The Iglu Guide | Blog

7 quick and easy ways to save money at Uni

If you’re like most other students, you’re probably finding it hard to keep track of where your money’s going. And while it’s awesome to feel that first flush of financial independence, it doesn’t take long to notice that student life can be quite expensive. If you’re feeling the pinch and want to get smarter with your finances, here’s some top tips that’ll keep the dollars right where you need them.

1. Don’t shop with an appetite

Consider this. You arrive back home after a long day at Uni, you’re starving hungry but the fridge is sitting empty. Do you quietly tuck into your roommate’s supplies, or head back out to stock up the supermarket? Hopefully, you do the right thing and head to the shops – but now you have a new problem. Food shopping on an empty stomach is a student’s worst nightmare. Tempting offers and quick fixes confront you down every aisle, common sense has disappeared and the budget’s out the window. Avoid this terrible scenario by planning ahead. Eat before you leave, take a shopping list and stick to the program. Your wallet will thank you.

2. Share your living costs

It might sound obvious and surprisingly simple, but students can save many useful dollars just by sharing accommodation and living costs with other students. Communal outgoings like milk, toilet roll and cleaning products can all be divided out, and by cooking meals together you can make huge savings on your shopping bill. Best of all, you even save money on going out because there’s always a party going on at home. Bonus!

3. Avoid the shops

This is a no-brainer. If you don’t hang around the shops, you can’t be tempted by what’s inside. This might seem a tough ask, especially in the cities where even the walk home can be littered with retail temptation. Distract yourself with the free resources on offer at university or in your student accommodation building such as the gym, the library or the canteen. Get creative with friends and find ways to spend your time that won’t break the budget. Swap out that expensive meal for a picnic in the park, switch that night out to a games-night in the lounge room. It doesn’t actually matter where the hang out takes place, as long as you’re in good company. Saving money is simply that extra perk!

4. Boss your budget

There’s no getting away from this one. A budget will help you keep track of where your money is going, and it will definitely help control those sneaky impulse purchases. Don’t panic, the days of painstakingly detailing the numbers row by row on a busy spreadsheet are happily gone. The rapid advance of fintech apps means it’s now ridiculously easy to keep your budget on track. Try Goodbudget for starters, an app that emulates real life spending behaviour. You can allocate certain amounts to certain categories – but when it’s gone, it’s gone. Splitwise is ideal for shared expenses such as in a share house or for group events. Committing to a budget will help you think much more about when you spend your money, and how you spend it.

5. Student deals are your friends

Who knew? The easiest way to save money is to be a student! With discounts widely available across all sectors from clothing and food to travel and culture, all you need to do is keep a beady eye out for those offers. You can even get rebates on your computer hardware. Simply search for the relevant discount online and present the offer. Register with Unidays for the latest discounts across all your favourite brands and appliances, and be sure to familiarise yourself with all the student-friendly nights in your area.

6. Reuse and recycle

As well as being oh-so-friendly to the environment, recycling and reusing textbooks is a great way to save money and conveniently helps the world out along the way. Textbooks can be a huge expense, so unsurprisingly the second hand market for this sector is booming. Check out Student VIP for some great deals, and be sure to recycle them back when you are done. Why stop there? Sell anything that you no longer use and trawl the op shops for unique fashion pieces. Stand out from the crowd and feel good about yourself at the same time.

7. Check your habits

It’s never too late to quit an expensive habit. It might be a penchant for the shops, a serious caffeine habit or a fondness for Uber. What feels like the odd treat can add up to quite a significant amount. As habits are notoriously hard to break, it might help to start out with a ‘cutting back’ approach. Try a 30-day challenge that can lead to a definite quit date. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at the huge impact this one simple change could have on your financial freedom – and leave you a happier person along the way. 

Photo by Melissa Walker Horn on Unsplash

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