As always wherever you are going to be as a student you are likely going to be poor. It's a fact you can't escape, unless you have had prior savings/family help or a lot of pre-planning. A students life WILL be mainly going out socially alongside the obvious education/work. Just being able to keep yourself alive financially is a common thing witnessed in most University's what with the huge social occasions (nights out etc), food, your own campus/ accommodation, cars, education funding (the books are extremely expensive), additional items (clothes, pens, whatever else needed) it is clear that most students will need as much spare cash as possible. Having money to spend makes your life as a new student so much better.
During this quick post I will make a short list of tips, tricks about having a bigger financial advantage - I'll split it into two areas: "Before University (Preparation)" and "During University".
Preparation - Before University:
Any planning prior to actually joining your University is a bonus, as a future student it is wise to understand and consider the possibility that you will most likely be struggling or low on money, however - since you have given yourself a head start there are various sacrifices you can make before actually becoming that 'university student'. These are of-course from my own opinion and what i consider affective ways of creating and saving yourself some cash, if you have any ideas feel free to leave them in the comment box! I will list some ideas you can consider to save money below:
Old junk you wont be using - Think of things that you will defiantly wont be using when you head out to University, think of things that you could have, don't use often or could easily sell. Items like this can rack up huge amounts of saving money for University - and you can play it tactically. Lets say you're going to share your University room with 2-3 other roommates, before joining you could sell your (and this is just an example) xbox 360 and gain a large amount of cash from doing so - what with the game, equipment etc. Now, when you join your new roommates the chances of them bringing an xbox are usually quite high - assuming they are not horrible and do not hate you, you can just use there xbox to play and still love life. There are so many different items you can do the same for. You have to take the risk that you are assuming these roommates will have the same items and bring them.
Websites - Use websites such as Ebay, amazon, craigslist and anything else to sell any items from your house. Every little penny helps and to use these websites to maximise your savings is a good idea. Almost anything will sell on Ebay so don't think twice about putting up all these auctions.
Job Seeking - If you know which University you will be going to, it's time to take advantage of the area that surrounds it. Thousands of students will be flocking to these University's with the same problems as you. So to try and get ahead of some travel to the University town/city and begin applying for jobs. The more early applications you can get in the bigger the chance for a part time job. And to have this sort of head start is a brilliant idea. All of the jobs will be sucked up very quickly when the term begins and you will struggle to find any job what so ever, so the sooner the better.
Savings - If you already have money, or already have a job then you can do a saving type scenario for your University terms. Every paycheck you receive put 10%-20% of your earnings to a side and save them all for when you are at University. You will find you have got a huge lump of cash that you probably would have usually spent on junk - only now you can spend it on junk at University (lol).
Discounts - Search various companies and businesses for vouchers/discounts that can be granted to you as a student. Some companies give you 20% discounts just for applying to their news letter (I think McDonald's used to do this but I can no longer find any information on it - try researching around). You will be amazed at the amount of company's willing to do discounts.
Know what you need - Make a giant list before University naming all of the items that you require and all of the items that you have and will bring with you. This will give you some sort of pre-planning concept on how much you need to complete your list and what you need to still get. If you have everything then you can save any money for social events or whatever.
Once at University you will probably soon feel the affect of "ohshi- no money", no worries though as there are more things we can do to save ourselves enough for a few more pints. There's various things I'm sure I will forget to post or not mention in which I hope any readers can catch up and comment on this post to help each other out, if you have any decent ideas feel free to share them. Below is a list of various ideas you can follow to save cash during your University education:
Part time Job - Getting a part time job would become your main income although you must keep in kind that jobs will be limited and very hard to find unless you research and put your CV out everywhere!
Education/books - You will certainly need various study books for your University
Student Discount - Where ever you go, what ever shop you visit, what ever super market or pub - always ask if they do student discount, Its amazing at how many you will find who do accept student discounts. Defiantly worth remembering, but what I have found (from personal experience) is that you either need to provide identity that you are a student (you will get a student card) or you will often forget about asking the store. Try to note it down as a reminder on your phone so you frequently see it.
Shop around - When shopping do not visit one shop and buy the item you need, spend some time researching other shops - you may find a large price difference which always helps.
Skype - Use skype (which is free) to phone various people instead of using your phone bill - this can be used for long distant calls for those students abroad!
Phone - Use texts as a form of communication rather then calling, I would also suggest going on a pay as you go Sim card rather then a contracted phone as you can monitor how much you are spending much more easier. Once again ask in phone shops if they do any student deals.
Transport - Depending on the area transport is a tricky situation to deal with, if you do not need a car do not have a car, the insurance and running cost will be one of your most expensive bills and if it isn't needed then do not waste the money. instead try looking into student bus fares / train tickets or using bicycles or even walking. You may also find that jogging / walking to your locations are not as time costly as you think and keep you healthy. Of course if you do need to use a car then think about the fuel cost - drive sensibly and do not keep the car in low gears at high rpm or at fast speeds. When coming up to a junction/roundabout/turning do not 'coast' the vehicle as it spends more petrol keeping the engine turning then it would when it is usually in gear.
Smoking - I know it is a pain but try your absolute hardest to quit - you will save so much and the health benefits do not even need mentioning. This goes for any drugs as well.
Grants - Try to see if you are eligible for grants at your university. Grant = $$$
That's all i can think of at this moment - remember to comment if you have any tips or ideas and I hope you have found this blog post useful! Goodbye for now.