When I began attending college this August, money saving was nowhere near my ‘college goals’. All I wanted to do was eat good food and have fun, hang around. However, as the first two weeks of college passed, I realized that I was spending way too much and on top of that I had no track of where my money was actually being spent. After doing some mathematics in my head I realized that my daily consumption was roughly about Rs. 200 which accounted for Rs. 1000 per week and around 5000 per month! This gave me no extra money to save for the things I dearly wanted to buy.
Now how many of us have been longing to buy a new Smartphone, that cute dress or maybe a new pair of shoes for college? With this amount of monthly consumption, I was nowhere near to buying the things I wanted. So I decided on saving. And yes! That decision was highly appreciated by my parents.
To begin, here are a few tips that I inculcated into my daily life and managed to save a lot (A LOT):
Cut down on that daily transport cost
You really, really, really need to switch to Public transport. And by public transport, I mean public transport buses and the Metro train. The reasons? Firstly, it reduces your everyday money consumption by a large factor. Speaking about personal experience, after using public transport for a while, I noticed that I had been spending about 5 times the amount I should be spending on travelling. So cutting down on this section actually made my parents think that maybe college was doing some good to me after all. Also, by using public transport, you help cut down the pollution emission rates by a large percentage. So, for once at least, you work for the betterment of the environment.
Keep a record
No, I’m not asking you to carry a small pocket diary with all your spending and savings recorded. All I ask is to at least do a mental calculation at the end of the day so that you know exactly where your money was spent. This helps you to further plan out your savings arena and daily consumption needs (Needs. Not wants).
Carry your snacks with you, everyday
We all know how expensive college canteens can be. You go there and within minutes you spend around 200-500 rupees. The fact that you’re not buying it only for yourself makes it even worse (we all have starving friends). And I guarantee you, that there will not be a single day when you would not be feeling hungry in college, because fact accepted, with all that fun and study, college is really tiring. The solution to this is, carry your own snacks, maybe an apple or two, or lunch if you want to. Do not get lured by the canteen food wafts entering your nose because a) It is super oily and will only help you put on more weight: and b) because it is overpriced, simple.
I know canteen food is tempting and delicious but you could have days for healthy snack and then maybe one day per week for all that junk food.
Do not spend money on the same food, every week
This is in continuation of the third part of money saving. This is a big world and has a lot of variety to try from. So DO NOT stick with the same overpriced food every week. You could try exploring new places which serve cheaper but tastier food. Maybe you find a newer place that serves better food at a lower price. Keep exploring! (And saving, of course).
Change your regular hangout destination from malls to a less expensive place
Malls are terribly expensive. Maybe you could go for there for buying new clothes, but it is definitely not a hangout destination. You could choose a non-fancy place that serves good quality food and has more fun things to do. You should not spend your money, (or your parent’s money) on doing the same thing over and over again till it is no longer fun. I know all of us want to try out the things they have in malls like bowling or snooker, but just once with these games is enough. Switch to a more pocket-friendly destination the next time.
There are a lot more ways to try and save money. Cut down on your phone bills by switching to internet calling, look for cheaper alternatives, always. College life is real fun. You must explore the world around you, but definitely not at the risk of being broke. You could save the money for something that you wanted to do, or buy and then experience the pleasure of it. All I am saying is, save for the better things in life.