13 Things Most Students Waste Their Money on And How to Avoid Them
We all tend to be cautious of our spending habits but at the end of the day, we come to realize that we have ignored what we had hoped to do or not follow what we promise ourselves to the latter. College students leave home to either stay on campus or around campus. This comes with extra expenses to cater for the free things we had at home that we can no longer access them free of charge. College gives students total control of their life. This comes with a lot of responsibilities from being discipline to arrive in your house on time, getting work done without anyone overseeing and tracking their spending. College is one place that you can easily go to bed with an empty stomach. Well, you might argue that students are always there for each other. But who wants to keep supporting a friend who has bad spending habits? College life has a lot going. From the far end of studies to the far end of entertainment. It is at that time that students get a chance to explore which comes with a price to pay. Let us go through a few ways that students waste their money and ways in how they can remedy it.
It is a Friday evening; you have done all your assignments and you just feel like having a rest due to the pressure from studies all week. Entertainment might be one of the very first things that pop up in your mind as a student. There are many forms of entertainment available in these current times. You decide to go through the list and see which one will make your day. The options vary from watching a movie on Netflix or getting one from a local movie dealer, grabbing yourself a drink with your friends, attending a party to chilling with your loved one by grabbing some fast food.
All this feels good for we ask ourselves, is it bad to spoil myself after being disciplined all week? Students subscribe to online services such Netflix and even end up forgetting to delete or cancel upcoming payments, forgetting that such subscriptions were not on their budget. Let us be real, you do not have to each have a Netflix account. You can save yourself a little bit of money by sharing your account with your roommate or friend by dividing the fee into half.
This is not to say that all forms of entertainment are there to waste your money as a student. Some only need limitations and you are good to go. Everything may feel bad if done to the extreme, moderation is key. Instead of even having a Netflix account, why not watch YouTube for free? YouTube has movies just as good as those from Netflix. You can even engage yourself in other forms of entertainment such as learning to play a flute. You will only buy a flute once but once you get good at playing it, you just keep enjoying yourself for free. Not to mention that you can play it to a few good people for a little pay!
It is rare to find an average student without at least two electronic devices. It might be a laptop, a Play Station or even just a watch, which is absolutely fine. Constantly getting the latest version of your favorite gadget makes no big change to what its purpose might be. Grabbing yourself the latest windows laptop or computer may not solve all your life, work or entertainment problems. Most of the functionalities of the previous version may just be more than enough to do what you need most.
Some take it to be a status symbol in being updated with all the flashy devices. Why have status when your finance is on a spiral down to a fall. These devices not only incur us other costs such as maintenance and keeping in mind that electronic devices depreciate their value faster since the day you get hold on them. College students own an average of 7 tech devices which might be more than enough. The laptop is the most commonly owned device by 85%, followed by smartphones with an average of 70% of students, tablets and even Video game consoles to mention a few. In real sense, a laptop or computer together with your smartphone may be all you need. You can access services other devices may provide. From watching movies to playing video games. You can even cut down the costs by buying them on bulk from an online store which has discounts and as a matter of fact, electronic devices are way cheaper online than from local physical stores.
It is as clear as a crystal that people will make judgments upon us based on what we wear. Students tend to fall into this notion of getting the latest fashion brands on the market and updating their closet anytime they get a little bit of extra money. Branded clothes may just make you feel like one who is controlled by trends. There is no difference between a Gucci T-shirt that costs you $40 USD when you can get a plain T-shirt made of the same materials with no labels at $20USD. You have to make sure you have a few essentials like Ts and some denim which can be paired with anything.
You do not have to have a new outfit to stand out from your fellow students. Try swapping outfits and see what can go with what. You will find out that you can have a lot of combinations from just a total of eight pieces of clothing. It is just a matter of being creative. Just take a day on your free time and keep trying mixing different outfits. Simple is the way to go.
Eating out, expensive takeaways and food on campus
You have just come out of a recent class and the next is scheduled to start a few minutes later, so you have to find a way to have lunch before the time comes. You think about rushing home and prepare yourself a meal but then you have second thoughts. What if I stay late? Without any other second guessing, you head straight away to the campus hotel. You get to spend a few dollars on a meal that you do not even get satisfied. A few hours after the class, you feel tired and hunger catches up. So, you decide to head to your favorite restaurant or café with your buddy. Restaurant food is expensive for it is meant for those who just cannot imagine preparing a meal for themselves but must eat. Later in the evening, you decide to buy some fried chips on your way home, knowing clearly that you have to prepare yourself supper if not buying it as a take-away form the restaurant.
You may find out that the money spent at the restaurant can buy groceries enough for a couple of meals. Preparing your meals is a healthy habit in that you get to choose what to include in your ingredients and have it cooked well. Fast food just increases the risk of you catching some bad ailments that may show up later in your life. Prepare all your meals including lunch that you can carry to school.
