As a college student, there are several ways and tips for saving money on entertainment expenses.
Money management tips for college students, personally, I am not the type of girl who spends hundreds of dollars on perfume, clothes, or makeup every month. My money vanishes when I spend it on entertainment. I enjoy going to movies, baseball games, and live theater performances. I watch Twitch gamers, play video games in my spare time, and read a book every night before bed. I enjoy going to concerts with my friends and staying in to watch something on Disney+ when I don't feel like going out.
How to effectively save money as a student
All of these costs add up quickly. Here's a simple example: I have three roommates, and after a month of living together, we realized we were all paying for a Netflix subscription even though we only had one TV. In addition, we have four Prime accounts, three Hulu accounts, two HBO Max accounts, and a Disney+ account. All told, we pay more than $1,500 per year for streaming services alone for our apartment!
This, in turn, contributes to a larger issue: streaming fatigue. With Peacock and Paramount+ and all the other streaming services joining the standard five of Prime, Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, and Disney+, there are so many options now. With so many options, deciding where to spend your money is exhausting.
When streaming first became popular, it was a fantastic way for people to cut their cable bill. Catie Hogan, a young adult financial advisor and associate financial planner at Element Financial Group, said, "It was a great alternative for people who weren't watching cable." But, slowly but steadily, we've cut cable, but we've replaced it with a million subscriptions, and we're not saving any money.
|how to effectively save money as a student|
And as college students, we don't have much money to begin with! which only makes matters worse. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, people under the age of 25 earn $2,500 per month and spend $1,730 of that on housing, food, clothing, and transportation. More than $100 of the remaining $770 was spent on entertainment. That represents a sizable portion of the monthly discretionary budget. Fortunately, there are ways to spend less money while still having all of the fun!
There are many questions about providing university students the most money to build a successful future:
- How can I save money on college recreation and entertainment?
- How much does a college student spend on entertainment per month?
- How much do college students spend on entertainment per year?
- How much should a college student spend on expenses?
5 tips to save money as a college student
How can college students save money? Here are five ways to save money on entertainment as a college student:
1. Make and follow a budget.
Budgeting is one of the most useful tools in the arsenal of any fiscally responsible person. Making and sticking to a budget allows you to keep track of your expenses and, when done correctly, can be used to plan for savings, debt repayment, and other goals.
The first step in creating a budget is deciding what goes into it. Make a list of all planned and necessary expenses, such as rent, car payments, groceries, tuition, and so on. Then, make a list of all incoming money, including jobs, scholarships, grants, parental assistance, and any other way money ends up in your wallet.
Create the budget from there. There are numerous useful tools available online, ranging from templates to instruction articles. Determine which one works best for you. Google Sheets and Excel are two of my personal favorites. For the past five years, I've created and maintained a budget using the built-in tools in spreadsheet software.
"Make a note of everything you spend and keep it in a spreadsheet," said Catherine Landers, a graduate student at the University of Georgia studying marketing research. "Being aware of how much you spend is part of spending less."
2. Make a list of all your entertainment expenses, as well as what you pay for but don't use.
It's okay if you're not ready to go through the process of creating a budget in its entirety. Budgeting can be a difficult undertaking, but it is essential for financial security as one enters adulthood. Determine all entertainment expenditures and discover what you're paying for that you don't utilize on a lesser scale. It's a lot simpler to plan around such expenditures and include them in your monthly payments, as well as to cut out anything superfluous, if you know precisely how much you're spending every month.
Make a list of everything you subscribe to, whether it's streaming, periodicals, or something else entirely. " Make a list of everything you have, and then order it from the things you appreciate the most to the things you don't even remember having, "Hogan advised.
Identify everything that may be classified as entertainment, not only streaming services such as Netflix or Hulu. Put everything that you deem entertaining or enjoyable on this list, including music, gaming, reading, and athletic activities.
"I don't follow a budget, but I do keep track of my expenditures," said Colin Toth, a PhD student at the University of Texas at Arlington doing marketing research. "I was taking a personal finance class, and they stressed the need to keep track of your expenditures and understand the statistics."
And, for budgeting purposes, assume you're paying for these on a monthly basis. Maybe you're not going to a concert, a live musical, or a movie this month. Perhaps the next video game or book you want to read won't be available until next month. However, if you plan to spend that money every month, you'll be ready for it rather than having to work around it when the opportunity does arise.
I have friends who had no idea they were paying for two different music subscriptions, as well as friends who pay for streaming services they only use for one show. Friends of mine will pay for movie theater subscriptions and concert tickets only to ask someone else if they want to go because they don't have time or don't want to go. In my freshman year, I had season tickets to my university's football and basketball games and sold all but four of them because I didn't want to go. That's a lot of money squandered!
