Useful Tips

How to live on a scholarship to a single student in a big city


Students are a special period when young people receive not only knowledge, but also the first experience of independent life. One of the main problems of yesterday's schoolchildren often becomes the inability to properly manage the available funds. There are many proven ways to save money for a student. Simple recommendations will help you learn how to plan your own budget. With a competent approach, even modest finances will be enough for a comfortable existence, and there will also be a certain amount for everyday joys.

What is better to refuse in order to save

It is rare to meet students with a card with an unlimited limit in their pocket. The bulk of the students are children whose simple budget consists of scholarships, sometimes personal savings and material assistance received monthly from caring parents. In order not to be left with empty pockets in a week, you should reconsider your preferences, excluding some points that are definitely not related to mandatory spending:

  • bad habits that “help” throw money away, while negatively affecting health,
  • regular trips to expensive clubs and restaurants that bring positive emotions, but “hit hard”
  • spontaneous acquisition of various trifles, which as a result will be completely unnecessary,
  • issuing a credit card, the attractive conditions of which, as it may seem initially, will easily turn into bondage.

It is also better to give up trying to keep up with more affluent fellow students. Without brand new products, the purchase of which will “eat up” most of the funds, it is quite possible to look stylish, skillfully making ensembles of things from your own wardrobe. The cost of gadgets from a number of recent models is not always justified, given their main purpose. A tablet or laptop without unnecessary “bells and whistles”, performing the necessary functions, will be an excellent assistant for learning.

How can a student save money on nutrition

Always being fed up, while spending a minimum of money, will help the simple methods that most budget students use.

  1. Learn simple recipes by learning how to cook fast and tasty. Self-cooking is always much more profitable than going to a cafe or student canteen. By experimenting with different components bought or brought from home, you can invent new hearty dishes every time.
  2. Resist the temptation to snack on junk food. Hot dogs, pizzas, hamburgers only temporarily interrupt the appetite, significantly emptying the wallet.
  3. To exclude frozen expensive semi-finished products from the diet, replacing them with healthy cereals, vegetables, allowing you to diversify the diet and keep from unjustified expenses.
  4. Never go hungry to grocery stores. It’s hard to get past beautifully packaged goods on the shelves and seductive smells without picking up a mountain of unnecessary products. Better to eat in advance.
  5. Arrange shopping once a week, after compiling a list of products for a sample menu. The main thing is not to deviate from the list.
  6. Enjoy various discounts and promotions held in supermarkets.
  7. Purchasing products in wholesale stores can save a lot, and buying meat or vegetables on the market can also be bargained.
  8. Sharing meals with your hostel neighbors will help to significantly reduce the cost of food. It is necessary to discuss the menu in advance, to discuss the amount and once a week to take off everything you need. Cooking together is inexpensive and fun.

Food always makes up the bulk of the cost, but following the items listed will help to minimize costs.

Money for students is a sore subject

It is no secret that as a student, you learn to independently solve many problems associated with planning your budget.

My name is Ekaterina Andreevna Ivanova, I am 23 years old, I am from Abakan. Ever since I became a university student in the million-plus city of Krasnoyarsk, my “adult” life began: yes, to some extent this is more freedom than before, but at the same time it is a big responsibility.

When you live alone, then after a very short time you begin to understand what and how much money will be spent next month. For students, money is a sore point. They are always missing for anything. Someone is trying to earn some money, someone is trying to study better and participate in all kinds of competitions for grants and scholarships, someone is getting money from their parents.

My income

My monthly income was generated from two main sources:

  • survivor's pension with social supplement (the main income, paid by the state) - 8,482 rubles.,
  • scholarship (increased because I studied well. The institute pays) - 3,060 rubles.

Material assistance from the institute is issued once a semester, but if you indicate good reasons, you can get up to 6,000 at a time. This helps a lot, for example, to buy a ticket home for the holidays, gifts to relatives for the holidays, pay for mobile communications or a hostel for several months in advance.

For students, money is a sore point. They are always missing for anything.

This amount could be added to modest attempts to make money on the Internet, “greetings” from my grandmother, and coins accidentally found when you walk with your head down, oh well.

So, having 11 thousand every month, I have to divide them into mandatory and optional expenses.

What am I spending?

Blood from the nose, every month should be allocated to:

  • payment of a hostel (674 rubles),
  • food (about 6,000-7,500 rubles., depending on the shares of stores, my Wishlist and the season),
  • personal hygiene products and household chemicals (300-500 rubles, depending on what has ended and needs to be purchased),
  • mobile communications and the Internet (500 rubles),
  • transport (700 rubles),
  • educational expenses (notebooks, pens, accessories for drawing, printouts, folders, etc., about 1,000 rubles).

Among the optional expenses:

  • some new things: new jeans, a backpack for study, sneakers for the offseason (for the most part only for urgent needs),
  • visiting exhibitions / cinema / theaters (for money - quite rarely),
  • medicines in case of illness (of course, it is better to have a less-formed first-aid kit in advance, but it happens that you need and buy something else),
  • several times a year, a trip home (on average, you need 2 thousand on a round trip (accordingly, you will have to save and save somewhere)
  • gatherings with classmates (rarely, but accurately).

