How to save money is a question that we ask often but seldom pay any heed to the advice we get. Such an attitude is most commonly shown by the teenagers who are enjoying their student life. Right? So, let’s discuss the issue of saving money. Moreover, I’ll discuss how can you save now and develop saving as your habit for the future.

Student life has its own charm. You have a lot of friends and can probably enjoy your best time with them. But at the same time, student life has its downside too. The most prominent one is the lack of a considerable source of income. When coupled with immature habits and lack of planning, it can lead to a disaster. I can’t say anything about you but what I have observed is that most of the students have limited resources and they want to accomplish all of their wants and wishes, which is not possible. And the end result is frustration, at least for the short time span. In the longer run, the inability to manage the resources in the right way can lead to affirmation of these habits and thus the imbalance between the income and expenses persists forever.

In this article, I am going to focus on discussing some of the habits that you can adopt for saving money. Additionally, there are some hacks and tricks that you might want to include in your lifestyle to go beyond a level and save some extra money. At the end of the article, I have mentioned a few apps that can provide your efforts of saving money an extra hand.

Why to save money?

Before we address this specific question, let’s review why it is even important to save money. You might be a proponent of spending all the money and enjoy life to its fullest. No doubt, this is a superb idea to get the most out of life. But what do you think you are going to do if you lose your source of income as a student, or lose a job once you get into practical life. How do you plan to spend the years’ of your retirement? Don’t you want to give a better life to your family in the long run?  

If you have answered yes to all this, then you’ll have to save money when you have it. And this has to start soon you get something in hand whether it is in the form of pocket money or a scholarship. Only, then can you expect to develop this habit that can actually lead to long term results.

Some of the reasons that you can consider for saving money include:

  • Maintaining the same quality of life after retirement
  • Planning a vacation with family
  • Giving your children more opportunities to grow as compared to the ones that you got
  • Meeting an unexpected expenditure
  • Paying off your loans
  • Buying a bigger house in future.

These are some of the reasons and this list can continue depending upon your individual needs and priorities. You can find some habits of people who waste money. The basic purpose for highlighting these few reasons was to draw your attention to the main reasons that can give you a boost for saving money.

How to save money?

Now when we are on the same page regarding saving money. Let us explore some of the ways to save money. For your ease, I have divided different ways in different categories. You can try adopting each of them to get a good aggregate at the end.

How to save money: Differentiate between needs and wants:

The first category of things that you must do to save money as a student is to differentiate between your needs and wants. There are always some items that you are buying because you want them, not because you are in need of them. Cutting down on such, expenses can help you in saving money. You might wonder that till when you would forgo your wants. The answer depends solely upon your priorities. If you need to have something better in future, you’ll have to forgo an extra snack or a branded item too. Here are some of the prominent things that we usually don’t consider while spending money:

a. Dining Out:

Eating food is one of the necessities of our life and you must not compromise on them to save money as a student. But what you eat and where you eat from are the two things that you must give the utmost importance to. If you dine out often or maybe once a week, you are spending at least 3 to 4 times more money in comparison to the scenario in which you would have fulfilled your appetite by cooking on your own.

This is one of the saving tips that you can use for reducing your extra expenditure. Additionally, this saving tip also comes with the indirect benefit of adopting the healthy lifestyle. You won’t have to face health issues and thus can save a significant amount from your medical bill too. But I do realize that this is not a direct saving, neither can you feel the impact of such a saving at this stage of your life.

b. Paying electricity bill:

By no means am I suggesting to get your electricity connection cut. I know that’s a necessary. The only point that I am going to make here is to limit the use of electricity. You should not put your appliances plugged in when you aren’t using them. They are consuming electricity and thus you are adding up to your expenses in the form of electricity bill. Similarly, turning off the lights when you are not in the room or aren’t using them is another way to race your bill.

