A university qualification can be extremely valuable in terms of improving your career prospects. However, not everyone has the ability to balance tertiary-level academic study with a full-time job. Yoou may have to adapt to living on a tight budget. Read on to discover five ways you can save money while studying.
1. Stay in
It might not sound like much fun, but cutting back on costly social activities is essential for living on a student budget. Just consider how much you’d spend on a night out, with cab fares and a few drinks taken into consideration. As a student, rather than going out every weekend, you may have to get used to the idea of staying in more often. Tightening your budget doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t have any fun. Inviting friends over for dinner can be just as enjoyable as a night out on the town, and it will be much less expensive.
2. Sell your car
If you live in a city with good public transport, why not seize the opportunity to catch a bus or train to university instead of driving? In addition to cutting back on fuel and registration expenses, you won’t have to worry about finding a park or getting stuck in traffic jams. Riding a bike or walking to uni are also cost-effective alternatives to driving, with the added benefit of improving your health and fitness. If selling your car seems too drastic, consider car-pooling with your classmates to reduce fuel costs.
3. Buy secondhand textbooks
Textbooks can be expensive, but buying them second hand is a great way to save money. With social media playing such a vital role in the interaction between university cohorts these days, plenty of students are selling their old textbooks online. Before blowing your budget on a brand new set of textbooks, take a look at the various digital forums frequented by your peers to see if you can source a secondhand bargain. If you can’t find a secondhand copy anywhere, shop around in order to find the best price for your new books, or consider going halves with a friend.
4. Student housing
Sharing a home with other students can allow you to save money on rent while living in an environment optimised for learning. Given the growing demand for student accommodation, some developers have begun designing apartments especially made for people attending university. For example, accommodation providers like Iglu offer custom-made, fully furnished apartments with a variety of different housing options in major cities across Australia. Their newest apartment complex is set to open in Brisbane in January 2016, presenting local students with the opportunity to live in convenient, off-campus Brisbane student accommodation.
5. Learn to cook
Constantly eating out can be a drain on your finances, and if you plan to save money while studying, you’ll need to learn how to cook for yourself. Skip the instant noodles and aim for a healthy, balanced diet. Fruit and vegetables are relatively inexpensive, and cheap cuts of meat can be found in any major grocery store. If you have no confidence in your cooking skills, start out by following some simple recipes before moving on to more complex dishes.
Saving money as a student doesn’t have to be difficult. With a little resourcefulness, you can easily get by for the duration of your degree. Learning to live on budget is an extremely valuable life skill. Do you have any tips for living on a student budget? Share your thoughts in the comments below.