Money is tight

Money is a difficult affair for most students. Since we don’t earn full time, either our parents pay or we have to take student loans. It can be tempting to spend a lot when you are handed over the amount for the month but it goes as quickly as sand from hand.

money

In short, money saving is very important. It is not enough to make a budget(from my experience, budgeting never works out) but you have to cut down some of your expenses. It is not necessary to stop buying, you can buy smarter instead.

Ok. HOW?

Let’s say you need sugar. If you go to a supermarket, you will see a number of brands selling sugar. Generally, we go for the most familiar or popular one. However, the quality is almost the same. Sugar is sugar. If FDA approved it, the chemical composition is the same and the difference in cost is only for the brand name.

You can check out this post for a list of items to buy generic. In my experience,the average monthly expenditure got down to 70% by following this tip.

Today, check your shopping list for items which can be bought generic. Do not shop impulsively and take advantage of student discounts. Happy shopping!

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Hey there! Money is a big problem for students. We are kind of broke, with little money. Take my example. After paying my tuition fees, rent and internet bill, I’ve very little left for myself. I try not to spend but many times end up spending all I have by the end of the month. It gets difficult with sudden expenditures like getting sick or breaking your cell phone cover. It is a disaster!

What to do?

No matter how much I want to save, I cannot stop using basic necessities like soap, toothpaste, cereal or even shampoo. I know I need these things everyday and I know in advance when they exhaust.

So, I know in advance when to buy them and how much. I make a list when I go to my parents house and include these things in their shopping list. They might scold you a little about the brands you use or the cost but usually they agree to buy them for you. I try to visit them every month and always take my shopping list with me. I’ve saved a lot this way and my parents are happy too because they have a say in what I buy(you have to compromise a little).

Some common things to be purchased/gathered from home:

1. Bathroom supplies: toothpaste, shampoo, soap, shower gel, laundry detergent etc.

2. Food: breakfast cereal, noodles, pasta, dry fruits(almonds, walnuts, figs etc.), rice, cooking oil, cookies, pickles, jam and jelly, utensils etc.

3. Cosmetics

etc.

So, today’s tip is to know in advance what you need and how much. Take the shopping list every time you go home. You’ll be surprised how less your spendings get!

Save money: buy in bulk online

Hey there! I purchased a set of 10 pens from an online store last week and it cost me 95 rupees. Also they gave me a small notebook for free! When I asked the price of same pens on local stationary store, it was 100 rupees(10 rupees per pen).

There you see I saved 5 rupees plus got a small notebook plus didn’t have to leave home. I admit they arrived 2 days later but still, when you buy 10 pens it is not like you are going to use them immediately. My point is, instead of buying things individually from local store, buy them online in bulk.

Pros:
1. You get things delivered at home, no need to get out of bed!
2. They are cheaper usually.
3. Usually there are freebies and/or discount coupons.
4. You have a lot of options to select from.

Things to buy online: Pens, stationery, books(yes they are way cheaper), cosmetics, packaged items, utensils etc.

Things not to buy online: mostly shoes and clothes, buy them only if you are completely sure of the colour and your size; decor items, groceries etc.

Save money: don’t buy textbooks

Hardbound textbooks are very, very expensive. They usually sit in your shelf and get picked up once in a blue moon. You don’t study everyday and your lecture notes and internet are quite enough. I’m not saying you don’t need the textbooks, I’m saying you don’t need their expensive version. 

DON’T WASTE YOUR MONEY ON HARDBOUND TEXTBOOKS

You have alternate ways to access them without spending too much money

1. In the beginning of your semester ask your seniors if they can lend you their copies of textbooks. Usually a senior student is happy to give the book away rather than selling it.

2. Search the internet. Ebooks are much cheaper(most of them can be downloaded free, illegally though) and easily available. They are cheaper, easy to search in and to carry. Softwares like Foxit reader even allow you to underline, highlight or draw just like in the print.

ebooks

3. Search the book bank. Usually colleges have book banks for students where you can borrow the textbooks for the entire semester.

800px-SanDiegoCityCollegeLearingRecourceCity-bookshelf

4. There is always the library. However, libraries have some strict policies regarding the lending period and the upkeep of the book. Be responsible and return the book on time and in good condition.

Personally, I like the ebook version the best. I don’t have to worry about book condition or returning it or even losing it. Plus I can carry it anywhere.

I hope you find my tips useful. I post about saving money once every week. Keep reading!