingredients. If you’re not a great cook, learning a few meals could be advantageous in helping you to save money. If anything, it’s healthier. There are lots of websites online such as Student Recipes that offer great meal ideas. Cooking can be a fun and creative process. You can even cook with your housemates (cooking bigger portions can often save costs too).
GET BOOKS SECOND-HAND
Most courses will require you to buy books. You may be able to get these out of your university library, although there’s likely to be a limited amount of copies. Second-hand books are your best solution for saving money. Sites like Amazon are the best places to find these. Another cheap option is to buy e-books, although you may want to buy an e-reader too.
SHOP AROUND FOR STATIONERY
You aren’t likely to spend a lot of pens. However, you could find yourself spending a lot on paper and printer ink. Don’t just buy from your local shop - consider shopping around on sites like 123inkjets. It’s possible to obtain a printer that uses refillable cartridges, which may be another way of saving money.
GET A STUDENT TRAVEL CARD
For getting around cheaply, a student travel card can be a worthwhile purchase. If you’re studying in Australia, the ISIC card is the best solution. The ISIC card can save you vast amounts of rail travel (you can get a 40% discount on Queensland rail train tickets).
Some universities may have free student bus services for getting around. These may require ID to use - make sure that you’re aware of these.
MAKE USE OF STUDENT DISCOUNTS
There are lots of times when you can take advantage of student discounts. This may include discounts in shops, restaurants, cinemas and local bars. You may even be able to save money on fuel for your car and daily groceries. You should always ask about student discounts wherever you go. The area around your campus is sure to have lots of places that offer student discounts – many of these places may advertise that they offer discounts to attract students.
TALK TO YOUR STUDENT SUPPORT CENTRE
Every university has a student support service. These may deal with various student issues – one being to help students that are financially struggling. Support networks may be able to pay for books that you need for your course and even allow you to lease a laptop during crucial study periods. These services aren’t available to everyone – you may have to prove that you know support from elsewhere to get these perks.
While visiting student support, make sure that you’re taking full advantage of the university facilities. You may not need a computer or a printer in your dorm room – the library is likely to have these facilities, and it could save you money. Some universities may even have free IT support buildings, househunting facilities and various other free consultancy services.
EARN EASY MONEY AS YOU STUDY
Getting a part time job can help you to fund your time at university, but some people may find that it gets in the way of their studies. There are lots of other methods out there of making money on the side which can be worth taking advantage of.
Many are university related. For example, you might be able to make back some money selling books you don’t need to people in the year below. You may also be able to sell revision notes online – lots of students will pay money for these. Your university meanwhile may have various paid opportunities on offer. Courses may pay students to take part in trials and experiments. Collaboration.