Being a student is not easy… not at all! The illusion that being a student is just about going to class, doing homework, partying and having fun is absolute bullshit. Being a student is hard work, sleepless nights and always thinking about money.
To make your life as a student a tiny bit easier I want to share my favourite hacks on money saving. Keep in mind that I’m only in high school (the Danish version of it) so I don’t worry too much about getting food on the table every day – I am so lucky to have parents who do that for me. So all I worry about when it comes to money is saving up. I’m currently saving up for an apartment so I have a place to live when I’ll attend university in two years.
If you can set aside 4-10 hours a week to not study, get a part-time job! A part-time job is amazing because you get an extra income every month. You won’t get rich from your part-time job but it’ll give a little extra to live for, you’ll probably make some friends there too, you get a break from studying, you get better at time management and most importantly, you get some kind of experience. When you need to get a real full-time job someday, having had a part-time job will be beneficial on your resume.
Set a monthly budget and draw that amount of money by the beginning of the month. This way the only money you spend is cash. Using cash makes you more aware of where your money goes and the smallest coins count more than on your bank account. Most people are less likely to spend money if they can see the limit visually, and that’s what this hack hopefully will do to you. It works perfectly for me.
If you have cash leftover by the end of the month don’t just keep them in your wallet. Put the leftover cash in a box or a jar. That box or jar will be where you save up for something you really want. Whether that’s a new purse, a night out or something else is up to you – it just has to be something you really want. When you can see that you get closer to affording that thing every month it should motivate you to save even more money.
If you have a hard time managing an entire month, break the month into weeks. Set your budget for the next week, draw that amount of money and put the leftover cash from that week in your box or jar. It can be very helpful for many people to not focus on 30 or 31 days but just 7 or 14. Do whatever works the best for you.
Write every purchase you make down in a notebook. There’s something about writing on paper that makes things more real. So keep a notebook or a bullet journal where you write your purchases. Where, when and how much. If you really want to save money you can note your purchases with red, yellow and green. Red are the things that you absolutely don’t need but buy anyway. Yellow are the things that you would survive without but kind of need. Green are the things you absolutely need in order to survive.
Break your budget into two sections; ‘necessary’ and ‘just for fun’. The ‘just for fun’ section shouldn’t be where you spend the most of your money. There’s something weirdly shameful about spending too much money on things that are ‘just for fun’ and this way of budgeting will make you realise what you actually need and really don’t need.
I hope these hacks can somehow help you spend a little less and save a little more.
Stay happy, stay beautiful!