Saving Money on a Student Budget
Managing your money is a challenge at the best of times, but keeping your personal finances in check while studying can sometimes feel like an impossible task.
For many, student life will be the first time living away from the comfort of home and the Bank of Mum & Dad, meaning that balancing tuition costs with getting the best from their student experience might take a while to master.
We’ve put together five handy money-saving tips to help stretch that student loan just a little bit further.
1. Make your textbooks work for you
It’s likely you’ll be referencing dozens of textbooks throughout your studies, but avoid the temptation to buy a new version of every single one you might need. You might often only need a certain textbook for a week or two before it begins gathering dust in the corner of your room.
Consider borrowing as much as you can from the library before you think about buying new, and search for Facebook groups that facilitate book swaps or sales. Then, once you’re done with each textbook, try selling it on again to someone who’ll be able to make the most of it next. This can be particularly effective at the end of term, when a fresh cohort of students might need exactly the same books you’ve just finished with!
2. Keep on top of your subscriptions
You might find it hard to imagine life without those subscriptions that feel like essentials, but the expense quickly adds up. Despite the price of each individual service being low, the likes of Netflix, Spotify, Amazon Prime and more, when combined, can make a sizeable dent in your budget.
If you haven’t already, talk to your housemates about the idea of getting a group or family subscription to cut costs. Alternatively, assign a different subscription fee to each person on rotation — who doesn’t like being treated to a movie?
3. Shop smart
Planning your grocery shopping might sound like a chore, but it can help save you a basket-load of cash in the long term. Before you head to the supermarket, make a quick note of what you’ve got left in your fridge, freezer, and food cupboards.
It’s really easy to forget what you already have when you’re in store, and even easier to get distracted by special offers, so make sure you only buy what you need and cut out unnecessary food waste.
4. Stay on top of your spending
With so many mobile apps promising to help you keep your wallet better organised, there’s never been a better time to try letting technology do the hard work for you.
Try a simple budgeting app to log your income (whether student loan, part-time job, or money from family) against your expenses and you should soon start to see where you can make improvements to help keep your bank account looking healthy.
5. Send money home for less
There’s no better way to supplement your own finances than picking up a part-time job to work around your studies and, while you’re earning, you might also want to send money home to your family.
Using your bank to send and receive money overseas might seem like the obvious choice but, depending on how much you’re transferring, it can cost you hundreds – or even thousands – of dollars more than it should.
Instead, consider choosing a specialist international payments service like Send. You’ll get excellent exchange rates, fast transfers (often arriving the same day), and save money on the usual fees that banks will often add onto each transaction.