Use of public transport
Walking your way to campus not only keeps your health on check but also gives you a chance to meet new people. Public transport such as boarding a bus or catching a train. It seems cheap but if that money is kept track of for a long time, it is a huge amount of money. The better option is to just live near to your college. But this might not be the case for everyone for what If you arrived at college when all nearby houses were booked? Staying far away from school is not a valid excuse for you paying a fortune daily just to go and get some knowledge which is meant to be shared. You can simply pay for public transport half way and walk the rest to school. Even if it is cutting just a little form your transport expenses, it is worth it. Walking also enables your mind to keep running as you can get some cool ideas. Such as finding the logic of implementing a system you may be programming. Your mind is really creative and if you keep using it, why shouldn’t results show up?
In these current times, almost everyone will have to just agree that internet is just one of the basic needs for survival. Most of the forms of entertainment may require internet in one way or the other. Be it buying a movie or subscribing to some kind of music. This is heightened by the online classes that students attend due to the current pandemic. An average online class may take up to three hours of constant strong internet. Not forgetting that other college students work online to support themselves.
Purchasing daily or weekly subscriptions does not seem to be a good idea. It is best to get at least a monthly one which is always cheaper than daily internet charges in the long run. College students should also take advantage of the school’s Wi-Fi. We all get it that sometimes the internet may be unreliable by the large number of students using it. The solution may not be far from what you are thinking. It can be as simple as combining efforts and getting an unlimited internet subscription that will just be fast enough for the two of you.
School is about studying and where studying goes, books go in handy. Imagine buying a new book for each unit you take in college. This might not just be worth it. For first of all, new books are way expensive than old used second-hand books. You can get yourself a new book out of the savings from buying five second-hand books! Students should also take advantage of the fact that their fellow senior students may already be in possession of the books they need. Instead of getting new ones, you can buy second-hand books from them or even just borrow and be sure to take them back. You can also take advantage of the internet and buy second-hand books online which can be easily shipped to where you stay.
As lame as it may seem, it does not mean anything living in a high-priced house, struggling to pay your bills as a student when you can live in a simple modern cheap room with peace of mind. College rental houses, mostly those around college, are just overpriced for the reason of having less time to commute to school and the high number of students who would like to stay near their school. This costs them a fortune. It still makes sense to stay a little bit far from school where you can just board and walk half-way, and save the extra small money from your rent.
Not all students are fully grown adults who are capable to get themselves organized. This does not mean that all fully grown adults are organized. Misplacing your charger or cable will force you to buy new ones for you cannot do without them. Leaving your house with the wrong key now you have to pay a locksmith to get into your own house; keeping in mind that you have to purchase another padlock! Say you forget where you placed your calculator, this makes you search clumsily around the house until you miss the school bus. Now you have to pay a few dollars to catch a taxi, all due to being disorganized. Learn to keep everything in order.
Regular drinks and smoking
Drinking and smoking is not much of a vice if done in moderation. Regular drinking and smoking leads to some kind of addiction that you do not see it coming. You get all your work done and long for yesterday’s feeling, so, you check in to your local pub. Cigarettes has nicotine which is really addictive. You do not know you are getting addicted until that day you have no money and realize you are just not motivated to do anything without it. This does not mean that one has to stop drinking and smoking at once, it takes time, cutting down the quantity little by little to leaving drinking only for the weekends. Try out e-cigarettes as a better option.
Students have much going on and if they are not keen on keeping track of dates, payments catch up past the deadline which means extra costs for the mistake. This just be as simple as being charged for $3 USD for returning a book to the college library late. It does not cost you handsomely but those $3 USD can buy some stationery. Learn to keep track of dates and set reminders on your phone to be updated whenever you are checking your phone.
Paying for simple tasks and assignments
It is not a good idea as a student to keep paying people to get your work done. In his book, The 48 Laws of Power, Robert Green talks of getting others to do work for you but taking credit for the same. Getting your assignment done is of no long-term advantage for you will later have a rough time in your career from the things you were to do but then, you have no idea of how to get them done. That only saves you time in the moment but later on, everything you left behind catches up.
Some pay others to do some simple tasks such as laundry or cleaning their house. Doing such tasks on your own teach you to being responsible for your life.
Yes, quality education comes from a high-quality school. But not all expensive things are of quality. Just as you get the same knowledge from reading an old used second-hand book like reading a new book, you can still get quality education from colleges which do not require you to pay a fortune for your studies. Some are just expensive due to extra services or activities that may be going on; such as having a swimming pool and touring places after a certain period of time. You can save that money by going to an ideal college where you might not get all those privileges but still afford a good lifestyle of your own.