As a student, consider what shows you watch the most frequently and which platforms have them, Landers advised. "Determine what you use the most and spend your money on that."
Once you've identified the types of entertainment you spend money on, it's much easier to cut back on those expenses. Choose one music service, whether it's Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Music, or something else. If you aren't going to every game or show, consider purchasing individual tickets instead of a season pass. Do you only watch "Seinfeld" or "The Office" on Netflix? Consider canceling the subscription and instead saving for a box set or digital copy. "It's very easy to lose track of where our money is going," Hogan said. Have an inventory done every six months to a year. Determine which subscriptions you use and which you do not. "
Knowledge is power, and knowing what you spend allows you to limit what you spend.
3. Look for student-only deals, discounts, and unconventional ways to save. 4.
Everyone knows that college students have, well, no money. As a result, corporate executives frequently take pity on us and do not charge us the same exorbitant fees as their adult counterparts. Personally, I am aware that my university provides discounts on Hulu and HBO Max, as well as free Xfinity to students who live on campus.
My friends and I enjoy going to the movies, and we've seen seven different films at our favorite theater in the last month. If we'd paid for tickets each time, we'd have spent at least $125 each, not including parking, popcorn, and other expenses.
However, we did not spend that much. Why? We all joined the AMC A-List. For $25 per month, we can see up to 12 movies, including IMAX, 3D, and other special effects. It's paid for once we've seen two movies. It was SO worth it.
Look for these types of discounts, particularly education or student discounts, which can often save you more than half the price of the service. Look for bundles such as Hulu, Disney+, and ESPN+. "The first service I received was Hulu with Spotify," Landers explained. "Take advantage of bundles and your status as a student to receive these discounts."
To save a few dollars, consider using a service with ads rather than one without. Look for subscriptions or season ticket packages that can help you save money on things you do on a regular basis. Phone plans that include streaming or music services are another way to save: If you're already paying for a cell phone, chances are you can upgrade your plan to include Netflix, Disney+, Apple Music, or a slew of other services for much less than the cost of paying for each of these things separately.
Big things like this can add up to big savings. Unconventional methods are your best friend, and discounts can be found anywhere if you look hard enough!
4. Go to the library!
This is possibly my favorite—and most important—tip on the list. The best discount in the world is one hundred percent off. Visit the library; it's free! Nothing beats not having to pay for something as a broke college student.
I'll admit that I haven't been to a library in a long time. There's definitely a stigma that it's something you do as a child, "Toth explained. "I suppose I still think of it that way." It's difficult for me to see it as a resource for someone my age. "
Library cards do not expire for a long time, are free to obtain, and provide access to hundreds of books, games, movies, CDs, and other items. I've frequently rented a DVD copy of a movie rather than purchasing a digital or DVD copy of it. I'm a voracious reader, and if I bought all of the books I get from the library, the bill would run into the hundreds of dollars. There are even video games for consoles available!
All libraries now have limits on the number of items that can be checked out at the same time. However, these limits are typically high and not as much of a deterrent as they could be. In addition, an increasing number of libraries are eliminating late fees in order to encourage patrons to use the services they offer.
Seriously, as a student, the public library is your best friend when it comes to saving money on entertainment.
5. Prioritize value-based entertainment spending.
"You'll figure out what your fixed expenses are." You must pay your rent, utilities, and so on. However, you can carve out a discretionary budget, "Hogan explained. "With that discretionary money, consider what brings you joy and what you spend your money on to improve your life."
Instead of attempting to set a fixed limit on how much you can spend on certain items, try to concentrate on why you're purchasing them. Will the experience of reading that book or playing that video game bring you happiness and excitement?
Also, look for services that provide additional benefits. Toth explained that he got the Amazon Prime Video that came with Prime Student because it's not just a single benefit of TV. I also get free shipping, which I see as more of a value offering from Amazon than Netflix or other services.
Concentrating on why you're purchasing something can help you save money. Personally, when I consider the reasons for purchasing something, I can save money if I take a little more time to consider why I want to get something.
Hogan suggests asking yourself a few questions, such as, "What is it about which you are passionate?" What is it that you truly enjoy doing, that brings you joy and happiness? "
"Maximize your discretionary budget on the things that will bring you the most value and joy," Hogan advised. It makes no difference how large your discretionary budget is. I want you to make the most of the happiness it brings you. Reduce spending on things that don't add value to your life. "