Brilliant tips for post-secondary students to stretch their money
With the end of summer comes the mass return of students to campuses and classrooms. And while the reputation of the “poor student” is well known, that doesn’t mean you have to be one.
Whether you’re looking for deals to cut costs, saving up your hard-earned summer wages, or looking to make some extra spending cash throughout the school year, these resources can help make your money work for you.
1. Take advantage of student discounts
Along with getting an education, going to school does have its perks including receiving student deals from different organizations when your cash flow may be low.
The first and probably the easiest way to score great deals is by getting a student discount card. The ISIC card, which costs $20 can save you a lot of money on travel, including airfare while The SPC card, which is only $10 gets you more deals on clothes and other retailers. Both are great ways to save money.
Meanwhile, students can also save on travel thanks to student prices being offered by both Greyhound and Via Rail. But be wary, Greyhound will be shutting down a bunch of routes in Canada very soon. Regardless, these deals make coming home to visit your parents a lot easier.
2. Look for ways to cut costs
Another way to help you budget is by looking at different ways you can save. This can include simple lifestyle changes such as packing your own food instead of eating out all the time.
University is expensive no matter how you do it, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find ways to save money—potentially thousands of dollars per year.
Whether you’ve moved from the other side of the world or are commuting from the other side of the city, here are 14 ways to keep costs down.
Find the cheap entertainment
Your student union may offer discounted tickets to movies, sports and more, so check their website. Don’t forget to check out the cheap and free sports and performances on campus. And remember, the library doesn’t just have those books you pretend to read for class, it also has a selection of bestsellers, graphic novels and films you may actually find entertaining.
Pack your lunches and snacks
Living on your own has many temptations, and few are more frequent than buying something tasty and convenient. If you spend $5 extra per day on food, though, that’s thousands of dollars per year. Pack your lunch instead. Packing snacks is frugal, because when it’s 1 a.m. and you’re in the library, Chinese delivery is going to be a lot more costly than your emergency granola bar supply.
Find the cheapest place to print
You’re going to be printing out most of your assignments and many of your notes, which means hundreds of pages per year. At 25 cents per page, that can add up quickly. Find a place to print on campus that charges more like 10 cents per page—perhaps a library or student union building.
3. Think of alternative ways to save and earn money
Being on a budget can also help you become resourceful when it comes to saving and earning extra cash. For example, you can save major bucks on books for school by renting them rather than buying.
From snagging student discounts at retailers like Amazon and BestBuy, to saving on streaming services and travel plans, to selling your class notes for money (yes, it’s a thing), this list of helpful hacks will surely help you find some extra cash while you’re still in school.
Rent your books instead of buying
Textbooks are an expensive necessity. … Rather than buying new ones, you can choose to rent your textbooks from retailers like Amazon Prime and Barnes & Noble or services like Chegg. Both Amazon and Barnes & Noble can save you up to 80% on used and new textbooks, which you can then return at the end of the semester or sell back to a variety of online retailers for money.
Sell your class notes
Take good notes in class? If so, it’s actually possible for you to have a side-gig inside the classroom. Services like Course Hero, Nexus Notes, and Campus Shift are services that will actually pay you for quality notes you’ve taken in class.
Get a part-time job
If you find yourself with some extra hours each week, it might be a good idea to look into a part-time job. Pop into your favourite shops, bars, or restaurants around campus and see if they’re hiring. There’s a good chance that businesses located close to campus are open to hiring students and are even familiar with working around student schedules.
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