You might not see an immediate impact because the overall saving as a result of these activities would be minimal but adding up the saving round the year can give you a significant impact. Especially when you are cutting the minor luxuries, such an impact would make a difference.

c. Spending on phone calls:

When you have an internet connection at your place, then using the mobile phone minutes to make call doesn’t make sense and it is definitely included in a luxury. You can cut such usage of your mobile phone to save money from your phone bill. When I suggest not to make phone calls, I am giving you one of the brilliant ways to save money.

You can use video chatting, messaging and voice chats from a number of messaging applications that are now available on the app stores for all devices. These applications use internet and you’ll probably have an internet connection already at your place, then why spend money on phone bill too. In this case, I categorize it as a luxury.

d. Buying a phone plan:

You must have a working phone number for emergencies or for situation when you don’t have your internet working. But the phone plan that you are using can make a difference and decide if it is a necessity or a luxury. Choosing the network that your family has or choosing the one with no hidden cost could be one of the best ones. And this is one of the solutions to the question how to save money.

e. Choosing the mode of physical activity:

When you can easily keep yourself fit by running, walking and swimming, then going an extra mile for the gym by paying a monthly fee is a hindrance to your efforts of saving money. You’ll have to cut it down and adopt the simple physical exercising ways to keep yourself fit. How much can you save by leaving gym subscription? Probably around $100 a month, which is great, isn’t it.

f. Going for the right kind of entertainment:

Entertainment is an important part of life and you must not cut it from your life in order to save money. However, if you aim to have a cable connection to enjoy your life, especially your student life, then you are on the wrong track. You’ll keep on asking “how to save money” with such an attitude.

What you can do is choose the subscription of Netflix or other online streaming channels. They can provide you with a wide variety at a reasonable rate. But you can also limit this expense to zero if you plan some time out with friends as the part of entertainment. You won’t have to face the costs and probably would save money as a student.

How to save money: Changing your habits:

You can change your existing habits in order to save money. The change in the habits will also help you in keeping your motivation for saving money high every time. So, that means that your saving spree is not going to last for some time and then disappear.

a. Try cooking your own food:

As highlighted above, going for dining out can exhaust a lot of your money. So, that leaves you with an option of cooking your own food. If you don’t know how to cook, then you can consult a number of online sources available. Additionally, you might want to start with simple dishes for the breakfast and then move on to the complex ones. Gradually, you’ll learn them all by saving your money as well.

This technique is important if you live in a hostel or a separate apartment. But if you are maintaining living with your family, then this technique would not work for you, as you’ll be maintaining your food and kitchen with your family. Believe me that is wonderful from the perspective of saving too.

b. Avoid impulse shopping:

If you are the person who buys anything they see, then you’ll have to change this habit of yours. You’ll have to restrict yourself may be with lesser cash with you and no credit cards, so you might have to come back if you really want to purchase the product. In this scenario, the chances are that you won’t go back for a product realizing that you are saving money.

Additionally, even for grocery shopping, you must avoid this habit of impulse purchasing. If you’ll go on empty stomach, the chances are that you’ll buy anything you’ll find exciting. So, it is better to go for grocery shopping after a meal or at least grab a snack before shopping. It is really going to help.

c. Go for the free meals:

Schools and universities have a number of events going on every time. Some of these events offer the attendees with free meals. So, you can use these events as saving techniques and consume a full plate. This will save you the expense of a meal and you can consider it as your saving.

This saving technique is going to work for you if your school meals are your own headache. But if you live with your family, then going for an extra meal will not impact your saving. It would be better for enjoying.

d. Make negotiation a habit:

You might find this strange but negotiating the price for the value being received can help you in getting something extra for the same amount of money. Thus, a winning situation for you. You can easily adopt this strategy while dealing with your internet service provider, your phone plans and all the other expenses that are the part of your life as a student.

e. Stay at your place:

Gong out every time with your friends is a lot fun, definitely. But that adds to your costs too. You’ll have to pay for the commutation and the services availed too whether it is a movie ticket or dining out. So, in order to avoid such expenses, you can stay at home and explore some alternatives for spending your time.

