If you’re wondering how to save money as a student, you’re not alone. Between accommodation, food, petrol and much more, the cost of living in Australia can be tough to keep up with! As a result, it’s an awesome idea to explore some creative money-saving techniques.
There are several advantages of saving money for uni students: you’ll avoid undue stress, you can live more comfortably and you’ll have more spare cash to enjoy Australia during your stay.
Expenses can add up quickly, particularly in an unfamiliar country, so here are some clever ways you can save money as a student across five key categories.
There are a few ways you can save money on accommodation, which vary depending on the type of housing you choose.
If you decide to live in student accommodation, many providers offer special deals and discounts for students. For example, Scape Student Living is running three great promotions for Semester 2 2022. With Roomies’ Rate, you can save on room rates – up to $100 a week – by booking an apartment with friends. Their VIP Service offers pre-arrival support and a space that is fully set up and furnished, so you can feel settled in your student life straight away. Best of all, if you refer a friend to Scape, you’ll receive a $500 voucher!
If you decide to rent privately, you’ll find that unfurnished rooms are generally cheaper than furnished ones. This means you’ll have to provide your own furniture, but you can often find brilliant (and cheap) secondhand furniture at your local op-shop (such as Savers) or on sites like Gumtree or Facebook Marketplace.
One of the best ways to save money as a student is to buy your own food and groceries. You should also aim to cook for yourself as much as possible rather than buying takeaway or eating out. Websites like Student Recipes have heaps of easy, simple recipes specifically for students.
If you live in a share house, taking turns cooking communal meals is a great way to make and maintain friendships while saving money – it’s often cheaper to cook for multiple people than for one at a time.
Where you choose to shop is also important. Asian, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern supermarkets often have more interesting variety and are cheaper than the big supermarkets. Discount supermarkets like Aldi and Costco also offer affordable prices. To buy affordable produce and support local farmers, consider shopping at your local markets; you’ll often find incredible bargains. You should also be mindful of what’s in season and keep an eye on food items that are rising in price.
If you choose to shop at major supermarkets, check their catalogues for specials and discounts. An app like Half Price can help you to do this even more easily!
Even when saving money as a student, you don’t have to exclusively cook at home – as long as you’re smart about when and where you eat out.
Your campus is a great place to start. Your student union will have cheap food-related events (like free barbecues!), student specials and student discount codes.
Many Australian pubs and restaurants have bargain meal deals on particular nights of the week. Keep an eye out for $10 meal deals and 2-for-1 pizza nights.
You can also find meal and drink specials around Australia using handy apps. The Happiest Hour is a free app that lists over 4,000 up-to-date food and drink deals from different kinds of venues all across Australia and New Zealand. It also lists fun events and trivia nights in your area! EatClub is another free app that allows restaurants with empty tables to upload last-minute deals. That way, you can get a cheap meal (up to 50% off!) at a nearby restaurant on short notice.
Shopping and entertainment
If you like going out and exploring your city, check out Groupon for discounted rates on a range of fun events like city tours, escape rooms, go-karting and more! Lasttix is another site to check out, offering cheap, last-minute tickets for live music, theatre, musicals, comedy and sport events.
It’s a good idea to do a little research on money and banking in Australia, particularly banking for students. Some banks have special deals for students, such as student saving accounts and no-fee accounts. For example, Westpac has a student account with no fees and additional interest on your savings. NAB has a similar everyday account with no fees. The best part: you can even open a student saver account with many Australian banks before you arrive in the country.