When you read a newspaper or listen to the news you often hear of student protests, students protesting the high cost of education, the high costs of books, lab time, health insurance, everywhere, in every part of the world.
With the high costs of the higher education, it would benefit the student to study as much as humanely possible, instead of the alcohol induced recent student riots in London Ontario. Studying, making friends for life and networking with fellow students is probably the best experience available before starting living in the working world. Grants, scholarships, ESPs (Education Saving Plans) will cover the cost of much of the total costs, but not everything (food, clothing, housekeeping (cleaning etc), entertainment, travel or transportation) or to put it another way = living expenses.
Apart for the usual cost saving measures of cheap foods, fast foods and junk foods: used text books: used clothing: free entertainment: walking wherever. There doesn’t seem to be much else to do. Following is a list 5 tips to help save money without lowering the quality of life, while at college.
1) FOOD/KITCHEN; A good quality student housing landlord will make available the following kitchen appliances TOASTER OVEN, MICROWAVE and saucepan. The other must have appliance needed to make tasty nutritional foods are SLOW COOKER/CROCKPOT and the fridge. Put the raw food in the slow cooker in the morning its ready in the evening when you get back from class.
2) USING THE SLOW COOKER, open minded and tolerant room-mates have several options to the usual mac & cheese, or can of spaghetti, one student can prepare their own favourite home cooked meal for the whole house, place it into the slow-cooker and turn it on before you go to class. Taking turns, you get variety, less waste, more time to study (3 out of 4 nights someone else is making supper), and left overs can be lunch the day after for the ‘cook of the hour’.
How much can you save? that depends on the meals prepared, but at least $1000.00 each every year. If you pass on the coffee shop and drink coffee from ‘home’ you’ll save even more.
3) CLEANING: LAUNDRY, bathroom & kitchen. Traditional cleaning products are usually high odour chemicals, they don’t necessarily clean any better they just smell like they do.
To cut the costs on cleaning supplies, buy products that can have multi-purpose uses.
Vinegar, lemon juice, salt baking soda and olive oil. These grocery products can cost about $5.00 every 6 months. How to use them? Instructions are on the web.
This type of cleaning products will also improve indoor air quality.
4) ENTERTAINMENT: Free, or really cheap, entertainment is the easiest way to save money,
– Communal Movie Night,
– Card Night – Progressive Euchre, Penuckle night – entrance fee $5
– Weekend Treasure Hunt – walkable or Public Transit,
– Pot Luck BBQ – when you have your Care Package from home,
– Bake Off, make simple foods = candy, cookies, cupcakes,
– Invitation to a game of Murder
– ‘Universal Idol’ (as in Canadian Idol), Karaoke machines are everywhere.
– Computer Game Champion night – the champion wins the kitty which is the $2 entrance fee from each contestant.
– Organize a University Triathlon competition, to be completed over a 6 week period (allowing for people schedules).
5) Have an ‘END OF THE YEAR’ SWAP SHOP, or auction, the graduates not returning next year to auction off their equipment, books, clothing (I am thinking International students here), furnishings, bicycles, etc.
Quality students appreciate living a quality inexpensive college life. Quality student housing owners or landlords respect the tenants, the quality student tenants respect the benefits of living in quality student housing.
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