student accommodation
The cost of renting a student accommodation can take a big chunk out of your expenses, so consider these hacks to save some money. Source: Shutterstock

College students are always looking for ways to save money. One way to stick to your budget is to reduce the amount spent on your student accommodation.

In certain cities, the cost of student housing is skyrocketing, making up a large chunk of a students’ expenses. This is why many local students today are staying at home, particularly if they live near to campus, to save money on rent.

For international students, this isn’t an option — you must be creative and smart in how you spend on your student accommodation and everything else that comes with it.

Here are some ideas on how you can save on your student accommodation:

Look for free or used furniture

You’re only going to live in your student accommodation for a couple of years, so why splurge on brand-new furniture?

Make use of websites such as Freecycle or Craig’s List (depending on where you’re currently studying), or join Facebook groups where you can either buy used furniture or request stuff that people are giving away for free.

You can also reach out to international student associations that can connect you to students who are graduating soon and are keen to get rid of their furniture.

In the summertime, many people hold yard or garage sales too, where you can find some hidden gems for next to nothing!

Commute to class

Typically, the closer your student accommodation is to campus, the more expensive it will be. If you don’t need to live within walking distance from your university, you can always choose a different neighbourhood where rent is cheaper.

Before settling on an option, you’ll want to ensure that it’s a safe area and is accessible public transport for convenience. You can also consider getting a bicycle (look for a used one!) to get around.

Split the rent with others

It goes without saying that splitting the rent between four people in a two-bedroom apartment is always cheaper than two.

If you don’t mind sharing a room, this is an ideal way to save money, not just on rent, but utilities and furniture too.

Some international students have turned their living room into an extra bedroom, so there are ways to be creative about this.

Just make sure you’re not violating your lease agreement if it states that there can’t be more renters than agreed in a single home.

Save energy, save money

Your gadgets and light bulbs could be racking up your electricity bill without you even knowing, especially devices with heating elements (irons, hairdryers, ovens, space heaters) which take up more electricity than others.

Consider buying energy-efficient lightbulbs or LED lightbulbs that use 75% less energy than incandescent lighting, and last much longer too.

Another simple way to cut down on your electricity or gas bill is to make sure to turn off all your lights, AC or heater when you leave a room or your home.

If you’re not sure how to calculate your watt usage, check out this simple guide on energy consumption.

Jazz up your student accommodation with home projects

If you’re nifty, you can DIY your own home decor items or furniture using a little dash of creativity. For example, you can change the fabric on an old used chair to give it a fresh look, or fix a broken dining table.

If you’re looking for ideas to jazz up your student accommodation on a budget, this article on Buzzfeed has some nifty ideas that won’t break the bank.

You can also browse through Pinterest for ideas and inspiration for DIY projects. You’ll not only save money, but enjoy some relaxing creative time as well. After all, it’s always satisfying to make or fix something with your two hands.