Being a student can be expensive. There is always going to be pressure on you to go out and socialize, and this will inevitably involve spending money. However, there are a number of ways that money-conscious students can save themselves a significant amount of cash without much effort. Getting into good spending habits will help you throughout your life, but it will be particularly valuable while you are dealing with the many costs of being a student in the modern world.
Once you start looking for ways to start saving, you won’t be able to stop. And you should begin to see the results pretty soon after you begin, which will give you the shot of motivation you need to make these new habits stick in the long-term.
Make a Budget
Making yourself a budget is one of the most effective things that you can do in order to help you save money. A budget serves a number of different purposes. For example, it helps you to both identify what you are currently spending your money on and where you can most effectively make savings on your bills, etc. One of the reasons that people often struggle with budgets is because they try to set themselves unrealistic goals. You need to be honest with yourself about what you can achieve and have a plan for achieving it’s before you commit to it.
But, as long as you set yourself a realistic budget and are able to muster the motivation to stick with it, it will help you to keep your spending to a minimum in the long run. While you are studying for your degree, this will help you to manage the money you have available much better.
Keep an Eye Out for Student Discounts
Student discounts are definitely one of the best benefits of being a student, so it is always worth enquiring if they are available at stores you shop at, especially if you are buying things like stationery or coffee. The savings for student discounts are often relatively small, but when you are a penny-pinching student, every small saving counts. Over time, those small savings will add up, and you will find that you have more disposable income to spend on the essentials of being a student.
There are a lot of costs that are unavoidable, and things like textbooks are notoriously expensive for students. If you can get even a modest discount on these, it can make a real difference to your finances. When you are buying things like textbooks that are distinctly student items, it is worth asking about a discount.
Use Price Comparison Sites to Keep Your Costs Down
Price comparison websites are an excellent way of saving yourself money on everyday purchases, including both products and utilities. You can find a price comparison website for most things these days, and there are even websites that will compare the prices in major supermarkets and other retailers for you.
Another similar way of saving money on your general purchases is to download one of the growing number of apps that alert you to deals and offers available either online or in your local area. Places like Amazon and eBay make it easy to find good quality, second-hand items, and if you don’t need to have something brand new, then this is always a good option to consider.
Look Out for Freebies
In the past, online degrees have not been very highly thought of. In fact, for a long time, they were the butt of jokes and associated with scams. However, this has changed significantly in recent years, and online degrees now often carry the same weight to their traditional campus counterparts. In fact, there are a number of benefits to studying an online degree, especially if your goal is to obtain your degree for as little money as is reasonably possible.
Online nursing degrees are now available through a number of leading universities. This includes everything from basic registered nurse degrees to online nurse practitioner programs. These degrees are an ideal way for many students to complete their studies.
Consider Studying Online
As well as saving money on the cost of your tuition, online degrees are also generally much more flexible in terms of the payment methods that they offer and the time scale over which students must complete their studies. Online university courses often, although not always, allow students to arrange to pay their tuition on a month-to-month basis, often in the form of monthly loan repayments to the university.
The options will vary from university to university, but if you are looking for ways to keep your costs as low as possible, then it is definitely worth enquiring about whether an online course comes with more flexible payment options.
Reduce Your Energy Bills
Reducing our energy usage is something that all of us could stand to do more of. Not only is more efficient energy usage a smart financial decision, but it is also a good way of reducing your carbon footprint. Lowering your energy usage is also much easier than you might realize. To many people, it mostly involves switching off appliances when they are no longer in use and doing other simple things like that.
However, you could also take some more drastic and long-term measures. If you are already working as a nurse and have some experience in the field, then you may be in a position to consider making alterations to your home. If your goal is to save as much money as possible, then it might be worth considering investing in things like solar panels and better insulation for your property. These things will not immediately put money in your pocket, but over time and sooner than you might think, they will pay for themselves.
Start Buying Generic Alternatives
When you are putting together your overall budget, you should pay particular attention to what you are spending on groceries. Most of us overspend on our groceries without thinking about it, and part of the reason for this is that we are all naturally fussy eaters. While we like to pretend that we are not so lofty and demanding as all that, many of us will still stick feverishly to the brands that we have built a loyal towards.
Once you compare the cost of many branded items to the generic alternatives, you’ll begin to see how much you are paying for a brand name, and you aren’t always paying for any discernible increase in quality. In some cases, it is certainly better to spend more money and to get a better quality product, but for a huge portion of the most common everyday purchases, the generic version of everyday products would do just as well as the regular one.
As a nursing student, you will no doubt be aware that the generic version of a branded drug is just the same chemically as the branded ones and, therefore, just as effective at treating symptoms. Whenever you are buying drugs from the pharmacy, it is always worth asking if there is a generic version of whatever you need available.
Make Your Own Food
If you can get into the habit of preparing your own lunch and dinner every single day instead of relying on buying one, then the savings you can make are huge. Consider how much further a loaf of bread goes than a single sandwich that you buy from a supermarket, the sandwich being considerably more expensive. Similarly, if you get into the habit of cooking dinner for yourself every evening, then you can cook enough food to last you for multiple meals at a time.
As a student, there will be plenty of pressure on you to go out and socialize and spend money with others. But, if you can resist at least some of these events or at least convince people to spend the night in rather than going clubbing, you can reduce the amount of money that you end up spending on food and drink.
Money is a constant concern for any student and the costs associated with studying only ever seem to go up. Whether it is the increasing costs of tuition or the ever-increasing cost of living, there is seemingly no end to the people and organizations looking to part you from your money.
The good news is that once you start making a few small changes in the name of saving more of your money, you will find it easier to make more changes in the future. Your budget will be essential in determining how successful you are at saving money, so make sure that you keep an eye on it and are setting yourself realistic goals for reducing your expenditures. If you are too ambitious in your targets, then you will be setting yourself up for failure and disappointment. Be honest with yourself about what you can achieve and how you will achieve it. If you are determined to live frugally as a student, then make it happen!