Three Ways Students Waste Money and How to Avoid Them

October 22, 2019

Going to college is a time in our lives where we most likely don’t have much money, and the money we do get is in batches, which means we need to be careful how it’s spent. Most people are relatively young when starting university and most likely don’t have much experience in budgeting or how money should be spent most effectively. Due to this, there are many easy pitfalls that can trap people and mean that the limited money that college students do have is wasted. If you’re aware of these, though, it will be much easier to avoid them yourself.

Eating out

Going out for food with friends is a great way to spend time, but it’s one of the easiest ways to spend your money while having nothing to show for it. Depending on your friend group, it may be cheaper restaurants that you want to visit, but a meal at a mid-range restaurant may cost the equivalent of a full week of groceries. By suggesting you all cook together, you could prepare a meal that’s of similar quality but for a fraction of the cost. In addition to this, many people will opt for a quick lunch between lectures. This will seem harmless if there’s a lunch offer for $5, but this can add up quickly. If you spend this every day, you’ll spend $100 on just your lunches in a month, while if you took just a few minutes to prepare lunch at home, you could end up saving a considerable amount.

School textbooks

This is a trap that almost every first year student falls into, and not without good intentions. Students think that to do best on their course, they should buy all of the recommended reading materials. The problem is that these textbooks often cost over $100 each, and can set you back a huge amount. They are then shocked when the textbooks are only referenced minimally. The best strategy is to wait and go to a few lectures before deciding if it’s worthwhile buying the book outright. You may find that several of your courses have enough material given out as a part of the lectures. If it seems that you do need the textbook, then make sure to check the college library, as they most likely have copies of the book you can loan. This service is usually free, and means that you get all the information you need without the cost.

Spending money as soon as you receive it

If you’re getting money to finance your studies through a government or private loan, then most likely, you’re receiving payments every few months. If you’re interested in student loan options, then make sure to check out ELFI for more information. This means that when you get paid, your bank account will probably look very healthy. This can lead to excessive spending without thinking about how the money needs to be budgeted over the next term.

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