How to save money as a student on every core area of student life

How to save money on every area of student life

Given their limited cash inflow, how to save money remains a big question on the minds of many students in Nigeria. Students struggle to make ends meet, from feeding cost to transportation, housing, etc all while depending on the mostly insufficient allowance from their parents.   

This underscores the need for you to learn how to save money as a student in Nigeria. As a student, you won’t stop going to school because of the rise in the cost of commodities, but you need to learn the right financial and saving habits to cope.

Even better, the saving skills you learn today as a student, will also be useful for you beyond your university years. 

Having the right mindset

You have to be intentional about wanting to save money as a student. If you keep looking at external factors, you may never save. There will always be something that will require you to spend money, but you have to be resilient enough to say no. Life will always give you reasons like “I don’t feel like it, it is raining, so let me order an Uber; I feel like eating outside  because I feel tired”, etc. 

You have to be intentional. While you shouldn’t ignore your feelings either, learn to separate genuine emotions from mere desires to choose the easy way out. 

Haven gotten this out of the way, let’s get into the guide. 

Piggybank for saving as a student

Key Takeaways: 

  • How to save money on the 8 core areas of student life
  • The best way (tool) to save money as a student
  • Effective budgeting tips for students
  • How to save money without working as a student

How to save money on every core area of student life

1. How to save money on textbooks as a student: 

Textbooks can be a significant expense for students, but there are several ways to save money on them. Here are some practical tips on how to save money on textbooks as a student:

  • Buy used textbooks: You can check with other students who are levels ahead of you to buy their old textbooks for your own level. This way, you will get it way cheaper than buying a new one.
  • Rent or share textbooks: You can still talk to classmates and upperclassmen to just rent or share their textbooks with you for a while. If you ask nicely, there will be someone kind enough to help you out. 
  • Check online: Many books these days have their e-version on many free book websites or atleast, the e-versions are usually cheaper. You can do some Google research to see if you can find a free or cheap eversion of the textbook you need. 

2. How to save money on feeding as a student

  As a student, managing feeding expenses can be a key part of saving money. You can follow these tips to save money on feeding as a student in Nigeria. 

  • Cook at Home: Preparing meals at home is often more cost-effective than eating out at restaurants.
  • Meal Prep: Dedicate time to preparing meals for the week. This can help you avoid impulse food buys at the campus and save money by cooking in large quantities.
  • Pack Your Own Snacks: Instead of buying expensive snacks on campus, bring your own home-cooked food from home. This can save you money over time. 
  • Invest in a Water Bottle: Buying drinks can add up over time. Bring your own water bottle to stay hydrated for free.

3. How to save money on transportation as a student

Transportation can be a significant expense for students, especially those who commute to and from campus. Here are some strategies on how to save money on transportation as a student:

  • Use Public Transportation: Buses are often more affordable than taxis or rideshare services. 
  • Take Advantage of Campus Shuttles: Many universities offer free campus shuttles or transportation services. Use these services whenever possible to save on transportation costs.
  • Walk: If you live close to campus, consider walking to class. These options are not only cost-effective but also healthy and environmentally friendly. Remember the section on having the right mindset? So to achieve this, ensure to finish up everything you need to in time to ensure you can walk down to campus without missing classes. 
  • Consider a Bicycle: Investing in a bicycle can be a cost-effective and convenient mode of transportation, especially for short distances. 
  • Hitch-hike: If you know of a student or someone who often drives down the road that leads to your campus. You can build a relationship with them so they can carry you along when they are going in that direction. 

4. How to save money on entertainment and leisure as a student

Entertainment and leisure activities can be costly, but there are ways to enjoy them without breaking the bank. As a student, you must not spend all your monthly allowance to have a good time with friends. Remember, entertainment and leisure is not just about drinks or spending money, it is about having fun with the people you care about.

You can follow these tips to save money on entertainment and leisure as a student:

  • Take your close friends with you: We have already established that entertainment is about having a good time with friends and not about spending money, right?. So something as simple as taking your girl to watch you play football can provide a time of bonding and pure bliss without burning a hole in your pocket. Find these times based on your activity and plug into them.
  • Take Advantage of Student Discounts: Many theaters, cinemas, museums, and other entertainment venues offer student discounts. Always have your student ID handy to access these savings. 
  • Look for Free or Low-Cost Events: Keep an eye out for free or inexpensive events happening on campus to join your friends to have fun without spending. These could include campus concerts, plays, movie screenings, or festivals.
  • Find cool free locations: Places such as beaches have beautiful scenery that you can take your friends to and have a good time without spending much. 
  • Host Movie or Game Nights: Organize a movie or game night with friends at home. This is a cost-effective way to socialize and have fun.
  • Join Clubs and Societies: Joining campus clubs and societies can provide low-cost or free entertainment and social opportunities.

