College life can be exhausting. You go to classes, which often span hours, and maintain workloads that make you sacrifice your sleep. The one thing that exacts a massive toll upon many college students is their finances.
According to a national survey, 70% of students in higher education feel stressed with their finances. One of the most worrisome aspects of finances is school tuition, which can be very expensive.
This year, with the COVID-19 pandemic taking the lives of the vulnerable and weakening businesses’ profits, Americans have saved an average of 329 dollars monthly since the pandemic. Some rely on a Covid Check, sometimes called a stimulus check, just to get by.
Depending on their conditions, things can get financially tricky for college students, especially those stranded in university and away from their families.
Below are some ideas to help college students save money during the pandemic.
Prioritise and Spend on Needs
With the threat of COVID-19, governments worldwide put communities in quarantine. This means that not everyone can leave their house as freely as they once did.
One way to save money and stay safe from the new coronavirus is to only go out when it is absolutely necessary. This is especially true when you live alone and have no one to support you.
The needs you should prioritise are food, water, cleaning and disinfectants, and other emergency supplies. Minimise trips to the grocery store by meal planning and buying enough food to last longer than a few days.
With water, refrain from buying water bottles for consumption if you have a kitchen sink with a faucet. Make your tap water safe for you to drink by boiling it or purchasing a water purifier.
Cleaning supplies and disinfectants are also a must-have to keep you safe from germs and viruses. Store some soaps that you can use to clean and disinfect yourself after doing errands. Use a disinfectant to remove any germs from outside items or packages you might receive.
Hand sanitisers are also a must-have and stored since you will need one when you go out. Emergency supplies can refer to other essential items, such as medicines if you need them, or face masks, preferably cloth, since they can be reused.
Apply For A Job
You could also improve your finances by applying for an available job if you do not have one. Having a job will help you with your basic needs and your expenses in college. Make sure the job you apply for offers flexible hours and will work around your class schedule, though!
As much as possible, look for a part-time job, so you still have the time you need to keep up with your studies. If you do not want a job that requires leaving the house, you can look for work-from-home jobs.
With the encouragement to not go outside to weaken COVID-19 transmission, it’s best to stay at home, and work-from-home jobs are your best way to earn money while keeping safe.
Reallocate Your Expenses
t the moment, what matters is that you have your basic needs covered, which are food, water, and shelter. As a student, you have to think of your college expenses as well.
You may have to reconsider the things you spend your money on. This means you need to evaluate what matters the most in your daily life and temporarily let go of other expenses.
The things you need to spend your money on should be your basic needs. If you live alone, focus your expenses on the essential things like food, water, and the bills for the place you live in, perhaps also for a vehicle if you use one.
Next, spare your funds for college fees such as your tuition fee, extracurricular fees, and others.
Now that you know which expenses to prioritise, it’s time to give up on some unneeded expenses, at least in the meantime. You have to prioritise your needs first and cut off funding toward expenses that involve hobbies and entertainment.
Examples of these expenses are program or mobile application subscriptions, where you pay for their monthly or yearly services for entertainment. You could also temporarily cut off funding for personal services, such as barber shops or salons and nail care.
Conserve Your Electricity and Water
Besides reallocating your money to the things that matter the most, you also need to consider how much of these things you use. Electricity is a must-have in modern homes. It powers most of the appliances you probably have at the moment.
However, the more you use electricity, the more money you have to spend at the end of the month on electric bills. Turn off or unplug appliances you don’t need or aren’t using, and turn off lights in unused rooms.
Water is another important thing to have as you drink it for nourishment and use it for cleaning. Since too much water usage also leads to a high water bill, you need to conserve it.
When doing something involving running water, turn the faucet off when you are not using it. Consider how you use water for baths. Take shorter showers to save both electricity and water. You can also save electricity and water by only running full loads of laundry and air drying them when possible.
With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting nearly everyone in the world in terms of health and economy, we must make sure to take care of ourselves as well as work hard to contribute to our society by preventing the transmission of the virus. By doing the tips above, not only will you be able to save your money, but you can also keep yourself safe from the virus.