One way or another, there is no free money.

The long list of “need to buy!” Never ends, and even grows. Therefore, it is necessary to isolate from it the most important and necessary, to give up something, and to postpone something for an indefinite period.

Products purchased at verified locations on a stock.

How to save

  1. Keep track of promotions nearby stores (and if the product is from the list of compulsory purchases - take at a discount).
  2. Plan your purchases in advance (this will save you from impulsive and rash purchases and give you time to look at the prices of the same products in different stores).
  3. Use a travel card (allows you to save 1-3 rubles from each trip - a trifle, but nice).
  4. Keep track of changes in the tariff plans of the provider and mobile operator (sometimes you can stumble upon a more favorable offer for you and change the tariff).
  5. Rule: “Just add water!” (Is the shampoo / shower gel / dishwashing detergent very thick? Add water and mix well. Enough for a longer time.)
  6. Check groups of food sharing and gratuitous gifts in your city (people are often ready to give good food and things absolutely free).
  7. Cooperation (agree with a classmate: he prints out essays for you, and you help him with physics, for example, find people to jointly purchase something at a wholesale price, pay online together with your roommates).
  8. Compare prices on the Internet before you buy (especially for home / computer / mobile appliances, medicines).
  9. Find out if there are student discounts (especially relevant for cultural institutions, copy service centers).
  10. Cook it yourself. Eating in cafes and canteens will still be more expensive.
  11. If you have a long trip, consider traveling with fellow travelers (there are special applications and sites for this), look at the price change schedule in advance (if it will be a train or plane) and try to choose the most suitable date with the lowest price. It so happened that on the 31st day of the month my train ticket cost 1,200, and from the 1st day of the next - 1,000.
  12. Buy seasonal products and throw in the freeze / dry. Especially true for the summer period, when many vegetables, herbs and some fruits become much cheaper. In winter, say thank you for the money saved and the saved benefits of the products.

How to improve your position

I cut off part-time jobs right away, because it takes my strength and attention away from my studies and it is rapidly slipping (judging by classmates). And there is no urgent need for this.

Someone from acquaintances draws portraits to order, someone engages in woodcarving, does manicure / eyelash extensions. Analyze, perhaps, and you know how to do something that can generate income.

So on the pair looks like a student moonlighting at night.

My abilities are enough for small successes while working on the Internet and selling needlework.

Sometimes classmates turn to me for help in writing essays, in drawing. Then I immediately warn that they “pay” me vegetables / fruits / nuts.

Some practical advice

  • If the right medicine is expensive, look for its analogues. Usually they are much cheaper (a lot of examples on the Internet).
  • View your city poster. Usually, something interesting takes place every month, and admission there will be either free or very cheap. Also follow the cultural life of your university. For students, there are a lot of interesting things: from concerts to language clubs.

Usually, something interesting takes place every month, and admission there will be either free or very cheap.

  • Find out if you have any privileges / payments / scholarships. So, at one time I was not notified about the possibility of receiving a social scholarship. I lost a few months before I found out about this, and I collected all the necessary documents myself. If you study well, make progress in science / sports / culture, it is also likely to get a little more from the institute.
  • Learn new recipes. So you will be able to combine simple products into unusual combinations that will diversify your life and not hit your wallet.
  • Cultivate thriftiness in yourself - this is a great character trait that allows things to serve you longer.
  • Repair, if possible, what’s broken. It is not necessary to immediately throw something away. See if the thing can be restored. Typically, many problems are solved with a needle and thread, electrical tape or superglue.
  • Avoid overproduction. Not calculated and cooked a lot of soup? Freeze some part - later you can warm up and eat. You don’t have to throw away valuable resources, buy new ones, waste time cooking again ...

Cook it yourself. Eating in cafes and canteens will still be more expensive.

  • Develop your skills, form a wide circle of communication. The more connections, the more likely it is to learn about the possibility of a side job.
  • Find out about student groups and job opportunities during the holidays at your university. For example, there are several units at our university, and I know for sure that during the holidays students are taken as counselors to children's recreation camps.
  • Learn different household life hacks. This will help to better manage your household, reduce costs and increase efficiency.

I hope some of my tips will help you in practice. Plan your budget wisely, whatever it is!

Other cost items that are easy to cut

Some of the cost points of modern young people are completely impossible to exclude, but there are reasonable ways to save the budget. Using simple recommendations, you can find out how a student can save his money without giving up the benefits of civilization.

  1. Mobile connection. Having studied the packages offered by operators, choose the most profitable tariff, including the Internet, free minutes, SMS. Various applications, such as Skype, Facetime, as well as the popular Facebook video chat, will help reduce spending on communicating with friends and relatives.
  2. Transport. Getting to an educational institution, if the distance allows, is better on foot or by bicycle, which is much cheaper than paying for parking and refueling a car. Using public transport, you need to take care of the purchase of a travel card.
  3. Sport. A visit to the expensive gym will be replaced by free trips to the gym at the university, self-study, jogging in the nearest park, morning exercises.
  4. Literature, teaching aids. Books and CDs do not have to be bought at the store, just use the library or order books from the online store.

