As much as you are there to earn yourself a degree and make some new friends in the process, money will always be on your mind as a student—and that’s usually because you’ll always have very little of it. To make the most of your time at university, consider the below tips as to how you can save money when you’re studying.
Renting is not cheap, and if it’s your first time living out of home, the cost involved in simply keeping a roof over your head while studying is overwhelming for anyone. However, because it’s such a large expense, it’s also the perfect opportunity to save some money. To do this, try focusing on living arrangements that offer more than just a bed to sleep on. For example, companies such as Iglu (who offer student accommodation in Sydney) provide options for the university budget which often include rent, utilities and internet.
2. Meal Plan
A big cash-guzzler for the university student is the amount of money that gets spent on food and drinks. This includes your coffee and cake dates, beers and hot chips on Friday nights, or even sandwiches at the university shop in between classes. The best way to save money here is to meal plan. Choose what you are going to be eating for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the week, then go into the grocery store with a list of exactly what you need to purchase. By cooking your own meals, taking lunch every day, and only buying a set food list, you will be able to save a fair amount of money. Another useful trick is to buy non-branded products from supermarkets, as every dollar counts.
3. Use Discounts
Don’t forget that as a student, you are entitled to an abundance of discounts. Using these as much as possible is a great way to save while you’re at university. Bulk-billing or reduced prices on doctor’s appointments and prescriptions are ideal, as are movie tickets, books or even your daily coffee. Basically, wherever you go, and whatever you do, make sure you ask if they offer student pricing or discounts—you’ll be amazed at how much you’ve been missing out on.
4. Do Online Jobs
You might have already gotten yourself a great bar or café job, but quite often all this money will be going to the basics like food and rent. To earn a little bit of extra cash on the side, try some online work that you can do from home or at school, in between studying. Some easy suggestions are online surveys, blogging, or a virtual assistant. Some companies even like recruiting people casually to do data entry, or to get spreadsheets and other digital filing in order and up-to-date.
You shouldn’t spend your entire university degree worrying about money. Instead, you should be putting all your mental energy towards something more productive and important. Although it might feel as though it’s easier said than done, incorporating some of the above tips could be all you need to shift some of those cash worries out of your mind.
What is your weekly spending like? What areas could you improve on? Discuss your answers below.