Whether it’s your first year at uni or your last, the arrival of O-Week means you’re about to be faced with a new semester of expenses (and temptations). From eating out and buying textbooks, to the draw of online shopping (Hello ASOS), it can be hard to stay within a tight, student budget. Luckily there are some easy tips you can follow to help keep your costs in check.
make use of your student card
Stretch your student budget a whole lot further thanks to the world of discounts your student card unlocks. Enjoy concession prices on not only public transport, but almost every form of entertainment as well. Who doesn’t like cheap tickets to the movies, exhibitions, and museums? And if you’re feeling hungry there’s a whole heap of student meal deals and food and drink discounts to be had. Not all retailers advertise their student discounts, but it’s always worth asking.
If you’re someone who tends to splurge online, then you’ll be happy to know these student discounts extend to online shopping destinations. UNIDAYS is a great site that makes sure you’re getting the most out of your student card when it comes to online shopping.
cut down monthly expenses
It’s time to reassess whether you really need a Netflix, Foxtel and Stan subscription. Decide which ones you actually use and cut the rest. The same goes for music-streaming subscriptions and gym memberships. It’s simple, if you’re not using it stop paying for it.
Make sure you’re also getting the most from services such as your mobile plan. Why pay for a stack of data if you spend the majority of your time on your home or uni Wi-Fi anyway?
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shop around for second-hand textbooks
A new semester means new textbooks, however these pages of wisdom don’t come cheap. The worst part is, you’ll only end up using the majority of them for one semester. Instead of splashing the cash on shiny-new textbooks, try and buy them second-hand. Most universities have second-hand bookshops on campus or you can try online sites like Amazon and Gumtree. If you’re lucky, your campus library might even rent textbooks for popular courses.
Once you’re finished with your textbooks, be sure to re-sell them. If you needed a certain textbook for a course, chances are there’s someone else out there who’ll need it too.
bring your own lunch
Raise your hand if a large portion of your money ends-up going towards eating out, or using food delivery apps. With so many delicious options on and off campus it can be hard to not give in to temptation. But we guarantee, bringing your own lunch will save you buckets of money. If you live out of home, try meal-prepping on the weekends with friends. Swapping dishes with your friends means you won’t be stuck with the same lunch every day. And make sure you shop around for discounts when doing your weekly shop. You can find well-priced fruit and veg at markets, especially just before closing time.
get a part time job
Schoolwork comes first, but if you have a decent timetable - consider getting a part time job. Tutoring, retail and hospitality are popular choices for students as they’re always on the lookout for casual workers and there’s a lot more freedom in terms of hours. If you manage to get a job in a café or restaurant, you might even score yourself some free meals.