Hey Big Spender: Saving Money as a Student

By Roisin Mulcahy

Being a student is hard – it’s full of assessment, unpaid internships, moving out of home and of course, being totally poor. While it might not seem fun, here are some handy tips on to how to socialise and save money, so that you can avoid being a total hermit this semester!


Buy Second-Hand Textbooks

[Source: Australian University Students]

Don’t run to the bookstore and spend hundreds of dollars as soon as your get your booklist. Instead, head to the library pronto and see if you can borrow any textbooks.

Another great option is to go to the second hand bookshop or check out the textbook groups on Facebook. These will often have heavily discounted books that are still in great condition. Plus, you can use these groups to resell your books once you have finished with them.  

Take Advantage Of Student Discounts

Your Student ID can get you heaps of discounts including cheaper public transport and cheap movie tickets. So, if you’re thinking of buying anything, you should first check to see if there is a discount available!

Here are some of the perks you can get – just for being a student:

  • The Law Society sells “The L Card” which costs $10 and gets you free entry to clubs and offers many discounts – even if you’re not a law student!
  • UniDAYS has linked with most universities and offers discounts to heaps of online stores and music streaming services.
  • Apple offers education pricing, to help you when purchasing a laptop for Uni.

Pack Your Own Lunch

If you’ve got Uni all day remember to bring your own food. There are plenty of microwaves around campus and this will seriously save you some big bucks. Also invest in a water bottle that can live in your Uni bag so you’re not buying drinks every time you go to class. Trust us on this one – both your wallet and the earth will thank you!

Go To Class

[Source: Me.Me]

It is easy to forget that you are actually paying for your degree because we have the luxury of having a HECS debt. However, you are paying a lot of money for your education and every time you decide to skip class you are tossing thousands of dollars out the window. Try to attend as many classes as possible. Not only will it help you academically, but it is also a great way to make new friends!


Change Your Mindset

If you’re serious about saving, you’ve got to change your attitude and start thinking of saving as an investment. Set up a savings account that will hold you accountable. Many banks have great initiatives that offer interest if you deposit money into your savings account and never withdraw from that account. It’s like getting free money as a reward for not spending anything!

Limit Dining Out

[Source: Me.Me]

Dining out is a really easy way to burn through your hard-earned money. Even if it seems like that $5 coffee isn’t a lot, it adds up. The Commonwealth Bank has introduced a feature that calculates how much you’ve spent on eating out per month and boy does that hurt to look at! Limit dining out to special events and not just because you’re too lazy to cook.


Set Up Automatic Transfers

[Source: Me.Me]

Rent is a necessary evil and if you had to look at how much you’ve spent paying rent, your heart would hurt. Heaps of banks have automatic transfer options so you can set the day after pay-day as the day your rent is automatically withdrawn. As your pay goes in and rent goes out simultaneously you will almost forget it’s even happening and you won’t panic about paying rent on time. Do the same for your bills, internet and whatever else you’ve got to pay.


[Source: S.Content]

You have to set a budget and stick to it. Now that your rent and bills are out of the way, you’re in a position to get serious about all other expenses. Be realistic and don’t pretend like you’re not going to going out on weekends, because that’s never going to happen! Instead, write down realistic goals and understand that saving is a slow process, especially when you’re a student.

 [Header Image CC: “Ecommerce Shopping” by StockSnap CC-0].

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