Thursday, January 14, 2010

How to save money as students

Student life is one of the  most enjoyable times where we basically are almost being full-time gaining new knowledge with no burden to be a breadwinner. There are also people who study part-time while working, which is also a great idea to have a steady income stream while investing in new knowledge for better career prospects. I think an evergreen issue that arises among students as well as working people is how to save money. Well, for this post I will focus on money management for students particularly in colleges or universities. My reason behind this is that minors (below 18), are legally not allowed to work yet, unless of course for friends or family members is an exception. Many times, we find ourselves short of money after paying all the bills and basic necessities. As students, we do want to hang out, have fun and enjoy occasionally after those heavy loads of lectures and assignments. Sometimes, we want to reward ourselves and get something we like from the mall or give ourselves a treat at a restaurant. But, once again money is the issue. In my humble opinion, here are some ideas if you're running low or want to save up some extra cash for someone or something special.

Open a bank account. 
This is the very basic step to be on your way to a simple investment. When you keep money in the bank, you're actually lending money to them and in return you get interest. Interest is basically a certain percentage you get by doing nothing, just by lending money to the bank. The amount increases as your funds build up. It may seem discouraging at the meager amount initially, but its better to start now, than never. Everything takes persistence and time.

Beware of cheap sales 
This seems so contrary to rushing in for bargains and cheap sales. Well, that general rule is actually true, you can get great discounts on branded and designer goods but watch out. Especially for students, brand consciousness is really important for some people (I'm not against it, its a personal priority). Bargains of 50 percent to 70 percent will send crowds swarming the mall. Make sure you buy what you really are looking for and need. Personally, I've made mistakes by buying so many things during cheap sales just for the sake of the price and ended up not using them at all-money wasted. Of course, one tip is that if they are genuine branded items, you can try selling them off on your blog or on eBay. The whole atmosphere during sales are always hyped up with techno music, so we ourselves need to be sure what we want to buy and check our budget.

Work Part-time
Usually when signing up for a university course, you can choose between full-time and part-time. Basically, for part-time you won't be taking the full range of subjects. Based on past experience, there is actually ample room for free time even for a full-time course. Once again, it depends on your university course and workload. One option is to look out for on-campus opportunities, this can save a lot of travel time. In some universities, there are part time work for students like being a peer tutor. You can check for these opportunities with your lecturer. The pay is not extremely high, but is decent to earn you some additional pocket money. All you need is to have reasonably good grades and patience. This is because you'll be teaching weaker students. One tip is to ensure you have enough time for your own studies and tutor a subject closely related to your course. From personal experience, peer tutoring has helped me increase  my knowledge and help me in my own course. 
Other part-time jobs may include being a promoter or cashier at the mall, tuition teacher and any other that fits your interests and skill. 

There are many other steps which I will share using different approaches, as not to bore you. In my opinion, how to save money as students boils down to three simple principle-Be creative, think before you spend and follow the crowd with your eyes open.

Below are some links with useful tips on saving money:
10 easy ways for students to save money
Money tips for college students
118 ways to save money in college

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