5. How to save money on rent as a student

Rent and housing can be major expenses for students, but there are several effective ways you can adopt to save money on rent as a student in Nigeria:

  • Live Off or on campus: This decision should be made depending on the specific situation of rent fees in your school and the surrounding environment rent costs. Do your research and go with what is more cost effective. However, you may still choose the one with a higher price tag if there are other benefits attached. For example, living off-campus may be better, even if it is more expensive, if you intend to work part-time as a student.
  • Share Housing: Sharing with one or more roommates can significantly cut down your housing expenses. Sharing rent, utilities, and other costs can make a big difference.
  • Negotiate Rent: Some landlords are considerate of students seeking to rent their apartments or rooms. Some may be willing to cut down the cost of the rent if you explain your situation to them. 
  • Look for Housing Scholarships or Grants: Some schools or organizations offer housing scholarships or grants to help students with housing costs. Research and apply for these opportunities. 
  • Live with Family: If you attend a university near your family home, living with family can help you save a significant amount on housing costs.

6. How to save money on technology and gadgets as a student

Technology and gadgets are essential for students both for study and for a good quality of life, but they can be expensive. Here are some strategies to save money on technology and gadgets as a student in Nigeria:  

  • Utilize Student Discounts: Many retailers offer student discounts on technology and gadgets as part of their promotional strategy. Take advantage of this to get a good deal on your technology needs. 
  • Buy Refurbished or Used: Many refurbished or used gadgets work just as good as the new ones and they are cheaper.
  • Shop During Sales: Take advantage of seasonal sales, such as Black Friday or back-to-school sales, to purchase technology and gadgets at discounted prices.
  • Use Free or Open-Source Software: Instead of purchasing expensive software for various needs, consider using free or open-source alternatives which are available on many sites on the internet. 
  • Leverage Campus Resources: Many universities provide free or discounted software and technology resources to students such as a free wifi or cheap cafe. Endeavour to make the most of these vs spending more off-campus. 
  • Choose Budget-Friendly Brands: Look for technology and gadget brands that offer quality products at lower prices. For example, Tecno phones are rugged and inexpensive. 
  • Sell Old Gadgets: If you want to upgrade to a new gadget, sell your old device to offset the cost of the new one. You can check in with your schoolmates and utilize online platforms to find a buyer for your old gadget. 
  • Share or Rent Equipment: If you need specific equipment for a short period, consider renting or borrowing from a friend or classmate instead of buying.
  • Join Tech Clubs or Communities: Tech clubs and online communities often share deals, tips, and advice on where to find affordable gadgets and technology.
  • Maintain Your Gadgets: Proper maintenance and care can extend the lifespan of your gadgets, saving you money on repair and replacements. 

Where to save money as a student 

If you are looking for financial resources that help students to save money, fintech saving apps are your best options. The best savings app for students to save money in Nigeria is Sycamore NG. The app has features that are suited for students to put money aside to reach their financial goals. 

With the app, you can set a daily, weekly or weekly savings withdrawal and automate the savings withdrawal to help you stay focused. Or you can decide to set your savings to be flexible and you have the liberty to save whenever you want. 

student saving in a piggybank

What are some effective budgeting tips for students

Effective budgeting is essential for students to manage their finances and avoid unnecessary debt. These budgeting tips can help you as a student to stay on top of your expenses: 

  • Track Your Income and Expenses: For you to be able to save as a student, you need to keep accurate records of how much you get, this could be your monthly allowance and also keep track of all your expenses. You have to be intentional to track these.  
  • Create a Realistic Budget: Have a budget of what you spend monthly. This should include all necessary expenses such as rent, transportation, feeding, etc. Once you have this budget outlined, ensure to not spend this money at all throughout the month other than that for which you have budgeted it for. 
  • Set Financial Goals: Define your financial goals, this may be saving towards getting a textbook, buying new clothes, etc. This will help you stay focused on your long-term objectives. 
  • Use Budgeting Apps: Utilize budgeting apps to track your spending and manage your finances. Some of these fintech apps also allow you to save and manage your bills. 
  • Separate Wants from Needs: To properly manage your monthly allowance, you need to find ways to cut down on unnecessary spending. Prioritize your needs over wants to ensure your money lasts for you. 

FAQs on how to save money as a student in Nigeria

1. How to save money as a student without working: 

Even without a job, you can still save money by adopting cost-saving habits and budgeting effectively. From your regular monthly allowance, look for student discounts, use public transportation, cook meals at home, and attend free events for leisure. Prioritize essential expenses and cut back on non-essential spending. 

2. Why do we need to save money as a student: 

Saving money as a student is important for several reasons: 

  • Financial Security: It helps you manage unexpected expenses and emergencies.
  • Reducing Debt: Saving can help you avoid debts.
  • Future Goals: Savings can be used to invest in further education or other goals.
  • Peace of Mind: Having savings can reduce stress and allow you to focus on your studies.

3. How much money can a college student save:

The amount a college student can save varies depending on income sources, expenses, and budgeting habits. Students with part-time jobs or allowances may be able to save more. The key is to prioritize savings and make it a regular habit. Even small amounts saved consistently can add up over time.

4. How should I spend the money saved as a student:

How you spend your savings depends on your priorities and financial goals. Here are some options:

  • Emergency Fund: Keep some savings set aside for unexpected expenses.
  • Investing: Consider investing in low-risk options to grow your savings.
  • Purchasing Essentials: Use savings for essential purchases such as textbooks or technology.
  • Debt Repayment: If you have debt, use your savings to pay it down. 

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