7 ways to save money as a student

Student life at uni, TAFE or college can be great, but it doesn’t always come cheaply. Luckily, little changes can add up. Follow our hot tips to save some day-to-day cash.

This can help if:

  • you're a student and want to save money.

  • your budget is feeling tight at uni.

  • you're about to start uni and feeling worried about money.


1. Don't buy new textbooks

It doesn’t make a lot of sense to spend hundreds of dollars on new textbooks that you'll use for just one semester. Instead of forking out serious cash for books that your lecturers insist you read, consider some cheaper options. Student services or the student union may have second-hand shops or book exchange programs. Other options are online stores, as well as e-textbooks.

2. Make the most of student discounts

Your student ID card can get you stacks of discounts around town and online. Also get to know the student discount days and happy hours at your local pubs, cinemas and other haunts.

Fun fact: You can get cheap haircuts from student hairdressers.

3.Take your lunch with you

It’s not hard or expensive to whip up a sandwich or salad in the morning, and it will save you megabucks on food. Try buying nutritious foods, such as beans and rice, in bulk, then do a weekly fresh food shop to make sure you’ve got lots of healthy goodies on hand. Though they might be cheap, two-minute noodles aren’t going to sustain a hard-working brain. There’s some delicious lunch inspo here.

4. Plan your grocery shop

You know what they say: never go grocery shopping on an empty stomach. Take it one step further and plan your trip to the shops around what’s on sale. If there’s something that you use weekly, stock up when prices are reduced. If a certain type of meat is on sale, you could buy a larger quantity, and then make a stir fry or a curry that you can freeze for later.

5. Use university-run health and fitness services

Often universities offer medical, counselling and sometimes even dental services, which tend to be bulk-billed or even made available to students for free (or at a low cost). Medical and health services often also provide free condoms. Check for free classes run by these clinics, such as yoga and meditation. To stay fit, why not join a running or walking club to save on gym fees?

6. Figure out what's important to you

If you really look forward to your morning barista-made coffee, you don’t have to scrap it. Work out what really brings you joy and just factor it into your budget.

7. Get a piggy bank

It’s easy to ignore or lose loose change, but the value of those single coins can add up quickly if you make a conscious decision to collect them. Choose a fun container to keep your loose coins, and decide how you’ll spend this easy money once you’ve reached a target amount.