Money Saving Tips for College Students

Being a college student can be an exciting but equally frustrating time: one would start spending more time out than at home as there will be many new experiences and activities to explore. However, money will most likely be scarce. College students often find themselves broke for the week with barely enough money for lunch much less having fun with friends. With burgeoning costs of living, parents are unlikely to be able to afford any more allowances than they already do.

But it doesn’t have to make you grey before your time. With some basic money management; you’ll be able to survive the college years with some great memories to spare.

Have a monthly financial plan

The first step is to prepare a monthly financial plan to help you keep track of your monthly spending. Allocate time to go through it every month and see if there are any costs you can cut back on or if there’s anything you need to add. Even if it is a ringgit or two, it will amount up to a bigger sum over time.

In addition, having a monthly financial plan will help save money for other activities. For instance, if you plan on going for a year end vacation with friends, by going through the monthly financial plan, you can decide on what to cut back on to save you the amount needed to fund your vacation.

There will of course, always be last minute emergencies at some point in the year, but for the most part, a monthly budget will help you keep track of your spending and save money.

Be resourceful

Being resourceful will pay off. There are many things that can be substituted or compromised that in return, save us money. Instead of having lunch at nearby restaurant or coffee shop during breaks, try brown-bagging your lunch from home instead. With an average cost of RM10 (including drinks) for lunch and assuming five days of classes, you could save up to RM50 or more. Save on transportation by carpooling and splitting petrol and parking costs. If your course doesn’t require up-to-the minute materials, instead of buying new books, get to know college seniors who will need to sell off their old textbooks. You will get the materials you need at a fraction of the original sale price.

Spend your time wisely

It is okay to have fun but do so in moderation. Instead of spending most of your time going out with friends, which of course costs money, try working part-time. You’ll be grateful for the extra money but also the peek into the real world that one only gets through working. Experiencing earning your own money will also create a better sense of the value of the commodity.

Have a goal in mind

Lastly, always have a goal in mind. Do you want to have a good sized emergency fund or be financially independent from your parents earlier on? Whichever your focus, with prudent planning, you’ll reach your goal mayhap well before graduation.

This was brought you by Matthias Sim from RinggitPlus compares credit cards, debit cards, balance transfers and personal loans to help Malaysians get more for their money.