Going to dental school is demanding and hard enough on its own, but when you add in all the costs associated with housing, grocery shopping, and utility bills, you might start feeling overwhelmed. At a first glance, saving money during dental school seems impossible. However, these money-saving tips will teach any dental student how to pinch those pennies and live more frugally.
1. Make Your Own Food
Juggling with classes, assignments and a part-time job might seem to leave no room for cooking your own food as a dental student. But if you can master a handful of recipes, not only will you be able to make a meal in around 20 minutes, you will also eat healthily and save a lot of cash. Don’t feel daunted if you don’t have any cooking skills. Making the same dishes time and again will help you improve and you’ll learn how to tweak any recipe to your taste.
Use YouYube cooking videos for inspiration and ideas. Check out how to meal prep in advance for an entire week on Sunday evening and you will have a fridge full of delicious food to keep you full and motivated to keep learning. Experiment with affordable spices and herbs that add excellent flavors to any dish: cumin, basil, thyme, parsley, dill and smoked paprika, just to mention a few. Rely on quick meals that can’t go wrong: one-pot pastas, stir fry, oatmeal, salads, and curries are easy to make and are very satisfying.
2. Share Your Apartment with Roommates
Large cities with high rents are bound to leave you penniless if you choose to rent an apartment on your own. There are a plethora of benefits to finding roommates who are also your classmates. You will split the rent as well as the utilities bills and groceries. Besides the financial advantages, roommates can also offer moral support and help you study or revise during exam weeks.
Living in a student house is a good alternative to renting an apartment, especially when the place is very close to the school. Being able to walk to school will save you money on transportation and will give you more free time for studying or working. It also means you can eat lunch at home, saving even more cash.
3. Find a Freelance or Part-Time Online Job
Dental students will find it difficult to go to school and then head to work, but it’s not impossible. If you only have a couple of hours each day to spare, you could look for a part-time online job that allows you to work from the comfort of your own house. There are hundreds of platforms that will pay you to share your skills and knowledge with the world.
If you have a knack for writing, you can write a few articles each week, using your dental experience and knowledge. You can also tutor kids, fill surveys, proofread papers, caption videos or edit photos without having to leave your couch. You can also find work study through your school and financial aid office. Having a job during dental school will also look good on your resume and help you get employer references as well as develop interpersonal skills.
4. Be Mindful of Your Purchases and Expenses
Being frugal and mindful of everything you buy will help you in the long run. It can be easy to get carried away and develop expensive habits. Eating out, ordering drinks with every meal, having a gym membership you rarely use, and attending galas will burn a hole in your pocket and leave you in debt. You can still be social even if you are frugal.
Consider watching a movie at home instead of going to the cinema and paying for the ticket, parking, popcorn and soda. Research every purchase in advance and look for discounts, coupons and sales from other vendors. Don’t give in to impulse purchases that you will regret in two weeks’ time. And, most importantly, don’t let others pressure you into spending your money recklessly. Peer pressure is real and it could make you want to splurge on a daily basis just so you’ll feel accepted and part of the group.
5. Use Your Credit Card Wisely
Most people advise dental students not to get a credit card. If you are a responsible spender who resists peer pressure and impulse buys, you will only reap the benefits of a credit card. This will enable you to track your expenses so you will see at a glance what are the biggest sinkholes that need adjustments.
Paying your rent and utilities with a credit card will help you establish a good credit score and will earn you rewards. Depending on the credit card you choose, you can get cash back or flier miles. The latter are especially useful if you fly home often but can also be used for vacations.
Author Bio: John Stuart works on behalf of andrewchell.com in outreach and content creation. He creates engaging content that help businesses connect with their audience and stand out from the crowd.
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