At university, you spend most of your time studying and less time working and earning an income. As a uni student it can be hard to pay bills and just ‘survive’ let alone save any money!
Here are five tips and tricks to help you to hold onto the money you do have.
1. Paying for things you can get for free
Sometimes we end up paying for things just out of convenience that we would otherwise have for free. Water is a classic example, how many of you forget to bring your water bottle to class and end up buying a bottle of water a number of times a week. Paying on average $4 a bottle this can add up very quickly. It is important to be organised when planning your day to avoid these unnecessary expenses.
2. Not using student discounts and deals
As a student you are often eligible for a variety discounts for things such as public transport, movies, event tickets and even select clothing stores. It is a great idea to ask when making a purchase if your student card will get you any kind of discount. No matter how small, it is worthwhile taking advantage of it as they all add up.
3. Buying text books new
The dreaded text books generally do cost a fortune, and in many cases you only use them once. It is worthwhile looking around for second hand books. Often students will be looking to sell theirs from a previous semester within the campus or check out online, eBay or an alternative second-hand book seller. It may even be an idea to take it upon yourself to start a group (Facebook is good for this and free to set up) to buy, swap and sell text books within your course.
4. Eating out
We are all guilty of picking up take away after a long day of study, however this has a severe consequence on your back pocket. Being organised and having groceries and prepared meals in your fridge at the beginning of the week is very important in reducing those impulse buys because there is no food in the house or you are too tired to cook.
Even those morning coffees soon add up, if you buy a coffee each weekday morning for $4 for 40 weeks of the year, that equates to $800 a year on just coffee. It would be better to make one at home before you leave for uni.
5. Forgetting to cancel free trial offers
How many of us have signed up to latest fad subscription service and forgotten to cancel it? They get you when they take your credit card details for a ‘free trial’ in the hope we forget we ever signed up and many people do in fact forget. These subscriptions include music streaming, Netflix (or similar), or even gym memberships. Each month you should look through your bank statement and see if any surprise direct debits that you have forgotten about pop up, you can then be proactive in stopping these unnecessary expenses as soon as they arise. Even better is to set a reminder in your diary so they are cancelled before the trial expires.
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By Morgan Griffin, Chartered Accountant
The information contained on this web site is general in nature and does not take into account your personal situation. You should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs, and where appropriate, seek professional advice from a financial adviser.
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