You might want to read a book from the library, or watch videos online. Similarly, covering up the course work can also help you in spending your time efficiently. So, it is one of the brilliant ways to save.

f. Use public transportation:

One of the other saving tips that you can include in your life is to use public transportation. Public transportation would cost you less as compared to the private one. In case of private transportation, you’ll have to maintain the vehicle as well. Additionally, fuel cost and parking fees would be the extra cost that you’ll have to face.

g. Ride a bicycle:

The maintenance cost of a bicycle is far less than a car or even the cost of public transportation. So, you can use riding bike to your educational institute and back. Using it for the other purposes can also help you to save money as a student. You won’t have to make simple excuses to get on the transport or cab sharing etc.

How to save money: spend smartly:

One of the other ways to save money is to make the necessary expenditures in the smart way choosing the right medium can actually save you money. Don’t know how. I can help you with that. Here are some of the specific things that you can do for saving money.

a. Buy books online:

As a student, you’ll definitely need the textbooks. Rather than going to the physical bookstore and buying the books, you can order them online. Online ordering allows you to compare the prices from different stores with great ease, so you can definitely choose the store with the lower price. This can actually result in saving a lot of money for you.

b. Choose the right grocery stores:

Again one of the things that would amaze you, right? But it is actually true. There are some stores, which are specifically known for their high priced items, maybe because of the premium quality. You must avoid going to such stores. Choosing the ones that guarantee the lowest prices can be a good way to save your money. So, whether it is just a snack or the grocery for all your meals, you must consider it important.

c. Find the generic products rather than going for a brand:

Generic products are going to be much lesser in cost as compared to the branded products. However, you won’t feel much difference in the quality of the product. But getting them can save you a great deal of money. You can save around three to four times money by using this saving technique.

d. Use student discount:

One of the saving techniques that you can use is to avail the student discounts. These discounts can be in the form of a free deal in the restaurant or a percentage off a movie ticket. You can continue finding the places that offer discounts to the students. It will help you in saving a lot of money.

e. Book travel plans:

If you study in a different city, you might want to avail the offers that the transportation companies provide. Additionally, prebooking your travel; plans can allow you the room to search a flexible package and a better deal as well. So, you can avail this discount and save yourself a lot of money.

How to save money: keep an eye on your income and expenses:

One of the most ignored aspects of saving is the analysis of the income and expenditure. In order to keep an eye on your saving, you’ll have to plan in the proper manner. Finding all the income sources and all the expenses will allow you to save money. Here are some specific techniques that you can use for keeping an eye on your finances.

a. Open a bank account:

If you don’t have a bank account yet, open one now. It will assist you in saving money. When you won’t have everything in cash with you. You’ll tend to spend lower. However, make sure that you don’t keep your ATM cards or credit card with you every time as it is going to work same as cash and you’ll be tempted to spend money.

b. Keep a specific amount separate:

Whatever you earn or get as an income, you must dedicate a specific amount to your saving before you make any other expenditure from your earning. This will let you in keeping a specific amount in your saving account, thus leading to higher aggregate saving.

c. Budget creation is important:

You’ll need to create a formal budget highlighting all your income sources and the expected income. While managing the income side, you must ensure that the estimates for the expected income must be conservative in nature. You must not go for extremely high estimates that would later create problems.

Apart from the income, you need to account for all the expenses. The expenses section must be divided into two categories. The first one must be the category of fixed income whereas the second one must be the variable one. With this categorization, you’ll know some of the expenses that you don’t have any option to decide whereas the other ones can definitely be adjusted if you manage them in the right way. In case, you are not sure about any of the expenses, you must estimate on the higher side.

