Is it normal to have enough money one minute and be completely broke the next?” I voiced out in frustration to a friend.

As a student, juggling your academic commitments with a social life is a constant effort. Having an enjoyable social life without money? Not possible.

One of the areas a lot of college students like me, struggle with is finances. This has been made worse with the economic effects of covid-19.

To navigate the occasional “broke” times, here are some hacks that you might find helpful. You may have seen some tips in other articles if so, you can consider this as a refresher.

Budget every single amount.

I was(still not) a fan of budgeting for I’m prone to impulsive buying far more than can be considered appropriate. However, as a lot of people do, I finally realised that I had to solve how I spent money.

Budgeting is simply allocating how every single amount would be spent. From the most important needs to the least important.

It is not a fun activity, but it is necessary if maximising your monthly income is the end goal.

Hopefully, this article explains how to create a budget plan that fits your needs.

Prepare your food.

If your living arrangements allow it, replace expensive outdoor dining with homemade meals. These days, there are a lot of cooking tutorials on Youtube. The best part is they are all free.

However, if you still burn your meals despite the assistance of YouTube (covers my face), you can consider outsourcing your meals. There are a lot of small businesses that offer such packages for an affordable fee.

The restaurants around you would no doubt miss you, but the money you save goes a long way.

Do not buy new textbooks.

Resist the urge to buy textbooks. Having a personal copy of the recommended books would undoubtedly be nice. However, new textbooks are expensive.

There are plenty cheaper alternatives to buying new books, such as purchasing from past students for an affordable price, subscribing to free online libraries.

The most effective option is to make use of your university’s library. It’s included in your tuition so why not use it.

Save. Save. Save.

Do not put off the habit of saving till you are employed. If you are unable to save now, you would be unable to save in the future. Saving is more of the mindset than the action itself.

Saving between 5% to 10% of your money would be very beneficial. It might seem like a lot considering the endless possibilities of what you can do with that, but it will be worth it. All these add up at the end.

As a bonus, save in an account that generates interest. This way you are saving and gaining at the same time. You can contact your local bank for information.

Get a job.

Getting a part-time job as a student is a lifesaver. The extra income at the end of each month goes a long way in settling never ending bills.

Also not only are you getting paid, but you are also gaining the needed work experience and networking skills. These are sort after by employers. It’s a win-win situation.

This also applies if you have marketable skills that you can trade for a pay. Marketable skills such as content writing, video editing, graphic designing etc, are in high demand right now as the world is moving towards a remote working environment.

These are by no means an exhaustive list. Did I miss any? kindly share in the comment section your college-friendly saving tips.

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  1. Savings culture is a very important mindset and one that will be of great help in the future. Regrets for a lack of early savings culture is too painful and sad and best avoided.

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