Are you wondering how you’re going to make it financially while attending graduate school? Well, a financial plan and some serious thriftiness are definitely in order here.
Perhaps you’re taking out a school loan or maybe working part time to support yourself. Either way, you will need to adjust to living on a budget.
But being frugal doesn’t have to be a bummer… Consider it a challenge or a game of sorts where the object is to spend as little money as possible.
The prize for winning of course is a shiny new degree with no strings (aka excess debt) attached! So consider the possibilities of saving money on…
This is one of the largest expenses for most people. If you were used to living on your own, you may need to forgo this ‘luxury’ and get a roommate or two, or even move in with your parents. You can also try negotiating or renegotiating your rent.
If you don’t live miles away from campus…then consider biking! You’ll save on the cost of commuting…and an additional benefit is that this is AMAZING exercise. If you had been going to a gym, cancel that membership. If not, then bike and enjoy the body mind benefits that this will bring to your studies and your life!
Eat cheaply! Don’t eat out as a general rule. Buy items on sale at the supermarkets and eat cheaper in general. Buy generic, avoid pricey prepared food items and eat more whole foods like rice, beans, veggies and chicken. Set a weekly grocery budget and stick to it.
‘Cloths shop’ in your own closet, and see how you can throw pieces together in a fresh way. Or shop second hand. Get into the habit of asking yourself “do I really need this?”
Take advantage of campus sponsored events like lectures, gallery openings, festivals, and parties. Nothing beats free food, drinks, entertainment and socializing!
Keep an eye out for part time work opportunities. Even if the pay is not great, it will certainly add up. Just be careful not to take on more work than you can comfortably handle alongside your course load.
Make a habit of reading blogs about frugal living. And remember that this situation is temporary. Consider it an exercise in self-discipline and an opportunity to master the art of living within your means…which is an important key to success and a valuable prize in its own right.