For many people, it is a university student’s rite of passage to survive off Mi Goreng and happy hour at the campus bar while they are studying. If you’re hoping to break the mould and actually put away a bit of money during your tertiary education, these four tips could help you do just that.
Stick to a budget
It’s the last thing any university student wants to hear but the reality is, budgeting works. It might mean giving up some of your favourite creature comforts (perhaps you buy a coffee every day) and going down a more conservative path (having instant coffee from Monday to Friday and saving the barista-style caffeine for the weekend. It’s hardly exciting but it is very effective, and you’ll be grateful for your sacrifices in the long run.
Work more when you can
Most uni students will try and work part-time during semesters, which is great, but the precious funds you save can dwindle pretty quick if you don’t up the ante when holidays come about. Taking on more shifts during the mid and end-of-year breaks will allow you the financial freedom to spend money on things you really enjoy, as giving you a taste of the post-graduation workforce.
Cook at home
As tempting as it can be to eat out all the time, it’s a habit that can be very expensive when you add it all up. A more sensible option is to do a big cook-up and save plenty for leftovers, which you can eat for lunch during the week or freeze for later down the track. Adopting this approach is a great way to maintain a healthy diet, as opposed to buying whatever you feel like when you’re starving.
Every little bit counts
If you keep an eye out, there are plenty of strategies to cut down your spending. Are you meeting friends out for coffee? Get yourself a reusable cup – most cafes in Melbourne will give you a discount, sometimes up to 50 cents, as reward for your environmentally conscious decision. Need to get some cash out? Make sure you withdraw the money from your own bank’s ATM to avoid coughing up a transaction fee, which can climb as high as $5.