When withdrawing money from a plastic card, it is advisable to use ATMs to avoid commissions. As practice shows, it is better not to cash out most of the budget, excluding the temptation to spend money on useless things. Cash usually runs out faster.

Can a student somehow save money on entertainment

Student life consists not only of mastering the profession and attending lectures. Leisure and recreational activities have always been a mandatory part of youth, but such expenses are not reflected in the best way on finances.

Despite the modest budget, students often meet with friends, celebrating holidays, exchanging gifts, or organizing joint trips to various entertainment venues. Reasonable spending options are:

  • stock up on souvenirs and various presents in advance, choosing the period of pre-holiday discounts and sales,
  • attend movie theaters, buying tickets for daytime sessions, the cost of which is lower than the evening ones,
  • meet the company in low-cost summer cafes or recently opened establishments, at reduced prices luring customers from competitors,
  • If you are planning to spend your holidays with the company, study the offers of tour operators or go out of town, carefully considering the route,
  • When buying a gift for your soulmate, do not focus on the cost of the presentation, but on the interesting packaging and original presentation.

One way to plan your budget

After studying for more than one year, students find different tricks how to save money. Some manage to distribute the scholarship and funds received from their parents, while others find a job as part-time pizza delivery men, couriers, posters.

Freshmen who find it more difficult to navigate in the new environment and learn how to keep their own bookkeeping should use the following tips.

  1. Having received a limited amount for a month, divide it into 4 equal parts using regular envelopes or the piggy bank function in the Sberbank application.
  2. Roughly plan the costs, taking into account the possibility of using one of the parts during the week, making an approximate estimate that includes everything you need.
  3. Spend only the allocated amount, not exceeding the scope, “forgetting” about the existence of the balance.
  4. Make a special notebook for making expenses, noting each purchase, including the cost of goods and their quantity.

At the end of the first month, summing up, you can see a clear picture of expenses and draw certain conclusions that allow you to adjust individual expenses. As a result of the calculations, it will be much easier to plan on which point to allocate more, and which is better to refuse.


Not all young people complain about the lack of funds and the inability to live on the student’s meager budget. Each student, entering adulthood, only needs to learn all sorts of ways to save money without giving up delicious food, hobbies, comfortable living, entertainment and other important points, as well as clearly decide what to spend money is definitely not worth it.

3. Caution, the bank!

Always take precautionary approach to bank loans. At first glance, monetary freedom can turn into endless bondage. In addition, having received easy money (you didn’t earn it!), There is a risk of rashly spending it on completely unnecessary purchases or things that you can do without, in principle.

5. Discounts - student friends!

Student age allows you to enjoy discounts in self-service areas, transport and supermarkets. A student card is a universal means for obtaining various benefits and the benefit in such an opportunity is obvious.

9. Yes - healthy food, no - snacks!

It is clear that the cafe is a favorite place for all students. But, firstly, it is expensive and impractical, and secondly - the dry man spoils health. Homemade food is the most rational way to save money, besides it is tasty, fresh and healthy. And the purchase of products can be done for the future, buying them at wholesale bases and grocery markets. Если нет возможности питаться дома, то альтернативным вариантом может служить студенческая столовая – там тоже приемлемо дешево и на вкус сердито.

10. «Житие мое …»

Проблемы с жильем возникают у каждого второго студента. When entering a university, all recruits would like to grab a place in a student dormitory, because the fee for it is an order of magnitude lower than in rented apartments. But, if you can’t celebrate student housewarming? There is only one way out - to rent housing. Then the next question begs, how to save money if a student is not able to afford such a luxury, especially an extramural one?

The main thing is not to rush and soberly assess the situation in the real estate market. Do not rush to the first offers of apartments that realtors offer. You can search for housing on your own. It is quite lucky to find an apartment or room at an affordable price and within walking distance. You can live in an apartment and four. This is not only more fun and safer, but also decently saves your monthly budget.

12. Copy wisely

Any training is not complete without lectures and additional material. But, a photocopy can also fly a pretty penny, if you often copy everything in a row. Therefore, the use of gadgets here as never before will be appropriate. Simply photographing or scanning the material will reduce material costs and eliminate paperwork.

14. Find a job

Many students already during their studies begin their careers. A part-time job is an effective way to replenish your budget, especially if you are a specialist in any service. Use your knowledge to its full potential, but always be wary of choosing a temporary job. Your task is to earn, not lose.

15. Be healthy

Maintaining a sports form, and as a result, a healthy body will help to significantly save on medicines in the cold period. Sport is not only health, but also a good habit for life.

Thus, the student can save money on their own. And do not despair and fold your arms during periods of financial difficulty. Finding a way out and acting is the guarantee that you will not remain a “poor” student, but become successful and entrepreneurial in the future.

If you are interested in the topic of savings, then perhaps this article will come in handy.