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5 Saving Tips for Students

By Bidvest Bank
04-12-2014
You got through your Grade 12 exams unscathed and now you’ve made the wise decision to expand your education further – congrats! Even more exciting is that you’ll be spending the next few years living as a student, which for many people is the most carefree time of their lives. But while you may have all the freedom and youth in the world, being a student also means you’re not earning a salary yet, so money will be tight. 

If you want to treat yourself occasionally to that new pair of running shoes or a trip down to the coast with friends in December, a part time job like waitering, life guarding or being an au pair can help you make a few extra bucks. Besides earning your own spending money, learning to save is a key skill you need to develop in order to make your Rands stretch further. To help you do this, here are our top student saving tips:

1. Get into the kitchen
Eating out or buying ready-made meals off the supermarket shelf are huge money-burners, so best you put on that apron and start learning a few flop-proof recipes. Buy non-perishable ingredients in bulk, such as pasta and sugar, as it’s far cheaper in the long run than just popping down to the shop to get what you need. While it’s a bit more effort and involves a bit of trial and error, cooking can be lots of fun - invite some friends over and make an evening out of it.

2. Ask for a discount
Don’t be afraid to use that student card! Many shops will offer discounts to students but they may not advertise it, so be sure to keep your student card on you at all times. Also take advantage of student deals on specific days of the week, because many movie houses, golf clubs, gyms and restaurants will offer special prices if you’re still studying. Making use of this saving tip for students means that you can then plan your recreation time around these discounted offers.

3. Shop cleverly
Explore local markets, charity shops and car boot sales for things you might need, from clothing and accessories to DVDs and furniture. You may find a few bargains that will cost you a fraction of what the same item would cost in the store, even if it has a few scratches or dents. 

Head for second-hand book stores for your textbooks and study material – new textbooks can be expensive, so it would be better to buy them second-hand and then resell them once you’re done. Check out your local student notice board too, as there may be some good deals there, or join the local library and borrow books as opposed to buying them new.

4. Walk, run or cycle
Owning and running a car is a huge expense and responsibility, so rather walk, run or cycle if you can – it’s far cheaper and healthier too. Get familiar with your local transport systems such as buses and trains and if you’re living not on a public transport route, lift sharing is always an option.

5. Flat share
If you’re living off campus and need a place to stay, find some friends and flat share. This student saving tip will cut your expenditure on rent and groceries by half or even a third and it’s all the more fun to share your student life experiences with others.

Being money-savvy doesn’t mean you can’t have fun, it just means watching your spending and coming up with creative ways of doing what you want to. By following our money saving tips, you’ll be more aware of how you’re spending your cash and you’ll be able to live within your means. With a minimum balance of just R50.00, the Bidvest Bank Account™ also helps you save by offering you competitive interest rates and low monthly fees. Find out more about it so you can enjoy this carefree time of your life, but still save for the future.