Finally this fantastic moment has come and you left your town to start a brand new, bright, independent life of a college student. Maybe, you are renting an apartment or sharing one with other young enthusiastic individuals on-campus. Or, perhaps, you have found a gorgeous studio somewhere far from school, next to a fabulous park or a beach. You were looking forward to this exciting period of your time for so long. However, being an adult and being independent has not only advantages, but also some disadvantages because now you are the one who has to do the grocery shopping, clean your apartment, and, of course, deal with the finances. This is great if your parents help with your expenses or if you managed to find a good job which makes your life easier, but you should control this area and try to save money.
We Hope You Really Like to Cook
We want to begin our post with the food aspect. Cooking and eating at home is better than eating out. You should begin to plan your meals, for instance, each Sunday, when you can sit down and think what can be better and easier for you to cook. You should even prepare meals in advance – this would save you a lot of time and money. When you know that you have cooked lunch at home, you will be able to resist a temptation of going to a café with your friends and having a lunch there.
That is true: when there is nothing to eat at home and you feel terrible hunger after a few long hours of thinking, you are ready to give any money for a sandwich and a cup of coffee. Besides, it is less difficult to eat healthy when you cook yourself because you know which ingredients you need. One more thing you should remember is that doing grocery shopping when you are hungry is something you should avoid. This is how people spend tons of money because their bodies tell them they are ready to eat every product in the store. In fact, most of these products end up being in a garbage bin.
Just Pay Bills Off
Now, when we are done with the food, we would like to talk about your bills. When you start living by yourself, you become the one who is responsible for paying all the bills – electricity, Internet, cellphone, etc. You might believe this is not so important, but such ‘minute’ details as bills can cause problems. Quite often we are so busy that we forget that the payment for your cellphone is due the next day.
The problem here is that a lot of companies charge late fees if a person misses the deadline. Of course, you do not want to pay extra money just because you were not attentive enough, so you should always keep your bills in mind. It is also very important to pay off your credit card as soon as you get a chance to do it: the more you wait, the more interest you have to pay. It is better not to go to one party and to use this money to pay off your credit – this will be more useful.
You Have Got a Discount
We also encourage you to use your fantastic status of a student and to check which stores have student discounts. You might be surprised, but students have a lot of privileges. It might be cheaper for you to visit some park or museum if you show your student card at the entrance, or you might have a 10% student discount in the store where your favourite jeans are sold. Use these discounts wisely: we do not encourage you to go and spend all your money on clothing just because now it is a little less expensive. We just want you to keep this in mind and benefit from these discounts when you go shopping.
Say ‘Yes’ to the Bus
Another huge advantage of being a student is having a cheap travel pass. We understand that having your own car is more attractive and comfortable and saves some time, but moneywise public transportation is so much better in this sense. Instead of paying, for example, $100 for your monthly pass you can pay only $30 and enjoy all kinds of public transport – buses, trolleys, trains, etc. – using this pass. If you drive a car, you need to pay for insurance, gasoline, and even tickets sometimes. This is not the best alternative if you want to save some money.
Your Campus Is Bigger Than You Think
Dear students, you should also remember that your campus is a gigantic community which offers good deals for students (or you can even use certain amenities for free). So, in case you are a big fan of swimming pools or gyms, you should definitely consider the pool and the gym on-campus as the solution of all your problems. For those of you who live in another area this might seem time-consuming, but with your student bus pass you can have a quick ride to campus and enjoy swimming as much as you can – and this will be totally free. This also includes other kinds of entertainment as museums, movie nights, various shows and performances – a lot of those are free for students, so you should enjoy them as much as you can.
Saving money may seem not a very enjoyable process, but if you explore your campus or the community where you live better, you will be surprised by the variety of opportunities to spend less and do more. Be adventurous and enjoy being in school.