Money-Saving Tips for Students
Your college or university years are exciting, full of new experiences and challenges. Living away from home for the first time, learning new skills and meeting new people are just some of the many things you're set to experience, but they all come with a price tag. There's no doubting it, post-secondary can be expensive, and so learning how to budget your money will be key.
Take a look at some of the proven tips you can put into practice as a student this year:
Minimize Dining Out
Eating out on a regular basis can add up quickly and may not be the healthiest choice. Purchase a meal plan if you live in residence, or prepare your own meals in your off-campus apartment or home. Learn some quick, simple recipes, create a meal plan, prep or cook in advance, and freeze your leftovers.
Travel with snacks to avoid splurging at vending machines or purchasing fast food, and be sure to purchase your groceries at actual grocery stores, as they’re much more affordable than convenience or department stores. You can also find affordable, tasty and healthy products at discount grocery stores. Of course, there's nothing wrong with eating out occasionally, but just try to save it for special occasions.
Start a Savings Account
Most banks offer student savings and checking accounts. These types of accounts offer many advantages, including: 1) Lower or zero banking fees 2) No minimum balance 3) A lower interest rate 4) Direct deposit and automatic transfers to savings. Especially if you're going to be working part-time while going to school, the automatic savings feature is a good way to get into the habit of saving more of your money; the same amount is taken out of your deposited paycheck each pay period and moved to your savings account.
Use Campus or Apartment Amenities
On-site amenities were created to be convenient and affordable. Of course, the amenities you have access to will depend on where you live, but they can be a great way to save on added costs, like gym memberships. At The Horizon, for instance, we provide our residents with access to a fitness centre, a games room, study lounges, on-site laundry facilities, Wi-Fi, cable, and more. Choose to live in some of the best student rentals Edmonton has to offer and you will enjoy added value at an affordable price!
Choose Your Housing Well
Obviously, where you live can affect the affordability of college or university. Generally, on-campus housing is considered more affordable because there aren’t any additional costs, like utilities, household items, transit, etc. However, a furnished off-campus apartment can be just as, if not more affordable than on-campus housing. At The Horizon, fully-furnished suites, a location that's close to Grant MacEwan University and Norquest College, free Wi-Fi and other conveniences that provide students with a clearer idea of what their monthly expenses will be, all make it easier to create and stick to a budget.
Buy Used Textbooks
Buying new textbooks is one of the most common mistakes students make. It’s also one of the most expensive mistakes. Most textbooks are available used or digitally, providing you with cheaper alternatives. Bookstores, however, are flooded with students at the beginning of each semester, many of whom are looking to scoop up the less expensive used books, so it's important to start your search as early as possible.
College or university is an investment, but there are many simple things you can do to effectively track your expenses and stick to a budget. Looking for an affordable place to live for this upcoming school year? Book a tour of The Horizon today!