There is a reason why students are sometimes referred to as the “poor student.” Those who take on a full time course load have no time to earn extra money by securing a part time job. For those who have to move away from their hometown for College, it can be a struggle making their minimal student loan dollars stretch. Have no fear, there are ways to get by and ease the burden!
Here are some simple and easy ways to help make your student dollars stretch:
Eating Healthy Meals
Just because you have a tight budget, does not mean you have no choice but to sacrifice your healthy eating habits. In fact, it is a huge misconception that eating healthy is expensive. Did you know that boxed, processed and convenient food items are more expensive than traditional essential staples?
Buy in bulk
Focus on your basic staples to put together healthy meals. The basics are rice, potatoes, grains & whole wheat pastas.
Remember just because an item is on sale, does not mean you have to buy it! Try and do one big shop at Costco once a month. This will keep you from spending more money in multiple shops.
If you do not find that you are using many of the functions your cell phone plan is providing, try saving money significantly by cutting down your data plan, text message services or any other add-on you do not find to be using much of. Instead of buying new, expensive cell phones, look for deals on free cell phones with cheaper plans.
Do you find yourself spending more time on the computer than watching television? More and more people are cutting their cable bill and only paying for their essential internet services. Most shows today are streaming online, so really you aren’t missing out. Just on saving money!
Split Living Costs
If you are living off campus, there is no way you can live comfortably and stress-free without finding a responsible room-mate to split the living costs with. This will make life a lot easier for you as long as you find a responsible & tidy roommate. Try spreading the word through friends and family first then post ads on your College website, there are always students looking for roommates.
Being Creative in the Kitchen
Do you remember those home cooked meals mom used to make, that tasted so good? Well chances are she slaved over the stove using fresh ingredients. If you want to save money, you should do the same. Kraft Dinner and Beefaroni are unhealthy, tasteless and overpriced. Consider asking your mom or family member for home cooked recipes.
If you are looking to save time in the kitchen to spend it on studying, invest in a Slow Cooker! This magical invention allows you to throw in any inexpensive cut of meat you like, with vegetables, stock and spices and then flip the switch to low. Head to school and by the time you arrive home 8 hours later you will smell the incredible aroma of a home cooked meal. (And lots of leftovers!)
Save Money on Décor & Furniture Items
If you have just moved into your new space and looking to decorate it, stick to the basics. A bed, one dresser, a coffee table, one bookshelf and a futon that turns into a bed is all you really need furniture wise. You can find great deals on nice second hand furniture at Salvation Army or any other thrift store.
Remember these simple tips for students as you prepare for College life. You will find yourself less stressed and have the ability to save more money in the long run.