Tips for saving money as a studentChen Wan Lim
Most undergraduates have little to no income and some postgraduate students forgo steady paycheques to pursue higher education. Worrying about money while studying can be distracting as students might lose focus and underperform in their studies. So, here are some methods students can practice to save money and to make every Ringgit count:
Tip 1: Go for used textbooks
Books can be expensive, very expensive in fact in Malaysia. Although different textbook versions of the same author, title and publisher come out yearly, most old books are still accepted as the facts contained inside rarely change. Try searching online on student forums and online marketplaces for used copies. However, refrain from making photocopies as they are against copyright laws.
Tip 2: Use student privileges
Regardless of your age, if you are still a student, you will be qualified for student discounts. Popular discounts are usually on food and beverages, cinema, public transportation and entrance fees. Be sure to do prior research and determine what sort of proof is needed to qualify for a student discount. Most often, just a student identification card is needed.
Tip 3: Free Wi-Fi
If you are staying on campus or near the campus, take advantage of their free Wi-fi services. This way, you are able to save on expensive data plan packages and expensive home broadband services. In fact, you can also save on voice calls as most messaging services now contain voice and video calls.
Tip 4: Communal cooking
Food expenditure can constitute a large portion of a student’s budget. Therefore, try getting a group of friends who are able to cook together. Create a duty roster and take turns cooking. Combining food ingredients and cooking together can save money compared with cooking individually. In addition, taking turns to cook can save time and foster closer friendships.
Tip 5: On-campus employment
Look through the student bulletin or billboards for on-campus part-time employment. Popular positions are research assistants, lab assistants, food court assistant and student tutors. Working part-time on campus is a great way to earn and save and also to broaden your connections.
Tip 6: Use technology
Almost everyone has a smartphone or some sort of a smart device. Use them to the fullest with the help of handy apps for taking notes, taking photos, organising schedules etc. This will reduce the need for expensive stationaries, notebooks and files.
Tip 7: Carpooling and public transportation
Car ownership in Malaysia is expensive. Firstly, the price of a car is relatively pricey compared with the general average earning ability. Secondly, the costs to run the car inclusive of fuel, servicing and parts are high. Try plotting your daily route using public transportation. Not only is it cheap but it’s cheaper for students using a concession card. If you are unable to utilise public transportation due to poor connectivity, then try carpooling with friends or via carpooling apps.