Skills That Can Save Students Money
Oct 04, 2011
Paying for little things like oil changes and clothing alterations might not seem like a big deal individually, but they add up. If you're a college student on a tight budget, every cent counts. But if you take the time to learn a few skills, you might end up saving yourself quite a bit of money.
More Than a Payoff
Learning how to do things for yourself rather than paying others to do them for you is a good idea in most cases. Aside from the fact that almost anyone can learn how to do certain simple tasks, it's a good precedent to set while you're still young. Taking on a challenge and ending up with a multifaceted, tangible benefit to yourself is something that will boost your confidence and make you eager to try new things in the future. Here are some money-saving skills that you can learn with just a little bit of effort:
Learning how to cook for yourself is not only something that you may end up finding highly enjoyable, it's also something that will ultimately save you some dollars. The cost of ingredients and even the electricity or gas it takes to make a specific dish typically adds up to a much lower cost than the same meal at a restaurant.
Sewing seems like an old-fashioned and ultra-feminine activity, but it's actually a very useful skill that can be applied in many situations. Plus, learning how to sew your own buttons, patch your own rips and shorten your own hems will save you from having to pay someone else to do it. If you don't know anyone who can teach you how to sew, look into classes at local craft stores and community centers. The small initial investment will pay off in the long run.
3. Minor Car Fixes
Being a car owner requires constant expenditure and effort. Whether it's getting the oil changed, the wipers changed or the windshield washing fluid replaced, there's usually something to be done. Imagine the money you could save if you learned how to do stuff like this yourself. Oil changes in particular require a little bit of time to learn to do totally right, and you'll probably need to purchase some equipment to do it properly. But ultimately, you're not going to have to spend as much changing your own oil as you will getting someone else to do it for $20 or more every few months.
This is another activity that can end up being a fun hobby in addition to something that will save you money. Starting a garden can end up saving you quite a bit on vegetables and fruits that can be expensive at peak season. Seeds are inexpensive, and many communities have tool libraries where you can borrow the equipment you'll need without spending a single penny. Growing your own tomatoes and strawberries will take some effort, but you'll end up with produce that is a much higher quality than what you'll find in a grocery store.
5. Deal Scouting
It may seem like a simple thing to find a good deal on a product, but it's actually something that can take some practice and finesse. Sometimes, you might have to judge a situation to see whether negotiation is appropriate. Learning how to find yourself the best deal on expensive products is a skill that will pay off big time.
Your brain is your most helpful tool. But smartphones are pretty helpful as well.