Studying is exciting and fun at best. However, there are always costs that can vary depending on individual circumstances. The following article will tell you what costs students will receive at the start of the semester and how they can effectively save their wallet.
What comes financially to students at the start of the semester?
1. Cost of accommodation
The start of the first semester is associated with a move for many young people. They leave the parental nest and need accommodation at the study site. Not only the rent must be secured, also the deposit (up to three months ‘rent) and a possible brokerage commission (on average two months’ rent) charge your own bank account. But that’s not all: The new home must of course be set up – with furniture, home textiles and last but not least with coffee maker, toaster and Co. Who already owns the most important furniture and household items, must invest in a move – ie in a van and in Helpers, if not enough family members and friends can jump in.
2. Mobility costs
Every student has to pay a so-called semester fee per month. The costs for the Semesterticket are usually already included. If you want to do without public transport, you need an alternative, but that too comes at a cost. A good bike costs several hundred euros, and regular maintenance and spare parts are not in vain. With the scooter, students are faster and more energy-efficient on the road, but here, too, can be expected with high acquisition costs and consequential costs for insurance, taxes and gasoline. The same applies to the car. If it comes to an elaborate repair, many students also quickly reach their financial limits.
3. Insurance costs
Even if students travel by public transport or bicycle, they should not completely forego insurance. A private liability insurance is recommended to be financially secure if a mishap happens. At least as important is the household contents insurance, which can be taken in a fire or even a burglary in the obligation.
4. Broadcasting contribution
What used to be known as the GEZ fee has been broadcasting since 2013. Since then, a flat rate has to be paid for each apartment – regardless of whether TV or radio is actually used. It is positive that the flat rate per apartment only once to pay. Students who are still living with their parents do not have to pay if the parents already pay the fee. Also shared apartments are only asked once, so that the roommates can share the costs.
5. Costs for computer and internet connection
Without internet connection, almost nothing happens in modern student life. Even enrollment and feedback are often exclusively online, which is why students need at least a smartphone with access to the Internet. However, this alone is not enough in the long run: At the latest when an extensive housework has to be done, a separate computer or a laptop is essential.
6. Cost of daily necessities
The cost of daily necessities is underestimated by many students. These mainly include the costs of food and toiletries such as shampoo and toothpaste. The free time and any hobbies want to be financed. Watching an exciting movie in the cinema, having a fun day out with friends at the amusement park or on the fairgrounds and relaxing evenings in the pub – all this costs money, which is why students should always include the cost of daily necessities in their calculations.
7. Cost of books and study materials
Many learning content is available online today. Nevertheless, students can not completely forego books, and especially specialist literature is often very expensive. In addition, there are the costs of learning materials such as folders, blocks, pens and in some degree programs also for specific utilities such as scientific calculators, technical drawing instruments or software. Especially for students who usually have little money available, these purchases can be a major burden.
The best savings tips for a cost-effective start to the semester
1. Reduce the cost of daily necessities
With a few tricks, students can easily reduce the cost of daily living. This already starts with daily shopping: It is worthwhile to study the brochures of the nearest supermarkets and discounters and to access offers. Noodles, rice and other long-lasting products can be safely bought in advance to last until the next special offer. In addition, it is always advisable to buy fruit and vegetables according to the season – and only as much as is actually consumed. Remain in spite of well considered shopping leftovers, these can be used to a soup or even freeze. Not only do students save money, they also ensure a healthy, balanced diet. Another effective way to save money is to buy loyalty cards. The accumulated points can often be converted into vouchers, which are then purchased at the respective store. Last but not least: cooking yourself is always cheaper than using a delivery service or visiting a snack bar! Those who have little time for cooking during the week cook best and freeze themselves small meals, which then only have to be warmed up in the microwave. In addition, students always have the opportunity to eat in the cafeteria of their university for little money and still good.
2. Cheap living
The rent is also the biggest cost for a student. Those who can not afford their own apartment, apply best for a place in the dorm. Student residences have numerous benefits, as students live conveniently and close to campus. The additional costs are usually already included in the rent, and often even the Internet connection is free. In addition, students find relatively easy access to fellow students here. However, it is in dormitories in the evenings and on the weekends loud and chaotic – who does not like that, in a shared apartment may be in better hands, because here are usually strict rules that must be followed by all roommates, including parties. In any case, living in dormitories and shared apartments is always cheaper than renting your own apartment – especially in the large university cities.
3. Set up your own empire cost-effectively
The first own apartment, a private room in a shared flat or in the dorm is nice – but not worth much without matching furniture. Unless students are provided with furniture by relatives and friends, they should buy used furniture. The flea market is ideal, because here you can always beat great bargains. Alternatively, students will find in the classifieds in the newspaper or on the Internet. Even the regular view of the black board at the university can be quite worthwhile.
3. Use student discounts
What many students do not know: their student status enables them to spare their wallets time and again. Thus, many restaurants and theaters offer a student discount. All that is needed is a valid student card. In addition, students can often benefit from student status at cultural events, in the swimming pool, when issuing a library card, and when purchasing software.
4. Be mobile
As already mentioned, the costs for the semester ticket at many universities are already included in the semester fee. If you want to be on the road without having to keep an eye on the timetable, you can get on a bike or on a scooter. Only a few students can afford a car of their own – unless the parents control something. More and more students are also car sharing – either at a local car sharing provider or privately with a good friend. However, anyone wishing to buy and maintain a car collectively should specify in advance who may use the vehicle in which cases and how to divide the costs of petrol, insurance, taxes and repairs.
5. Buy used books
The cheapest way to use the books necessary for your studies are libraries. Each university has a university library, but city libraries also often provide important literature. If a book needs to be purchased, we recommend a look at the bulletin board or a search query in an online student forum. In some universities there are also bookstores specializing in the purchase and sale of used specialist literature. But beware: In many subjects, literature is outdated very quickly. Students should always make sure they are up to date before purchasing a book.
6. Use trial subscriptions
Especially students should be interested in the current events of the day and not only inform themselves via the Internet, but also read one or the other newspaper. However, newspapers are just as expensive as magazines. It makes sense to use regular subscription subscriptions to receive a newspaper for a certain period of time for free. Often, students also receive an attractive student discount when they sign up for a newspaper subscription. Important: For abovementioned earnings always keep an eye on the notice periods, so that the bargain is no cost trap!
7. Insurance, Electricity and Co .: Use comparison portals
Whether electricity, DSL or home insurance: The use of comparison portals is almost always worthwhile. Here students can compare providers with just a few clicks and find the cheapest rate for them. The same applies to the conclusion of a new mobile phone contract – in many cases even a current smartphone is included in the contract.
Studying is expensive, no question. Nevertheless, if you make good money with your money, use discount campaigns and comparison portals, and use your student card whenever possible, you can save your own bank account and do not have to starve while you are still studying.