Caught In A College Cash Crisis? 5 Money Hacks to Try Before Asking Your Parents for Help
Back to school season is upon us, and a lot of students are looking for tips on how to avoid going broke. This makes sense because as we get older, we develop a strong urge to become financially independent. Read on for five money hacks that’ll keep you financially secure, so you don’t have to ask mommy and daddy for help.
1. Take advantage of student discounts
One of the sweetest perks of being a student is that you get discounts for pretty much anything. This includes restaurants, movies, clothing stores, buses, and even bank accounts.
In fact, certain companies are even willing to offer small loans to students looking to bridge the income gap. That way, if you overspend one month, you’ll have enough to tide you over until the next. You can even save money on laptops and electronic repairs just by carrying your student card.
2. Stop blowing your money
Students are notorious for reckless spending. From late-night UberEats orders to Starbucks runs and video games, there are many ways in which you could be leaking money. It’s important to monitor your spending and see what you can cut out or substitute with cheaper alternatives.
You can still go out with friends on the weekends and enjoy the college experience. But if you’re going out, plan ahead and do your ‘pre-gaming’ at home, so you only need to buy one drink when you get to the club. Meal prep on the weekends so you’re motivated to eat at home instead of buying take-out. Be savvy when shopping and look out for promotions and discounts.
If you’re not spending within your means, you’re going to go broke and find yourself eating beans and toast real quick. The easiest way to budget is to work out how much you’ve got coming in each month from work, your student loan, and/or your parents.
Contrast this with how much is going out in the form of food, fees, books, etc. Work out the difference so you can set a realistic budget that you can live by. Consider using an online banking tool to help you stick to your budget. It’ll alert you each time you’re close to your spending limit and keep you from going into the red.
4. Make extra cash
Try and find ways to make extra money while studying. If you have a skill like music, writing, editing, hairstyling, or even designing websites, leverage it to make extra cash in your spare time.
Consider being a Resident Assistant (RA) so you can earn some money while studying. Some RAs even get free room and board or a discount to stay in the dorms. Granted, it’s a huge commitment because you’re going to have a lot of responsibility. But, it’ll look great on your résumé because it shows you have work experience. Plus, you’ll save so much money on your housing expenses.
5. Buy second-hand textbooks
One of the most expensive things you’re going to spend money on in college is your textbooks. You might need to buy more than ten books per semester, and the cost can really add up. One way to save is to buy your books second-hand from a student who’s a year ahead of you.
Alternatively, split the cost of buying textbooks with a friend who’s doing the same course. Make sure it’s someone who’s willing to share the books. Otherwise, buy them second hand from these websites.
Being a student is tough enough without having to stress about money. Apply these simple tips, and you’ll never go broke again!