16 Easy Ways to Save Money As A Student
Being a student is an exciting time in your life, but it typically means you might be a little short on cash! Most students are at university specifically to learn the key skills they’ll need to pick up a higher-paying job later. Your highest priority as a student is usually to study hard, get great marks, and graduate with some awesome memories of your university experience, but you’ll still need to save money as a student for textbooks, budget for essentials, and, of course, having fun with your mates. Read on for some awesome money-saving tips based around student life, some of which might surprise you.
Buy Cheap or Discounted Textbooks
Yes, we know your lecturer recommends buying the most recently updated edition of the textbook. The reality is that, often, the textbook companies publish a new edition of each textbook where the newest thing is its cover. The laws of physics aren’t changing any time soon, and there are cheaper ways to learn about Isaac Newton than with a shiny, new textbook.
Older students will be looking to sell their old textbooks for a massive discount, so try asking around and you’re almost guaranteed to find cheaper textbooks. This is one of the easiest unnecessary costs to cut down on, and it will help with your degree.
Save Money With Student Discounts
Student discounts aren’t just for the movies and rail fares. One of the best ways to save money is by looking for student discounts at your local coffee shop, lunch spot, or anywhere you frequent.
Plenty of student unions offer discounts at participating outlets for members. Student bars frequently have extended happy hours and student deals that are well worth signing up for so you can save money.
Even some restaurants and cafes near campus will offer you a better deal if you show up with your student ID. They often advertise if they offer student discounts, so pay attention to the shops around your university and become a loyal customer to those that offer a great price.
Use a Savings App to Track Your Budget
There are some great apps out there specifically designed to help you save money every time you spend it. They often do this by connecting to a credit or debit card, where the app will round up your spending amount to the nearest pound (or dollar), and put the difference in a savings account. Your $3.50 coffee might suddenly set you back $4.00, but that’s 50 cents you’re saving every time. If you buy a coffee a few times a week, that’s a significant amount of savings that you barely noticed going in there. Some savings apps will even invest on your behalf, making you some extra cash with no worries about interest rates.
Take Advantage of Meal Prepping
It’s way, way cheaper to make your own meals at home than it is to eat out. It’s also better for you, assuming you buy fresh produce. Learning cooking skills and how to do grocery shopping is a vital life skill. You might as well start now, right?
If you spend $20 on food shopping, you can buy a packet of pasta, some mince, tinned tomatoes, onions, garlic, and carrots. A meal plan goes a long way when you’re saving money as a student.
A $20 spend won’t even get you a main meal at a lot of restaurants. Plus, when you cook for one, you’ll often have leftovers, a great way to save money by not buying lunch. You can avoid studying on an empty stomach and stay healthy.
Make the Most of University Benefits
Most of Australia’s big universities have gyms, pools, and wellbeing activities on site. There are often student services like counselling, too, to help you stay on top of your mental as well as physical health. They also typically offer gym membership at a lower rate to students of their university, so you’re saving money twice over.
Typically, on-campus services are more affordable than those off-campus, because they’re designed to keep you on-site and give you a positive, holistic student experience.
Exercise is Free
Of course, you can save your gym fees altogether and embrace the mighty push-up.
Long before the bench press, there were push-ups. Before treadmills, there was going for a run. Before the squat rack was… doing squats.
You don’t need to spend a cent doing bodyweight exercises, and exercise is proven to make you a better student.
A Shared Home Means Shared Expenses
You’ve probably tried splitting a jug of beer at the student bar. Why not split your rent and utility bills with other students, too?
It’s far, far more affordable to split an electricity bill four ways than to take it on yourself. Two people don’t use twice as much electricity, water, or gas as one.
The cost per person is far lower, and this will really help you save money in the long run. Your housemates might even give you some more tips on how to save up while you’re studying.
Curb Unnecessary Subscriptions
Most of us have a few unnecessary subscriptions connected to our bank account. There are so many streaming services nowadays and so little time in the day to enjoy them all. Consider cutting down on your subscriptions – and maybe even your paid cable or streaming services – and watch your monthly expenses diminish as a result. This is one of the easiest ways to save money as a student because it actually requires you to do less, not more.
Buy Nice or Buy Twice
Terry Pratchett, famed author and satirist, first proposed that you’ll spend more money in the long run to buy something cheap, and then have to keep on replacing it as it wears out over the years. Each replacement then needs replacing again at a later date, and you’re spending the money repeatedly rather than once.
He was originally writing about boots, but this concept also applies to buying clothes, appliances, and necessities, too. View anything you’re going to use regularly as an investment. Buy it once, spend a little more at the time, and take care of your things. This brings us to…
Repair, Don’t Replace
These days, it’s tempting to always have the newest, shiniest toys around. It’s very expensive to keep replacing things, especially when a simple fix is far more affordable.
You can take a phone with a broken screen to a repair shop for far less than the thousands it will take to replace the whole thing outright.
To make big savings, if you take care of your things with simple actions like polishing your shoes, keeping your knives sharp, and using a phone case, you won’t need to repair them at all.
Make An App Your Side Hustle
We’re not just talking about ride-share services like driving an Uber or a Lyft, either. These days it’s pretty easy to make some extra money with a simple app on your phone. AirTasker and TidyMe are two common examples that allow you to find simple, time-bound work in your area without committing to a part-time job.
This trick is particularly well-suited to people who love cleaning. Unleash your inner Monica from Friends and try this out!
Benefits Are There To Help
Financial help from our government isn’t limited to your student loan.
Centrelink is available to a number of Australians to provide assistance when you need it. . You may well be eligible for any of our government’s benefits and payments specifically aimed at university students.
Youth Allowance and Austudy are the two most commonly accessed payments among students, and if you claim Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent, you may well be eligible for ABSTUDY, too.
Websites like Upwork and Fiverr offer you the chance to use your unique skills to bolster your bank account on the side. Studying English? Try a freelance copywriting gig for a few hours per week. Are you a spreadsheet wizard? Plenty of companies needs an Excel builder for a week or two.
Freelancing can make you some additional money and get you vital experience (and, when considering a career, some handy impartial advice) for when you enter the workforce in earnest after uni. It can also come in handy during our long, luxurious uni holidays at the end of the academic year to have a good reputation with an employer.
If you can land one, a paid internship is one of the best ways to make money as a student. Internships typically count towards your degree, and if you can get paid while you’re at it it will be like killing two birds with one stone.
Internships, particularly paid ones, are very competitive, so remember to get in early and make the extra effort when applying for them.
Make Your Own Study Materials
Sure, textbooks don’t come for free. But you can make study flashcards from your lecture notes at home. Flash cards are a great way for you to test your memory skills and commit to understanding key concepts from your uni course.
There are plenty of apps like Zookal that can help you while you’re studying, too. You can ask questions, get help with your homework, and use creative, helpful study materials to boost your marks. Studying is what you’re at uni to do, and we can all use some help now and again.
Saving Money For Students
Hopefully, this handy list was helpful to you! Whether you’re looking to trim the budget, save up for a big trip overseas, or make some extra cash on the side, these tips and tricks should help you out. Try some of these money-saving tips and tricks for yourself and get a taste of financial freedom.