Most law students worry about how they will pay for law school when they start their first year. In addition to tuition costs, the law student lifestyle can also be quite expensive.
Whether you need it to pay for your apartment rentals, student loans, food, clothing expenses, or occasional leisure expenses, you need money. With these costs in mind, strict management is needed to cover even the basic needs.
The following are some of the best ways to save on law school essentials.
Compared to the regular workforce, students have fewer income opportunities available to them. It is therefore wise to adopt a less expensive lifestyle and start saving funds when able. Below are 5 ways to help you save money while attending law school.
Maintaining a strict budget can mean the difference between adding to your debt and finally becoming debt-free. See where you might be overspending by making a list of your expenses and income. Every month, review that budget and adjust it as needed, until it is easier to stick to.
It’s a refreshing feeling to know where your money for a particular day went and how much you saved in comparison to the allocated budget for that day. Keep a check and balance of your money on a regular basis. If you don’t know already, there are great budgeting apps that might help if you want to track your expenses through your phone.
When you get admitted to a school, make sure to check out the available resources they have for students. For example, look into student discounts if you’re looking to buy a new laptop. Also, check if your school has a gym or other health facilities on campus. Working out or doing some regular exercise is an excellent way to stay healthy and balanced during law school.
Nothing is better than free stuff, especially if you’re a law student. Visit your school’s law library to find out if they have free supplemental study aids in print or digital format. In the long run, you can save money by not paying for study aid subscriptions that may not be any better than the free ones available.
Expenses for law school textbooks can add up quickly. Consider doing your own research online instead of purchasing from the bookstore at your school. There are websites that offer great deals on used textbooks — among them are Half Price Books, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and BookDeal.com. It is even possible to borrow textbooks from 2L and 3L students you meet at Student’s Admission Day.
Is your credit or debit account history riddled with monthly payouts to different streaming services like Netflix or Amazon Prime? Perhaps it’s time to cut down on them and instead divert those to educational streams indeed like Udemy and Coursera.
Not only do you cut down on your expenses, but you also will be able to devote more time for self-development skills by enrolling in educational streams or other basic bills.
Compared to real estate properties, a car’s value doesn’t appreciate or increase overtime. In fact, the moment a brand new car is released to its owner, the depreciation of its value begins.
According to an article by Business Insider, on average, SUVs lose 51.6% of their value over five years. With proper maintenance, a second hand (used) car will give you the same value for a much lower price.
If for example, a typical weekday meal at a restaurant will cost $10 to $30, three meals of that price per day will total to something between $30 and $90. That’s $600 to $1800 per month (5 days a week, 4 weeks a month).
In contrast, cooking your own meals will be much cheaper than eating out. This will dramatically affect the expenses and savings you get. Not only do you save money by cooking your own food, but you also guarantee yourself that your food was safely cooked.
“The more you spend, the more you save”
This notion is what you may typically see during sales and promo runs and even during Black Friday sales. Initially, such a notion conveys that the more you spend on discounted purchases, the more you save. However, it triggers the tendency for some law students to buy more, and if you have a credit card, such a tendency grows exponentially. This leads to more nails in the coffin of our debt crisis.
This is much worse for those students who are easy targets of the consumerism marketing plots. When we allow ourselves to be sucked into lifestyles we cannot afford, our financial capacity tends to dip beyond what we even imagined it could.
To sum it up, keeping track of expenses and prioritizing which items you should spend on will create a better financial situation for you as a law student. A better financial situation means you can focus all your energy on training to become the best legal professional you can be.