With such a budgeting technique, you don’t have to face many problems. Once you have created a budget, try and stick to it. Challenge yourself for doing it and there are higher chances that you’ll meet this challenge.

d. Don’t shop through credit cards:

One important saving tip here is that don’t shop through credit cards when you can’t pay the bills. In other words, if you don’t have enough income to pay for something in cash, don’t buy it. Through credit card, you might buy it but then enter the vicious circle of debt and interest. With this situation at hand, you won’t be able to save anything as you would have to pay the interest on credit card.

Additionally, if you’ll do it once you’ll become habitual and it would be detrimental for future. You’ll make it a habit and remain under debt forever. So, the easiest way is to aim it now that you are not going to use your credit card till you have the money to pay the bills the same delays at all.

e. Keep a look on the budget frequently:

Creating budget doesn’t mean that you have to leave it after creating or just follow it religiously without modifying. You’ll need to modify it with the changing situations. Like if your income has increased, you need to add in income and probably increase the savings proportion. Similarly, if you are unable to reduce some of your expenses, you might need to reduce the saving proportion. This shows that you’ll have to keep an eye on the budget and monitor it closely. Probably every month, so that you can incorporate all the changes in it as soon as they occur and keep your savings up to date.

With these habitual, budgetary and differentiation suggestions, you can expect to save more from the same level of earning that you currently have. However, saving is not an easy task. You are tempted to buy products, books, movies, games, snacks etc., but you’ll have to cut down on such temptations and stick to the plans. After three to four months, you’ll get used to and saving would be easier. However, for the first few months, you’ll have to put in all the effort that you can. Only then are chances that you’ll be successful in your efforts.

Apps for Saving money:

I know that how to save money is easier asked than done. But with a few applications available for assistance, you might be in a better position to manage your budget and indulge yourself in saving. Let’s discuss a few applications.

1. Chime:

If you are thinking that you’ll end up spending even your saved money, then you can deposit all your saved money in an account with Chime. Although the application provides you with a debit card, but it would be preferred that you don’t go for it, if you really need to save your money. Moreover, you can keep a record of all your transaction and manage your budget accordingly.

It is a handy app for saving money that can ease up the process of saving. So, you can use this motivation for saving money. Charges on overdraft, minimum balance and ATM use fee are not applicable on the transactions with this application.

2. Digit:

A wonderful application that even provides you an interest rate of 1 percent is digit. Digit can keep a track of your income and expenditure and provides you with different ways using which you can save your money.

This application is sophisticated that can guide you about ways and even deposits the interest on the minimum balance of your saving after three months to your account. However, it is a paid application that requires a fee after the expiry of 100 days of trial.

You must be very vigilant when deciding to buy the subscription of this application. If you are really serious about the saving thing, only then you can go for it and earn the benefits. Otherwise, don’t waste your additional money on this application.

3. Acorns:

You can deposit your money in Acorns save money by rounding off your purchases through it. Being a student, you can get this application for free but the other users probably the jobholders and the business executives have to pay a fee for using it.

The money saved through this application is invested in aggressive or conservative funds depending upon your choice. So, you can expect to have higher income, and then you could have alternatively.

4. Honey:

This application helps you by finding you with the coupon codes and best deals for the items that you have been looking for online. Once you’ll reach the checkout process, this browser extension will allow you to reduce the actual cost and save a lot of money. It is a helpful saving apps that you must use.

It is definitely a great way to buy things and save money, at the same time. Additionally, it works on a number of brands, so you don’t have to restrict yourself to a limited number of products, which you can buy.

5. FeeX:

It is a saving app that can link your saving to the investment account and you can expect to increase your saving to a considerable degree. However, it comes with a fee. But you can expect to enjoy the brokerage services as well. This application also help you in finding the ways in which you can save your cost. The referral fee are not much high, so this won’t be a burden for you.

All these strategies are some of the ways that you can consider for saving money. You must develop it as a habit, so that you won’t have to face any difficulty in the future. Just focus and you’ll see how much you can pile up. These technological applications are just a way to help you. Don’t rely on them much. Happy saving.