By Sam Horton, UBC student
Money is a common concern for students. If you haven’t already felt the sting from paying tuition and student fees, you probably will. Consider these tips:
Categorize your expenses
1. The necessary
These are things that you’ll need to spend money on. They include food, clothing, textbooks, study materials, bedding and shower supplies and laundry supplies.
2. The helpful
These are things that you could consider buying, depending on your budget. They include a good umbrella, sturdy walking shoes, an alarm clock, basic cleaning supplies, a bicycle and a mini-fridge. Check for deals at UBC Bookstore.
3. The fun
These are expenses you might consider on weekends or your time off. They include AMS events, going to the movies, eating at restaurants, gym memberships, buying gifts for friends and family, or taking a trip to Whistler.
Ways to save
1. Get a job
I wanted the security of a steady income stream, so I got a part-time job. I worked at the Totem Park dining room in my first year, and it helped. Not only was I making money, I was working near home and the hours fit my academic schedule.
2. Track your meal plan
Many of my friends ran out of meal plan money before second term. I only just made it to February before I was tapped out. Use the Online Service Centre to track your balance regularly.
3. Use a drying rack
I recommend investing in an inexpensive rack to dry laundry in your room. You’ll avoid extra trips to the dryer and save some serious money, too. Let’s face it, the more you save on laundry, the more you have to spend on things that make you happy.
4. Choose cheaper
Fun activities will probably draw most of your cash, so consider your options carefully. Instead of going to the movie theatre, you could rent or download movies, or buy a UBC Film Society membership for cheap movies all year. And you probably don’t need to eat at top-rated restaurants. There are plenty of cheap, decent eateries within walking distance of campus. As for the gym, there are residence fitness rooms and a little-known gym in the basement of the aquatic centre that don’t require a membership. UBC Bookstore offers exclusive student discounts and savings events.