By Laura Morrison, March 2014
Many people entering their first year of graduate study experience anxiety over how they are going to pay for their education and make ends meet while they pursue their degree. There is no denying the fact that most graduate students do experience financial challenges, but there are several cost cutting solutions graduate students can employ to bank some extra savings before starting school.
1.Get a second job
While this is definitely easier said than done, one of the best ways to save money is to earn more. But before you submit an application at your local chain restaurant consider more appealing or less stressful employment options. Look into freelance opportunities, tutoring, or even dog-sitting. Find creative ways to earn extra cash doing the things that you love.
2.Live with a roommate or your family
Save on rent and other living expenses by getting a roommate or living with a family member. While giving up some of your privacy is a significant sacrifice, the savings gained by sharing the burden of rent, food, cable and internet costs may outweigh the minor inconvenience of sharing your living space. Plus having a roomie can be fun.
Head to the local thrift shop or cruise yard sales to find deals on necessary items. Yard sales and online consumer to consumer marketplaces are a great way to find gently used items. Bonus – cruising yard sales can be a good way to enjoy some free fun, who doesn’t like spending time outdoors picking though other peoples stuff.
Save money on gas by living close to public transportation or in an area that has many amenities within walking distance. If you can figure out a way to live without a car all together, you can save a significant amount of money by eliminating monthly car payments and insurance costs.
Don’t go out to eat, and if you do try to take advantage of specials and coupons. Save money by sharing meals with your dinner dates. When you go grocery shopping, avoid expensive meats opt for frozen veggies, and healthy pastas, this frugal diet may even save you inches on your waistline.
Saving money is never easy, but the correct motivation, such as your future as a graduate degree holder, may help you to make the short term sacrifices necessary to achieve long term success. When you feel the urge to splurge take the time to consider if the expense is worth it in the long run.
About the Author: Laura Morrison is a the content manager for GradSchools.com, she has an MBA from Rutgers University