Thursday, September 12, 2013

How students can save money while learning

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Let us face it. University students spend a great deal of money.

With over 50,000 students who sat last year’s Form Four exam qualifying to join local universities, there is a need to spend wisely in order to avoid extra charges and help save your money.

Food, books, numerous assignments demanding printing and notes to photocopy — these expenses could leave one in a “too much month left at the end of the money” situation.

If students know how to save or make a penny while in college, then they could make substantial savings.

Quite often, new students end up wasting or mismanaging their funds in their first year of school before learning the hard way to be wise spenders.

Reducing Expenses

According to a Students Organisation of Nairobi University (SONU) leader Isa Mohamed Faradere, there are a number of ways in which students could use to keep their expenses at bare minimum.

“Some students have formed groups of five individuals who contribute Sh3,000 each and set that aside for food. This eases the burden of covering the cost of food alone,” said Mr Mohamed.

If students know how to save or make a penny while in college, then they could make substantial savings. PHOTO|FILE.   NATION
Mr Sheud Nurow, a student pursuing a business degree at the University of Nairobi, agrees and adds that printing and researching could be a lot cheaper if one learnt to use the back-to-back mode of printing.

“You can also instruct the person printing to compress your work and print in a back-to-back style — reducing two pages to one,” he notes.

Other students have become enterprising, making money from printing assignments for their colleagues.

There are many other ways in which a student can save money.

For example, through student discounts. One of the many benefits of being a student is that you get money off on many deals, including movie tickets, trips, and electronic devices.

African Spice Safaris, for example, offers special rates for students from Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania.

When organising events or buying anything, it is important to review student’s offers first and take advantage of discounts.

“We arrange special itineraries for student and school education trips, visits, excursions, safaris, and holidays,” says a statement on the company’s website.

Offers like movie tickets are sold to students at lower prices, but one needs to produce a student ID card to benefit.

Launched in 2010 and instituted by the World Bank in partnership with the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Board of Kenya, the WEZESHA initiative enables university students to buy laptops at Sh9,600 less than their retail price.

Some 42 universities have registered to participate in this initiative which will see learners buy laptops from FoneXpress/Orange, Safaricom, PC World/Airtel, WinComp Services Limited, and Ravenzo/Yu shops and outlets at subsidised prices.

According to Mr Mohammed, there are other ways for a student to save money. For instance, he says one pays less by eating at the university cafes and canteens, but that it is even cheaper to prepare one’s food.

“It is cheaper to cook your own food, although it is time-consuming, but if you cook one meal in the morning, you can store it for supper,” he said, adding that some students from the university have come up with brilliant ways of making money while studying.

“We have students who make chapati and mandazi and sell them to fellow students. This makes work a lot easier for us,” he noted.

Private universities
In private universities, there are programmes that could save money or lead to less spending.

Daystar University corporate affairs manager Charles Kilonzo told Money that the school has programmes that help students cater for school fees while at the same time enable one to acquire skills.

“We have a programme called Work Study that sees students earn up to Sh40,000 per semester in terms of school fees.

This is meant for needy students who have expressed an interest and have proved that they cannot raise enough money to cover their fees,” said Mr Kilonzo.

He said students are posted to departments that correspond with their line of study to ensure that they gain skills that expose them to what to expect in the job market.

“Marketing students who are posted in my department, for example, get hands-on experience on how to handle clients, marketing, and exhibition functions as well as newspaper analyses after which I get to review their work and recommend them for school fees,” he said, adding that these programmes do not interfere with the school timetable as the main priority is the student’s studies.

It is important to ensure that even as one looks to save money, this should not be done at the expense of one’s study. Therefore, balancing one’s timetable is crucial.

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