Are smart people better at saving money

10 easy ways in which you can save money as a student without becoming a pesky stinker

by Tim Reichel

"Cool, you can save 5 cents there!"

No, not cool at all. At all. Not. Cool.

Yes: as a student, your budget is limited. If you have not just won the lottery, can work 20 hours a week on the side or are subsidized by mom and dad, you have to make sure that your expenses stay within limits. Saving is the order of the day.

But please correct.

Because if your saving efforts degenerate into stinginess and morbid nit-counting, you end up with only a few stingy euros in addition, but in return you have become an unsympathetic curmudgeon who sets the wrong priorities in his life. And you don't want to be like that.

You will not realize the greatest savings by comparing prices for hours, but with the right strategy and taking advantage of the advantages of your student status. When you understand that, saving is no longer that complicated - and that's why I've put together 10 simple tips for you in this article that can give you the right impetus.


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10 simple tricks you can use to save money while studying

I find unnecessary waste and excessive living beyond one's own means terrible. But honestly: I'm not a saver. I will probably never be one either. But if things can be saved through smart actions and sustainable management, I'll be there. Especially when it's about more than money.

Here are 10 tips that will help you do just that.


# 1 take advantage of student discounts

If you are enrolled as a student at a German university, you will receive a special social status. I don't mean people think you aren't working, lie around lazy all day and get drunk by noon.

What I mean by that is that you fall into an economically preferred category: You get a student discount in many situations. And you can use this discount for admission tickets, restaurant vouchers, software and many other things. So get in the habit of asking about a possible student discount before making major purchases or at events.


# 2 car sharing

Do you have your own car Do you commute to university? Or do you often travel home on weekends and don't like taking the train? Then you can save a lot of money with car sharing and at the same time something for your personal CO2-Balance do. In addition, you not only protect the environment: You are also expanding your network, meeting new people and honing your organizational skills.

A few matching platforms:


# 3 Eat in the cafeteria

Cafeteria food sometimes has a bad reputation - almost always wrongly. The dishes from your cafeteria must meet strict requirements, adhere to nutritional guidelines and are financially subsidized.

Before you whistle in any kind of fast food or grab expensive ready meals, you can eat better in your cafeteria. But please compare the selection and take a look at the offers from the different price categories.


# 4 use the semester ticket

In addition to the discounts offered by your student ID (see Tip # 1), many universities also give you a semester ticket. Strictly speaking, you have to pay for this ticket because the costs are included in your semester fee - but many students hardly use this “free ticket” for public transport.

So make it clear to yourself that you can travel free of charge by bus and train within a certain area. You can also save on long trips with your semester ticket because you can combine the free routes with paid tickets.


# 5 Take advantage of the free offer from your university library

In addition to the usual book rental, many university libraries also offer additional services, which are provided for you either free of charge or very cheaply.

You can then, for example, download free e-books, use software or subscribe to free magazines. Some bibs also offer free training courses on topics such as “literature research” or “scientific citation”.


# 6 take advantage of trial subscriptions

As a student you are in an interesting target group for many companies. You are a budding academic and therefore a potential high earner. That means: Many companies find winning you as a customer pretty bold.

Therefore, you will be bombarded with offers for free trial subscriptions, free tests or non-binding introductory talks. And there is nothing against taking full advantage of these offers. Please only pay attention to the data you have given and do not forget to cancel in good time if you conclude trial contracts.


# 7 work with comparison portals

It makes sense to use comparison portals, especially for larger investments or regular expenses such as electricity costs and insurance premiums. Doing your own research without support would be far too time-consuming for you and never complete.

Suitable providers for this would be:


# 8 buy used

Actually, I prefer to buy new; and so I'm in good company in Germany. But in some areas it makes much more sense financially (and also morally) to buy used items.

In this way, you can save a lot of money, especially with cars, electrical goods or furniture, and at the same time build a counterbalance to our throwaway and wasteful society.


# 9 Community investment

Based on the previous tip, you can think about bringing a friend on board for really large investments (car, TV, washing machine).

You then share the expenses and use the purchased item together. Together you can afford a higher standard of living without eating up the costs. Please just make sure to put the ownership claims down in writing beforehand so that there are no disputes later.


# 10 Reduce additional costs with automation

Many digital innovations that at first glance look like technical gadgets can lead to nice savings. For example, you can run your heating on timers and control it via your smartphone.

In this way you save a lot of heating costs and have your apartment nice and warm exactly when you get up in the morning or come home in the evening. In addition, it not only saves money but also energy - and that is actually more important.


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Classic saving is not my thing. I find this dogged turning over every euro twice terribly unrelaxed and not really worth striving for.

But if, through clever strategies, time, energy and environmental pollution can be saved; if savings form networks and friendships develop, then I think saving is great. And then I like to do it.

Therefore I recommend two leitmotifs:

  • How much time and effort does the savings measure cost me?
  • Do I save anything besides money?

Only when you start to look at your holistic efforts and evaluate your time can you correctly classify your savings. And if you cannot answer the second question with a “yes”, you really have to be sure that the monetary gain is worthwhile for you and is justifiable.

Then saving is cool. Correct. Cool.