6 Strategies to Surviving School on a Shoe-string Budget

All fingers are not equal so they say especially with growing wealth disparity today. There are students who are barely scraping by in school. That being said, affluent or not, there is a need to carefully manage available resources.

As a student, I remember how many of us survived on African burger (bread and akara). Imagine joining a very long queue to buy akara every morning. Then there was the time I was dissed that beans will soon grow out of my mouth since it’s what I always cooked. It’s beans we are cooking we did not kill pesin.

Going through school on a shoe-string budget is a life skill in itself. Knowing your purse and planning accordingly is something that everyone needs to learn. You never know, the extra cash may help with other personal development or starting a side hustle.

Here are some money-saving strategies you to consider;

1. Pack food from home

One upside to schooling close to home is the option to easily get food. When at home you can deplete the house stock when going to school. Even if it’s only garri available you’ll understand that even garri can save lives during trying times. 

2. Cook your own meals

In line with the above, cooking your own meals save you money and you eat better. I had one friend in school who loved cooking his meals. You get to eat your fill while avoiding foods which you can’t tell under what conditions they were prepared. Just be lucky to not have that friend that always visits when you just finish cooking.

Use your head

3. Split the rent, stay on campus

Pretty basic but worth mentioning nonetheless. If I’ll add anything is to choose a house within your means or stay in the school hostel if you can stomach it. Staying a campus and limiting your extracurricular activity to the immediate environment can also save you the money you’d have spent on transportation.

4. Use the library, borrow textbooks when you can

Count yourself lucky if your school isn’t hell bent on making you buy all the photocopied handouts in the world. You will save a lot of cash by default if your school is not on this table. 

There are some textbooks you are better off using from the library, getting the e-book version for less/free, getting from past students, or borrowing from a friend. It’s a bit tricky but if you read ahead of time and plan well you can make it work. 

That being said, I am not in any endorsing not owning your own textbooks.

5. Buy quality clothes and maintain them

That suit you spent good money on may just be your saving grace when you start doing multiple presentations. Get good clothes and maintain them. You don’t have to buy two boxes full of clothes to look fly. There are numerous blog posts on how to maintain a lean wardrobe and still slay.

If you’re fashion conscious and love to change your clothes every semester, this strategy is not for you.

6. Consider staying with a relative, friend (but don’t be a pain the backside)

If you have a friend, or relative who is kind enough to give you a roof to stay for some time then you can consider this option. But hey, don’t be a freeloader and don’t start thinking of being one of the many unmarried couples we see in higher institutions these days. Your respect and dignity is more important.

And yes, don’t be a pain in the backside at the same time. Pay your fair share of utility, feeding expenses or making a contribution towards the rent.

I’m pretty sure there are more ideas for getting through school on a shoe-string budget. I look forward to reading your suggestions in the comments.

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