Anyone who’s taken post-secondary education knows that the life of a student involves some sacrifice. School is expensive and taking out loans means you’ll likely be paying for your education for many years after your program finishes. Saving money and cutting back, even a few bucks at a time, will makes life easier while you’re in school and reduce future debt.
We asked RRU students for their most creative and savvy money saving tips.
Check them out to see what ideas might work for you and leave your own tips in the comments box.
Books and Supplies:Buy used books on Amazon. Ask your instructor if you really need the latest edition. You can usually save a lot by buying textbooks that are even one or two editions old.
Recoup some money by reselling your textbooks to students in an incoming cohort or through Amazon Marketplace.
Buy eBooks, which are cheaper, or borrow a hardcopy from the library. If you’re not physically on-campus, contact post-secondary institutions in your area and ask if they are open to the public.
Get a student discount on computers and software. RRU students are eligible for discounts through the UVIC computer store and other retailers.
Food:Bring your own tea bag/coffee grounds to school and get a free cup of hot water from Habitat Café.
DO. NOT. EAT. OUT. Pack your own lunches and cook meals at home. Make in advance and freeze single serving meals like chili and soup. Invite friends over for potlucks and game nights at home rather than dinner out and drinks at the bar.
Make a weekly grocery store run, rather than daily stops, so that you have to plan your meals and buy in bulk.
Find an inexpensive bread maker at a pawnshop or on Kijiji, and make your own bread!
Carpool or take the bus.
Ride your bike. (Combine your daily exercise with your commute. Bonus!)
Trade in your car for a scooter and save on gas.
Banking and Taxes:Before you start your program meet with an advisor at your bank to discuss a financial plan.
Switch to a no fees bank account, or ask your bank about student rates.
If you’re a parent see if your province of residence has a program to assist with the cost of childcare. For example, as of the writing of this blog post the BC government offers a monthly childcare subsidy to eligible BC families.
Do your taxes yourself. Many tax software programs have free or discounted versions for students.
Other ways to save:Ask your cable/internet/phone provider about student plans. Or better yet, cancel cable altogether because, let’s face it, you’re not going to have time to watch TV!
Let go of your expensive gym membership. Use the RRU rec centre, look for student discounts at community rec centres, or get some free weights at the thrift store and do your workouts at home.
Work part-time (or full-time) if it’s manageable. If you’re in a condensed program, look for seasonal work over the Christmas holidays or reading break.
Study at the beach and call it a vacation!