Blog & Insights

7 quick and easy ways to save money at Uni

If you’re like most other students, you probably find it hard to keep track of your money and where it actually goes. And whilst it’s great to have that initial feeling of financial freedom and independence when you first arrive at Uni, it doesn’t take long before you begin to notice how life can be quite expensive… Of course, there is always the option of a part-time job to help ease the burden, but there are also a few quick and easy ways to get smarter with your finances and save oodles of dollars along the way. Here’s how.

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 on out to stock up the supermarket? Hopefully, you do the right thing and head to the shops – but now you have a new problem. Deliciously tempting smells and sights confront you at every aisle. Even though they thoroughly smash the budget, common sense has disappeared under a rumbling tummy and distracted thoughts. Avoid leaving the shops with a basket full of unnecessary and unhealthy quick-fix items by planning ahead your shopping excursions. Your fridge will be forever full and you will never have to face that terrible dilemma again.

2. Share your living space

This may sound completely obvious and surprisingly simple, but you can save many useful dollars just by sharing your accommodation and living costs with other students. Your communal outgoings like milk, toilet roll and bread can be thrown together and divided out, and you can save even more cash by cooking meals together as a group and splitting out the ingredient costs. Best of all, you even save money on going out because there is 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 the walk home can often be a danger zone. Instead, take advantage of the free resources on offer at University or in your apartment building, such as the gym, the library or the canteen. Get creative with your activities so that you can find ways to spend your time that won’t break the budget. Swap dinner out for a picnic in the park, or drinks out in town, to games-night in the lounge room. It doesn’t matter where the hang out takes place, as long as you are in good company. Saving money is simply that extra perk!

4. Boss your budget

There’s no getting away from this one: to get a handle on the finances you need to have a budget. This will help you keep track of where you are actually spending and it will definitely help control those sneaky impulse purchases. Don’t panic, the days of painstakingly detailing all your finances row by row on a spreadsheet are happily gone. The rapid advance of fintech apps means that it is now ridiculously easy to keep your budget on track. Try Pocketbook for starters, or Splitwise – ideal for those with shared expenses such as housemates and groups. By simply taking this action you will begin to think 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. Habits can be notoriously hard to break, so it might help to start out with a ‘cutting back’ approach such as a 30 day challenge that then leads to a definite quit date. Identify what is costing you a disproportionate amount of money from your budget, and redistribute the funds where you actually need them. You will be 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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