Here we are back on campus to gain more knowledge and have fun! Returning to campus can be both exciting and terrifying. One of the reasons why going back to school is stressful for many students is the combination of constantly increasing fees and possible loss of steady income due to reduces work hours. No wonder many of our parents talk of their college years as “surviving on ramen or PB & jam sandwiches.” Attending university can indeed be expensive, but let’s explore some ways you can save money as a student!
The first thing to consider is to check out all the “back to school” sales. Many large electronic stores and brands offer good deals on laptops, cell phones, and other electronic devices at the beginning of the semester. In addition, some of the brands provide devices on sale for students throughout the year or at least add some kind of a good deal, such as a free pair of Bluetooth earbuds or a charge. Sometimes you can find great deals; sometimes, they are not that great, but it always feels good to receive something for free when buying a new device. So, before purchasing a new electronic device, research what brands and stores have the best offers and deals for students!
While talking about subscriptions, I would like to remind you to check how much you pay for your cellphone services. As you are probably aware, Canadians pay a top dollar for cell services. If you currently spend over $50 a month, you can save over $20! For example, recently, I was able to cut my cell phone expenses from $70 a month to $35 simply by switching plans. The only question I have is why I haven’t done this earlier. Check with your service provider if there are any cheaper plans available, if not, look at plans offered by other companies. When thinking about what cellphone plan you need, consider such things as how much time you spend on campus and at home (where you have wifi), how much data you REALLY need outside of home and campus, how often you travel outside of town, and how many phone calls you make in a month.
The second line of expenses where you could save a considerable amount of money is your school supplies, such as textbooks. First of all, remember to search for used books if possible. Start from Facebook UNBC Textbook groups where people sell textbooks, then check out if any used textbooks are left in the bookstore, and don’t forget that Amazon also sells used textbooks. Can’t find any old editions or used textbooks – rent them from the bookstore or online stores. Most textbook publishers offer to rent an e-version of the textbook cheaper than buying it. Also, don’t forget to check out websites that offer books and textbooks with free public access. These websites are great sources for textbooks as well as general literature books you might want to read in your leisure time. And finally, share a textbook with your classmate – that way, you will need to pay only half a price. Just don’t be shy to ask your classmates and friends if they want to share a hard copy or e-textbook, as I am pretty sure there are quite a bit of people who want to save some money on books as much as you do!
Another way to save money is to consider how much you are spending on music and TV subscriptions such as Spotify, Apple Music, and Netflix. While I agree with you that we need music and movies for our mental health and relaxation, you can spend less on these services in multiple ways. First, remember that most music streaming companies offer discounted rates for students. Make sure you sign up for the cheaper version, as you can save $ 4-5 a month. While there are deals for music streaming apps, unfortunately, they are not many for watching movies, so consider splitting the costs of Netflix with your roommates or siblings. Another thing you can do to cut on TV streaming services is to look for alternative new services that have lower subscription prices.
As we are talking about saving money, we can’t ignore talking about banks. Are you signed up for any student advantage banking deals? Today, many banks are hunting for new clients and especially students, therefore, they offer some great plans. Moreover, you should make an appointment with a Banking Advisor in your banks local branch to learn more about investing and saving opportunities. The best thing is it’s FREE, but it can help you save money or even earn more!
Some other thing worthy of mentioning is the NUGGS health plan. While it might seem like a waste of your money or another unnecessary expense – it won’t be a lost cause if you use it. With this extended health plan, you can cover a significant part of your prescription medications and some of the dentist expenses (which can really bite your budget), you can even save on glasses and contact lenses, and more. So I encourage you not to be lazy and check how you can use it and visit the doctors you need to because our health is important!
Finally, keep your eyes on better deals. UniDays is a great resource for students where you can find good deals on the most famous brand. Coupons are also a great way to save a couple of bucks on each of your trips to a grocery store, so before you head to any of the grocery stores, check the city newspaper, your mailbox, and stores’ website for some great deals! I hope these tips will help you save some money and reduce some stress!