When it comes to our financial situation, as a student, saving money can seem impossible.
How can we buy our textbooks, pay for our broken laptop, keep on top of our student loans, all while trying to maintain a social life and get through our degree? And for those of us paying rent, it only adds to our dwindling savings account.
Before you slump your head in your hands, take a deep breath. There are ways we can keep on top of our finances as students.
Pack food and drinks instead of buying them:
You’ve got uni classes all day and you don’t have time to organise lunch and snacks before you leave home. So, you buy your lunch… and a drink… and a snack… And, because you’re at uni all day, you need at least two coffees to keep you going. Before you know it, you’ve spent $20 on food that you could have brought from home. While $20 doesn’t seem too bad, $20 a day is $100 a week. By the end of the year you’ve wasted $5,000 on food that was in your cupboard all along.
Check for deals on your phone and utility bills:
Do you really need to be paying $120 a month for a whole load of phone data you’ll probably never need and 100 free calls you’re unlikely to ever make? Probably not. Look at your phone plans and see where you can cut your costs or get more value. The same applies if you rent – contact your utility companies and ask for a discount. Nine times out of 10 the discounts are there if you ask for them.
Your student amenities fee is due, but you also really want that new pair of jeans you’ve been eyeing off. Rake together some extra coinage to pay for both then struggle until your next pay? Not necessary. Layby-ing is a great way to purchase the items you want without the financial stress. Pay your 10 or 20 per cent deposit, then make payments that align with your pay schedule until the item is yours to take home. It can make you appreciate the item more because it’s delayed gratification. More online retailers are also offering services like AfterPay, that let you receive your items now, and pay them off over a few weeks.
Look for ways to earn more money:
Many students study full-time and work part-time or full-time. Get a casual or part-time job, sell some pre-loved items on eBay or Gumtree, house sit or look after friends’ or family members’ pets if they’re away. There are plenty of ways to make more money to help you save more money.
Boost your knowledge:
CSU has plenty of financial support and information available for students. If you’re really stuck, you can apply for emergency loans or food vouchers, or you can access resources that will help you plan your budget and understand the costs involved with studying at uni. Head to the Financial Support section of the Student Portal to find out more.