May 6, 2020

by Addison Davies

As a college student, you will have a long list of expenses like food, books, travel, loan repayments, rent, and the like. However, your income sources will not be much to meet all these expenses. A full-time job is not possible, along with studies. The only source of income you have left is a part-time job or freelancing. When you do not have the means to extend your income, you will have to make do with whatever is available to you.

Managing expenses of being a student is not easy when you are living an independent life. Though your parents can help you financially as and when you need, it is not possible to rely always on them for all of your expenses. If you want to manage your costs more carefully, you should consider making a student budget.

Budgeting will not only help you keep tabs on your spending, but it will also help you stay on top of your expenses. Here is how you can save money with a student budget.

Books

The cost of books and material will always be on top of your list. Further, it is a variable cost because you will spend money as per your need. There is no denying that stationary cost can take a large chunk of your money, but you can save a lot of money on books.

You should look out for second-hand books and notes. Universities also provide digital study material that you can download and read. If you are looking to buy new books, you should prefer it buying from your university directly instead of from a private bookseller because they will offer you the material at cheaper rates. You should use your student card to get cheaper deals.

Universities have libraries that allow you to access the study material by paying a nominal rental fee. The rule of thumb says that you should create a budget to know how much money you have left after meeting all your fixed expenses, including basic needs. Figure out if it is enough to meet the cost of books. Otherwise, you can take out student loans in Ireland.

Accommodation

It is a good idea to stay on campus. One of the significant benefits of on-campus accommodation is it is cheaper than off-campus alternatives. Further, you can save money on travelling. The far you stay from your college, the higher the transportation cost will be. If due to any reason, you do not get on-campus accommodation, you should try to find out rooms nearby. Make sure that you research the neighbourhood to get the room at an affordable rent.

The money you save on travelling can be utilised for utility expenses. Some student accommodation cost includes meals. If you are choosing it, carefully compare it with the one without meals because sometimes accommodation without meals will be cheaper even after adding the cost of the meal you arrange yourself. 

Food bills

You may think that you do not need to budget your food bills, but this is where you can spend a lot of money. Budgeting does not mean restricting yourself from going to restaurants or keeping yourself from eating things that are a bit expensive. Budgeting will help you know how you can manage to fulfil your needs within the available money.

Cook food at home. If you want to go to the restaurant, make your visit once a month. Try to shop in bulk. Make sure that you go to a wholesale market where you can get food items at half price.

Entertainment

Entertainment is essential to break the monotony, but it is also crucial to socialise with other people. It is not necessary to go to expensive clubs. You can arrange a small get together with your friends in your room.

If you want to save money as a student, you will have to make budgeting for all of your expense. However, this might not be enough. Try to increase income sources. If you have a part-time job, make sure that it gives you reasonable remuneration. Despite a good income source, you will likely to face a shortage of money. In this situation, you can apply for cash loans for unemployed in Ireland.

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