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Advice on saving a student’s hard-earned cash

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It’s no secret that students are strapped for cash, and it’s not rare to hear of students working one or two part-time jobs to subsidize their education I happen to sport two jobs myself. It is in this ever-pressing state that students should employ little habits to save on cash wherever they can.

Public transit is a great means for saving gas money, or can serve as an alternative to owning a car and, since B.C. transit works with university institutions, local public transit is included in our U-Pass fees. However, for varying reasons such as preference or having a job that requires transit beyond bus routes, many students find this option is not always reasonable or practical, especially if the student lives outside the local area and has to commute to attend UFV. Plus, UFV shuttle buses may not always be time manageable for some students as travel times often conflict with out-of-school activities and personal life responsibilities.

Another more reasonable way of saving your hard-earned cash is to avoid on campus purchases. Finding a way to avoid buying food, especially on campus, is essential for saving money. The meals on campus can vary: for instance, two slices of pizza from the cafe is over $5, and a medium double-double from Tim’s is $1.90, and while this does not sound like a lot of cash, over time the expenses do build up in a rather surprising way. Prepacking some snacks or a lunch to get you through the day can end up saving you loads. For instance, sandwiches, granola bars, crackers, or cheese sticks can be helpful for saving coins and getting you through your day.

Other ways I’ve heard of students saving money is through limited deposits into a chequing account while putting the rest of their paycheck into savings. This means it becomes very evident when you run out of spending money for the month. This can be an excellent way to micromanage your spending without actually having to consistently pre-plan or outline a month’s spending. When you run out, well, that’s it. I think this approach to be situational at best and really depends on individual students and their lifestyle, but that does not necessarily mean it’s not worth an attempt.

Additional less appreciable means of saving money are to stop eating out or limiting high cost social outings. However, that does not mean a person’s social life has to end, but rather outings should be cheaper and more manageable. Instead of expensive dinners out or movie outings, why not choose a cheap pub night or a group outing to the skating rink, or even watching a hockey game at home with friends.

Saving money does not have to be an overwhelming challenge, but rather a series of minor lifestyle changes that can, in the end, be beneficial for the cash-strapped student.

Image: Cory Jensen/The Cascade

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