Daily expenses at university can be overwhelming as you need to spend to have most of the things done. If you don’t calculate the way you spend, you will find yourself spending so much money which would be saved if well planned. The unfortunate bit is, most of the students don’t have a job that earns them a penny so whatever solution there is to cut costs is worth trying. Here are the various ways you can minimize your spending at university.
Rent near campus
Renting far from campus will mean spending a lot on transport. Get a house near campus where you can walk to and fro. In most cases these places appear expensive but if you are to calculate the money you would spend in transport on a daily, renting a nearby house would be cheaper.
Patrick Kiiza a hostel custodian at Nkumba University notes that hostels are cheaper than rentals because you don’t pay during holidays yet your property is safe, however this is not the case with rentals, you need to pay during holidays and hung around to protect your property, for this reason, he recommends hostels.
Write your notes
Gerald Asaba a financial expert notes that buying notes takes most of student’s money at the university. Lecturers give notes almost every day and spending that much is a terrible financial trait therefore you need alternatives, spend less but have the notes. This can be avoided by writing your own notes. You can do summaries of the notes in case the pamphlet is too big or alternatively share costs with friends and exchange them in turns to read.
“In this dot com era, you can also use your smart phones to capture all the notes by camera, this will save you the trouble of writing or buying notes,” he adds.
Food is a need and will take most of your money. Instead of buying food every day, cook your own. You can choose to cook once both lunch and supper to save the charcoal or gas and time. Adopt buying food in bulk at the beginning of the semester this could include; cooking oil, rice, Irish potatoes, beans, gnuts among other nonperishable foods. This will save you from daily expenditure of buying food and borrowing in cases you have no money.
Eat from cheap places
Betty Kakyo a third year student at Makerere University says that if it’s about buying food mostly for those ‘commuting’, opt for cheaper places, every university has a spot where food is at a relatively cheaper price, for example Makerere University has Kikumi Kikumi, this will help you save a relative amount of money.
“Most students go to expensive places because of peer pressure, but in most cases the food served is the same like one in cheap places you will find yourself saving a difference of Ushs 2000-5000 depending on the type of food and restaurant ” she notes.
Walk to campus
This could work better for people commuting or those renting far. Jackson Oketch a first year student at Makerere University notes that walking to campus saves money that you could use for other things like buying notes.
“My friend and I walk from kamwokya to Makerere every morning, we discovered shortcuts that we take and reach University with ease, having a walk partner helps me get through the road with company, it’s healthy and costless,” he notes.
Have indoor fun or with university facility
Asaba adds that most students spend so much money on outings like music shows, cinemas among others yet you can have equal fun in your room or using university facilities like swimming pools, basketball courts among others, you can also buy the latest movies and watch them in your room with friends other than spending so much in cinemas.
Sometimes students don’t know the activities going on in universities and for lack of that information, go out and spend a lot. Universities have clubs and programs, like at churches, mosques, football clubs, that can occupy you and are free of charge.
For those who can’t avoid going out, go to happening places around the university that allow students in at no cost.
Avoid friends who are spendthrifts
Sometimes we are who we are because of the kind of people we interact or hung out with therefore your friends will determine who you are. Avoid friends who are too extravagant because they will lure you into big budgets. Avoid expensive places like hotels, bars, hostels in the name of matching with your friends.
“I had to leave my high school friend because he had a group of wealthy friends who bought drinks in turns every weekend. When it’s your treat, you find yourself spending more than Ushs 100,000 which was a lot of money,” Paul Kasozi a graduate of Uganda Christian University narrates.
Kasozi notes that most of them ended up spending their tuition fee in bars just to keep up with the friends’ standards.
Sharing rooms at university will help you cut rent costs. You can be two, three or even four depending on how big the room is. Amos Kagwa a third year student at UCU shares a room of Ushs 150,000 a month with his three other friends. He is able to spend less on rent as compared to renting the entire house alone.
However he notes that “it’s important to know the characters of the people you are to rent with to avoid conflicts in future, some people are hard to stay with and since you will be sharing everything, you need to choose your roommates wisely.”