We all know how it goes: The month is far from over and the same can’t be said for your money. Being a student you have plenty of expenses and a low income to boot, hence shortage of money and saving is not always easy. This in turn causes unnecessary worries, so you cannot fully concentrate on your studies. In this article you will find out how to handle finances properly, how to save large sums with small hacks and how to have enough money left at the end of the month without missing out on fun.
Your finances – The right attitude and control
You have to admit that money is important. Statements like “money spoils one’s character” won’t get you anywhere. You are right that money is nothing compared to friendship and family, but money makes the world go round nevertheless.
Precisely because money is so important, you have to keep an eye on your finances. Otherwise you won’t be able to keep your capabilities in perspective. Try writing down all your income and expenses. You should start with your monthly fixed costs. This includes, for example, your accommodation, energy and phone bill, and food. One can already see potential savings there, more about that later. Then record all earnings and costs that arise during the month. The best way to do this is by using an Excel spreadsheet, which will automatically calculate your total budget.
Once you have a detailed list of all your income and expenses, month after month. You’ll be blown away by how much money your morning coffee-to-go costs you monthly! Set goals like what sum you’d like to save and decide where you can cut back. In most cases, you only need to make small adjustments and change a few habits to save up a large amount of money.
The 10 % saving rule
According to the 10% rule, you put aside 10% of your income every month. You should transfer this 10% to another account, by standing order, immediately at the beginning of each month. Always put the amount aside first thing, as you will definitely find excuses not to do so throughout the month. This 10% gives you extra financial protection for a rainy day. Try to follow this advice on a regular basis.
10 best tips for a positive balance at the end of the month
Now that you’ve been introduced to budget planning and the 10% rule, you should check out the following 10 best tips and tricks for reducing expenses and increasing income.
If you currently rent or are looking to, we strongly recommend setting up a flat-sharing community or joining one. This way you don’t just share the rent, you also organise the entire household budget. This one covers everyday essentials like toilet paper and food.
In most cases, you pay for electricity through the nose. You absolutely should compare your electricity provider with alternative ones. This could save you several hundred euros.
- Bank account
As a student you can get a free or discounted savings account at almost every bank. In addition, some banks offer special services and deals. Take the time to compare the most popular providers, or consider a local credit union.
- Side job
Get a job that you could enjoy. The most common and flexible options are hospitality or temporary work in an office. A much easier way is to work from home. Are you good at writing texts or suitable as a virtual assistant? Search the Internet and apply for respective jobs. Some great advantages of working from home are the freedom of time management, no need to drive anywhere and a decent salary. But you have to make sure that your new part-time employment doesn’t distract you from your studies. If, for example, you are about to write your thesis, an additional load of work is hardly a good idea.
Saving money with discount coupons
You can always make use of discount promotions by different providers to save money. Groupon, for example, offers several vouchers every day. Make sure that you actually need the product or service for discount coupon though. Just because there’s a discount is not a good enough reason to buy anything.
As far as food is concerned, there should be a good balance between discounters and supermarkets. Household articles in the non- frills supermarket i.e. sugar or flour, are often just as good as in the supermarket, so there’s no need to pay more. Pay attention to the supermarket tricks and compare products carefully. In most cases, a no-name manufacturer stands toe to toe with a branded product in terms of quality and doesn’t strain your wallet that much. Grocery shopping will be most favorable if you cook yourself. Ready-made meals can be unhealthy and cost significantly more. Naturally, you can also go out for a meal from time to time, but that isn’t supposed to grow into a habit.
Many markets and shops now boast loyalty cards. This allows you to take part in discount campaigns and collect loyalty points. With some programs you receive bonus points every time you shop in a particular store. You can later exchange these points for rewards or use them to pay for your groceries in participating markets.
Buy second hand
There are so many pre-owned electronics, clothes and furniture available. Sometimes well-preserved pieces are even given away. Do you need some books or equipment for homework? It is not necessary to buy brand-new items for a single task. Do you necessarily want a new laptop? Then you can, for example, buy a factory second or a floor model. These are much cheaper than new products and often with minimal traces of use.
Depending on your age, location and income, you might be included in your parents insurance. Double check if you are eligible to avoid purchasing additional cover.
If you are not covered by your parents insurance, shop the companies using an unbiased comparison tool online. Many companies also offer special deals and discounts for students.
Many companies offer special student rates. Prices for services or products are reduced specifically for students. The best way to find out about discounts of all kinds is to visit the respective manufacturer’s website. Many stores will also display student discounts in their shopfront.
Conclusion – Enough money as a student?
Yes, it is feasible! Keep a budget book, optimise costs, boost your income and you’ll have enough money at the end of the month. You can save money for after graduation or spend it immediately to indulge yourself. It doesn’t take much to save money, one has only to start. Of course you also have to treat yourself from time to time with a nice travel for example! Check out this article if you want to know how to travel on a student budget.