For those of you thinking of saving money, whether it be for school, or as a down payment, or simply building up reserves, the traditional way is to get a job, decrease your quality of life in the name of saving money for later. And you're welcome to do that. Bear in mind, if its popular, than the market is over saturated and will yield little result.
Here's why you may want to change your mind:
1. Unless you have a solid job, you're likely living pay check to pay check and your biggest expense is likely your rent. Consider teaching English in Asia (particularly China), where many schools offer a housing allowance! Biggest expense - removed.
2. Utilities here are dismal, and may be covered by your school as well. Every little bit counts. Hydro in China costs me less than $10/month. In Toronto monthly hydro is on average around $25-$35. More if you use AC regularly.
3. Food. It's easily one of the largest expenses many people of our generation have. We love to eat out and try new places, and always want the convenience. Eating out in China can add up, especially if you visit western restaurants (their prices equate to the same in dollars as in NA), but eating at Chinese restaurants and street vendors is so cheap, it's nearly not worth it to cook meals at home (depending how simple you get - not much is cheaper than rice and beans).
4. Private tutoring. If you come over as an English teacher, spend a few months learning the ropes at your school, then add private tutoring on the side. Inexperienced teachers are earning anywhere from 150-300rmb an hour ($30-$60/hr) to sit with a kid and essentially follow your lesson plans you make from school. The teachers who do private tutoring mostly live on their tutoring income (which doesn't take many sessions), and save all their salary from the school.
5. My colleagues figure they can get by on roughly $500-$600 a month. Yo! A MONTH! That includes meals, transportation, going out once or twice a week, etc. When looking at my projections, I figure I can save anywhere from $14,000-$18000 a year just on my school job (where I work 13-18 hours a week, on salary). I mean, that's your tuition right there. Saved in a year. While travelling and getting life experience. Add tutoring and this can dramatically increase. Earning $30/hr tutoring means you only need to work 4.5 hours a week to cover your $500/month in living wages! Self employment also means setting your own schedule. Perhaps you'd like to work for 20 hours over two days, use the 4.5 hours of those two days to cover living expenses, and use the rest for travelling?
Maybe you're not saving for school, maybe you're done. Well, what better way to pay off that five digit debt and pointless degree than to travel, learn a new culture and language, meet amazing expats and locals and earn some solid money simultaneously? Remember, it's not about the amount of money being earned. What I earn in China won't get you anything living in Toronto, it's about the ratios. The amount earned to the cost of living.