Students can live more comfortably by adopting a frugal lifestyle. It needs a bit of commitment and tolerance at first, but you don’t have to become an ascetic to boost your personal finance.
- Pack your own lunch. Prepare it the night before to avoid skipping the practice. Not only will you save a lot of money, you can also be eating healthier food.
- Bring fruits to school. When the hunger hits you, it’s easy to just head over to the kiosk and buy a chocolate bar or a bag of chips. But if you like fruits (and you definitely should btw), your bag should be prepared with an apple that you can consume at any time.
- Bring your own water bottle. If you need more water, you can go to the cafeteria for refills. Don’t waste money on water or soft drinks.
- Use the public library for books, newspapers, magazines, and DVDs.
- Plan your weekly menus beforehand. When you plan your meals beforehand, you can buy all the ingredients in bulk, and use them thriftily. Freeze any leftovers or leave them for the next day’s breakfast/lunch.
- Open a savings account. It’s never too early to start saving for holiday gifts. Twenty bucks a month should suffice.
- Use your cell phone sparingly. Ask yourself if the call/SMS you’re about to make/dispatch is absolutely necessary. Consider emailing or calling via Skype.
- Download free computer software. No-brainer. Don’t sabotage your budget with unnecessary purchases such as Microsoft Office or Adobe Photoshop. OpenOffice and GIMP are adequate alternatives for students.
- Sell your old textbooks. When you’re done with a book, sell it to another student. You’ll get a portion of your money back while your buddy gets the book for less—nice. You should also consider swapping books with your school mates.
- Use public transportation. Car maintenance is expensive. Forget about tax, insurance, gasoline, repairs, and parking tickets; get a student commuter pass.
- Rent movies if the DVD collection at your library is limited. You’re probably not going to watch the movies twice anyway, so why waste more money on them.
- No credit cards. I would never recommend anyone to take loans in the first place, but students and loans simply don’t match. Avoid having credit cards altogether.
- Wash clothes by hand. You can still go to the laundromat to get your jeans and shirts done, but socks and underwear can be easily washed in the bathroom sink.
- Use candles. When you’re at the computer or reading a book, you probably don’t need a fully lit room. Candles are cheap and a great source of atmospheric lighting.
- Simply buy less. Make a habit out of it. You will notice that buying less and possessing less leads to a richer lifestyle—financially as well as mentally.
Next, give us your awesome tips on frugal living. 🙂