Sunday, December 11, 2011
How a college student can save money...
Today I came across a very useful article on specialist student discount and money saving site called Studentbeans.com. They listed a few tips on how college students can save money. I found most of the tips very useful, though not all of them is applicable to me, especially when I go home to Malaysia. So here is my own list of top 10 saving tips.
10) Don't go clubbing.
It's expensive. Came on! Don't roll your eyes, club-goers. You of all people should know this. Don't even take it from me if you think I'm too religious or traditional. Ask yourselves these questions: Is it really worth paying to just get into a place that is so crowded of drunks that you can hardly listen to yourself think? Is it worth paying for a drink, only to get drunk and then get tempted to buy a few other shots later? Even if you want to buy a drink, you have to wait in a line! A long one! Seriously? If you were not somber, you would know it's a complete waste of time! Think about it.
9) Find a (decent) job
And when I mean decent, I don't mean going around putting yourself up for sale. We always see it in the movies. Some girl just has to sleep with some rich guy so she can make money. What the heck? And then there are some losers who go around selling weed. What? Just go work as a cleaner, or a waiter, or something. Universities and colleges are usually located in big cities. There can be jobs everywhere! Or even better, shop where you work, given the context is right. Quote from the website, "We did a little investigation into staff discounts recently, and the best places to get a job if you find yourself spending your cash there are The Body Shop, Republic, New Look and Lush - all have a 50 per cent staff discount. French Connection's is 40 per cent, oh, and Greggs staff get a mighty 50 per cent off too, for some very cheap sausage rolls..." Who would say no to that?!
8) KISS: Keep. It. Simple. Stupid.
Always try to maintain economical. Buy supermarket brands, like ASDA stuff or TESCO original things. Pack your own meals. Please don't go; Oh! I only use classy expensive stuff. I don't use cheap, lowly things. Well, if you are a mama's boy from a rich family, or even pretend to be from one, then by all means go ahead. But look at the bright side. These are not clothes or accessories. They are just groceries mostly. Nobody is going to judge your lifestyle based on the brand of the household items you buy. And about the packed lunches; as long as you have a nice tight secure lunch box that will not leak any liquid on your books, and your food does not stink and disrupt anyone else, and you don't eat when everybody else isn't, then it should be just fine.
7) "Jangan sesekali tolak rezeki"
Which loosely translates into 'Never say no to (free) food'. Back during my foundation year at Gaya teacher training institute in Malaysia, there were short courses conducted almost every week for in-service teachers. At the end of every talk, meals will be served. If you are lucky, you will be invited to join along by the friendly lecturers conducting the course, and if you are even more lucky, there will be extra leftovers to take home for dinner! So always bring along your lunch box even when it is empty!
6) The Puss-In-Boots routine
One of my many talents. Always ask if there is a discount. Even if the answer is no, then never be too shy to ask, "Then will you give a student discount?" Say this with eyes that beg for sympathy. God willing, you will get your discount. The recession is pretty bad. There is no better time to plead (not beg) for sympathy. Anyone who refuses to give you a discount, especially if you explain to them your allowance has not come in yet, well screw that meanie.
5) Bundle and charity
Never be ashamed to use second/third/fourth hand stuff. You are a student. The fashion police will forgive you for that. And that not only includes clothes. Books and other stuff can also come in second hand. As long as they are still usable, then have some understanding on why they are called that. They are called usable because they can still be used.
4) Freeze your credit card
No, I am serious. Freeze it. In your refrigerator. That way, you can always get away from being tempted to buy something super expensive that is out of your budget. Sure, the money is still there. But you will not be able to buy it until you have thought it over properly, and have spoken to the right people for some proper advice on whether it is a good investment or not.
3) Say NO to fancy electronic gadgets
I mean honestly, what use is a MacBook to a student, apart from showing off? Just get a normal Acer or HP or something. It has all the basic functions you need as a student and for leisure. And as if it is not bad enough you are on Facebook or Twitter whenever you go online on your laptop, now you want to have a smartphone just so you can Tweet, "Hey y'all. Currently in the middle of a sh*t. Loving the peace and quiet!" What the heck is that?! So, unless it is one hundred percent important, don't ever buy it!
2) The Iron Budget
Now this one, as the name suggests, it a bit of a harsh one. This is when things get real serious, when you are forced to eat instant noodles for all three meals a day. Whenever you go out, only take with you the exact amount of money you want to spend. So you want to go to the diner for lunch. Only bring along one Ringgit you might need for the bus fare, and four Ringgit you might need for a plate of fried rice and a glass of juice to go with that. Don't forget another Ringgit for the bus fare back. That way, you can never, and I mean NEVER, give into the temptation of spending money on something which is totally unnecessary.
1) Turn to The Lord
And this is where all the atheists start drooling, and let's not pretend it is some of those who drooled at point number ten on the clubbing part. Well, you read all the way up to hear. Surely you are desperate for some money-saving tips. But on a serious note, is it really hard to spend a few seconds a day just praying to Him hoping you have enough money to last through the year? You just have to ask, really. And even better, if your religion encourages it, go fasting for a few days. Not only are you fasting so He will bless you with some cash, but you will also be saving up by not spending money on food for a certain period of time. See? You just killed two birds with one stone. Be nice to people. Be honest, and thankful. Go volunteer at some charity, or some shelter. Karma will get back at you. You WILL be rewarded. Being a tramp by claiming college years are for being slutty, to experiment on what you want, that attitude ain't gonna help here. I mean, really? You would rather go hungry then be horny? Imagine how much you can save by not spending on any condoms for a whole three years?! That's a lot!
Hope you people find this helpful. Till next time. Adios!