Who doesn’t want to save some money, specially when you are a student? Its hard enough to pay for tuition fees, living costs and other extras that come along the way. You should grab any chance to save money whenever you can. Here we are going to list the top 15 ways a student can save money during their time at school.
- Carry your Student ID or sign up for a Student advantage card:
Many times you will come across retailers who have seasonal offers for students. When you go out for shopping it’s a very good idea to keep your Student ID in your wallet so that if you happen to come across such an offer you can use your student card. Some stores just require a student ID, while others may want a little extra. For example, in the UK many retailers give discount to students only if they have NUS (National Union of Students) card. In Canada, there is SPC (Student Price Card) card that provides discounts and deals at stores and restaurants etc. It’s a good idea to sign up for these cards if you like shopping.
- Opt for no/lowest fee banking:
As an international student you may have different options for banking depending on where you are studying. Most banks usually offer an annual student rate that can sometimes be free or cheaper than other options. You also want to check out other banks and compare all their service charges. When I was a student in the UK, I had a bank account with no annual fees. You can also open a savings account that earns interest.
Most bank accounts in Canada/US have the option for student chequing account. Most of the banks offer a student chequing account. There are also other options. My personal favourite Canadian bank is Tangerine (which has no annual fees or service charges). In fact if you sign up using my Orange key (42358105S1) you will get $50 bonus for just signing in. However, keep in mind before you can open an account with Tangerine you need an external account.
- Use Student discount offered by public Transport companies:
As a student you will almost always enjoy student pricing for travel costs in most countries/cities around the world. For example, in London (UK) you can apply for 18+ student oyster photo card and can get 30% off the price of adult-rate Travel cards and also in bus and tram passes. In Toronto, Canada, you can also get Post-Secondary Students Metropass for a discounted rate. These are just examples, no matter where you study just make sure you use these discounts whenever available.
- Walk or bike:
If you live in a place where everything is close by, including your School, why not walk or bike? It will save you a lot of money and will keep you healthy as well.
5. Get a part-time job/summer internships:
Instead of taking expensive vacation during summer, get a summer job or better yet try to secure a summer internship. It will not only help you save a lot of money but also look good for your CV. Along with some extra cash you get a chance to meet people outside school and get some real life experience along the way. But be careful not to overdo it. You don’t want to end up distracted from your schoolwork. Also, for international students there is always some kind of restriction of how many hours (if at all) they are allowed to work in a week. Make sure you follow the rules.
6. Apply for scholarships:
Applying for scholarships is another way to get some extra cash. You want to keep an eye for these. Many of my friends in College missed out on some very good opportunities for not paying attention. Look for all kinds of scholarships, apply for even the smaller ones. There is almost always some kind of scholarship available based on merit, need or ethnicity (or other kinds). I remember securing small scholarships, bursaries and other big scholarships during my College life, which undoubtedly helped my savings account look better. Check out the financial Aid office or posters at your College to get to know more about these scholarships.
7. More student pricing:
As I was saying, always pay attention to the student pricing everywhere. If you shop online pay attention to the online offers a well. If you are a student in the UK, sign up for https://www.studentbeans.com. You can find about all kinds of offers and discounts on travel, food and drink, clothing, school supplies and what not! You can also get discounts on many of the well-known attractions in the UK and sometimes even for movies!
There are also many other discounts available for students during ‘back to school’ season (which is usually right before the fall semester). Apple does student pricing on new MacBooks and iMacs, so don’t forget to take advantage of some discount if you plan to buy a new Macbook. Some students also wait for black Friday to arrive since they get discounts from many retailers on that day.
8. Avoid specialty stores, instead shop in superstores:
Sometimes products in a specialty store (such as Staples for school supplies) can be more expensive than that of a general superstore (for example Walmart/Asda). Chances are you will find the same brand product at a cheaper price if you shop at the general stores.
- Opt for Dollar or pound stores:
Many times you will find essential stuffs with a bargain at dollar stores (such as Dollarama/Dollar stores in Canada/ US) or Pound stores (in the UK). Bigger version of these stores almost have everything including kitchen utensils, school supplies, cleaning products, and everyday essentials with a bargain.
- Cook your own food:
Okay, this one sounds like easier said than done. But believe me, if you start out with the habit of takeaway or eating ready-made food all the time, it starts to get very expensive. Also, when you cook your own food that’s usually much healthier. Try to bring your own lunch to College.
If you are sharing with other students, it can be a good idea to share the cost of big purchases such as buying a big bag of rice (buying in bulk usually saves a lot of money).
- Save money on Books:
You don’t have to buy all the books that are recommended for your courses. Check your library first to see if the book is. If not, the look for used books that can be bought for a cheaper price. Some times there can be facilities or shops in your own College that sell used books. You can also rent books if that is cheaper. Other options include checking out Amazon’s market place at amazon, you will almost always find used books from their website www.amazon.ca.
- Live with other students:
If you are going to live off campus, get a place with your friends or other students and split the rent. Sharing is always cheaper than living on your own.
- Make a budget:
If you make a budget for a certain period of time (say for a week or a month), it always helps you to stay away from impulse buying. You need to stick to your budget plan and make sure you do not spend more than you earn. You should know how much you are spending on your living costs, say on rent, food, utilities, internet, phone bills, transportation etc. Always keep a track of where your money goes in spending.
- Use automated service for bill payments:
If you forget to pay bills on time, you will encounter late charge fees. The best way to make sure it never happens is to automate your bill payments. That way you will never have to worry about paying bills on time. This applies to credit card bills as well.
- Use Campus services or Student Union offers:
Instead of spending a lot of money going out, check out your campus activities. Get to know what your Student Union has to offer. Most Colleges arrange many social events that are usually cheaper to participate or almost free. Sometimes joining your campus gym will also be cheaper than an external one.