• Melissa Kartini

12 Useful Budget Hacks for College Students

Updated: Sep 3, 2018

If there is one thing that college students constantly stress over--right after their grades, that is--is the amount of money they have. Or don't, because we all know the struggle of being a broke student. This is especially true if said student is living on their own, which limits what available funds they have all the more.

So what is a skint college student to do in order to save money? Here're a couple of nifty budget hacks to help you survive college:

  1. Cook your own meals: We've heard this one time and time again, and for good reason--because it works. If you want to severely cut down on costs, cooking your own meals is a great way to do it. Goodness knows that eating out is expensive.

  2. Compare prices when you grocery shop: Often times, there really isn't much of a difference between store brand and big brand products. Take note of this tidbit the next time you head out to buy groceries. You'll save a lot when you are more conscious of the price tag of what you're grabbing.

  3. Make use of your student card: It's easy to forget about the discounts you can get with your student card, but seriously, it is among your biggest money-saving assets as a student. You can get discounts for movie tickets, at certain stores and train fare, just to name a few, so what are you waiting for? Whip out that student card of yours!

  4. Apply for a scholarship: It doesn't matter whether you think you're smart enough or if you don't fit any other requirement that they might have. Just apply for whatever scholarship you can. You never know; you might just get it.

  5. Opt for living at your school dormitory: More often than not, the cost of living at your school dormitory is cheaper than renting an apartment. So should you get the chance to, sign up for it. Your wallet will thank you in the long run.

  6. Drink water: This one sounds weird, but it makes sense. Do you have any idea how much costs run up when you keep ordering and buying teh ais, teh tarik, milo and the like? Opt for water instead. It's cheaper and healthier.

  7. Make use of 2-in-1 deals: See a 2-in-1 deal that applies to you? Grab it. Whether it is buying 2 for the price of 1, or a product that is 2-in-1, buy it. An example of the latter is the Maxkleen 9 softergent (RM27.50-RM28.50), which is both a softener and detergent in one. Imagine how much money you'd save up with this lifesaver!

  8. Use cold water: You'd be surprised by how much you'd save by opting for cold instead of hot water. So the next time you want to use the shower, use cold water instead. It's cheaper, refreshing and overall much better for your skin, because unlike hot water, it doesn't cause dehyration.

  9. Get a job: This one is a no-brainer. If you're in need of funds, one effective way to get it other than cutting down on costs is to get a job. The trick is to find something that doesn't conflict with your class schedule. In this scenario, you could consider a part-time job or going freelance.

  10. Save money on textbooks: Don't buy textbooks unless you have to. If possible, borrow a copy from the library, or buy one secondhand from another student or a store. College textbooks are expensive, and are only used a few weeks or months at the very most.

  11. Don't be shy about using coupons: Maybe it doesn't seem like much, but when you keep saving up on those 10% off deals, it adds up. So don't be shy about using coupons. Collect and use them where applicable.

  12. Whenever possible, use the train: Cars are a money suck. Which is why whenever possible, opt for the train and walk. It's cheaper, much more relaxing (no traffic, anyone? Aside from human traffic, that is) and more environmentally friendly.

Written by Crunch's Melissa Kartini

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