Student budget

Is it just me or are things costing more now? Whether you’re looking ahead and preparing for Christmas/summer holidays or saving for something special, these budget tips from other students are practical and easy.

  1. Look at your budget and keep to it. Start by having a look at what your weekly needs are and how much all of those are costing you. You may find that there is quite a lot that you’d be happy to do away with, at least for now. For example, my Spotify subscription is something that I wouldn’t want to do without, but I’ll happily forego Netflix, Binge, etc., especially while thesis writing is so intense. In fact, I’ve been such a hermit these months that I’ve promised my friends I would at least come and see them all for a shared meal and a movie once every weekend. This hits ‘two birds with one stone’ – combining movie-watching with socializing. Perhaps even ticking three things – not having Netflix means I avoid binge-watching instead of writing!
  2. It’s cheaper to buy in bulk. Even if you’re only cooking for yourself, or even a small family of three, buying in bulk and then batch cooking is cheaper. You can always freeze most things like bread, soup, pasta, and so on. Here’s a post I wrote a while back on freezer-friendly meals. (That post was published last year – and it looks like the cost of living was on the rise from then.)
  3. End-of-day discounts. I used to live on the other side of town and had to take the train to get to the North Terrace campus. On the way home though, most takeaway shops and even cafes would mark down meals (like $8 Chinese meals from Station Arcade). I’d grab a couple for dinner or to freeze for a later time when things are hectic.
  4. Preparation – beware of the cost of a milk run. Sometimes it’s a bread run or eggs, but whatever it is, just keep in mind that going out for just one thing costs petrol or a bus ticket, etc. Also, it is highly likely that when you are at the shops you’ll pick up something you don’t really need yet anyway. Plan for weekly shopping instead.
  5. Don’t forget to treat yourself. I’ve found that tracking where I spend my money and keeping to a budget allows me not only to save a lot more but also leaves me with just enough to treat myself a little bit once a week.
Tagged in What messes with your head, Student life, Student cookbook, student budget, international student, law student, student parents