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29 May 2013

Student savings? A conundrum

Is there such a thing as saving money whilst you’re studying? University student Stephanie shares her tips for good money management whilst you’re not working full-time.

Student and savings are not often words that go hand in hand. Money will run away from pockets, wallets, and piggy banks before you can say ‘I’m moving out’, so I find it is important to budget and prioritise for the items I need versus those I want.

Studying, going to class, working, and interning all at once can be very expensive, which is why I’ve found it so crucial to organise my finances and budget accordingly.

So, I’ve devised a few tips on how I have saved over the years:

1. “An organised life means an organised mind”.

My Dad told me this when I was 17 and it has stuck in the back of my head ever since. In reality, he was probably referring to my rather messy room. Regardless, I’ll happily admit that he was right as it has helped me with everything – including organising my finances.

2. Budget. Budget. Budget.

Budgeting has been my key to savvy student saving. Setting out some short and long term goals for myself, no matter how small, has really paid off in the end and I’ve managed to save for three separate holidays to Europe and America over the course of three years. Ok, I’ve found myself back at zero dollars in my bank account, so in hindsight maybe I should have prioritised a few goals – but I’ll keep that in mind for the future!

3. Cut up the credit card.

My successful savings has been down to never having acquired a credit card. I have never been in short-term debt. The money I earn is the money I save and that’s that. Student loans are enough for any of us to bear, and you don’t want debt with interest accruing daily because, in that moment of weakness, you pulled out that little plastic card of delusion, and bought that Marc Jacobs bag.

4. Stay at home.

Living at home has assisted with both my finances and health. I don’t have to pay rent and I eat better- thanks to Mum’s frequent visits to the supermarket. I tried living out of home for the first two years of uni, wanting my independence and all that jazz, and found myself eating out of cans and concocting the most peculiar recipes out of the remnants of my fridge.

So in conclusion I shall leave you with a quote to ponder.

The highest use of capital is not to make more money, but to make money do more for the betterment of life. – Henry Ford

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