If you’re anything like me, or any other student on the planet, saving money is high on the priority list. But it is hard to be a student and save.
So I’ve put together a little list of what I do, if you’d like to take a page from my book.
1. Get a budget app
This is one of the first things you can do. It keeps you honest and knowledgeable about your spending habits, so when you finally check your bank account, there are no nasty surprises.
The only downside? It makes me more aware of how much money I don’t have and how much I’m not spending. Bummer.
Is it still worth doing? Yes. Of course.
2. Find ways to go out on the cheap
We all love to do stuff, but doing stuff often costs money. So, if you must do fun stuff, you need to find ways to bring down the costs, or cover them entirely!
One thing I’ve done is download an app called Biko. If you ride your bike to school like me, you’ll love this app. Not only can you get free stuff, it keeps you motivated to ride on those miserable, rainy Vancouver days.
How does it work? You get points called bikos for every kilometer you ride. Some examples of what you can get in Vancouver right now: free appetizers at Nuba in Gastown or 50% off an Onsight messenger bag.
Not into cycling? Get your friends in on a Groupon.
3. Bring your own coffee/tea/snacks
I always have green tea on hand. Buying a tea is around $2 at The Stand. Buying a carton of 20 at the grocery store is around $4. It’s super easy to pack: I just put it in little baggies like in my photo.
Your wallet will thank you.
If you’re not into tea, you can try instant coffee. There are actually some decent options, like those VIA packets from Starbucks. I find them way too strong, so you can cut them in half easily!
Also, pack snacks. You know you’re going to get peckish come 11:00am and then again around 3:00pm, so be prepared. Snacks drain the bank account like nothing else I know.
4. Keep busy
The busier you are, the less time to spend money. Sounds sad, but it actually isn’t.
There are lots of things you can do with your free time while you’re in school that don’t involve spending money. Try volunteering at one of the clubs or join the dodgeball team. You’ll meet great friends and maybe even future colleagues.
5. Apply for bursaries
Okay, so maybe things are a little more serious and saving money won’t cut it.
You’re not out of options yet! You can always apply for a bursary. The deadline for this semester is October 30th, so you’ll have to act quick! You also need to have been assessed by StudentAid BC. Requirements and additional information can be found here.
Of course, if you’re a high achiever you might want to aim for the scholarships at BCIT, which are awarded for highest average with a 100% workload in the first and final years of certain programs. You can find out more here. There are also achievement awards for students who show outstanding qualities like leadership.
The bottom line
You can save money and still have a good time if you put your mind to it. If you have your own money saving tips, please share below!