I’m currently a student and oh my gosh does it cost a lot just to study! A single textbook can cost around $200 and not to mention how expensive the food on campus is too! It takes me 1 hour and a half hour to go to school on a single one-way trip and I have to say, Sydney doesn’t have the cheapest transport!

So I’m broke and hungry, and the only thing I have ‘full’ is a full schedule of assignments to do! So how DO I save money in this horrifying situation? What does it take to survive school as a student?

Number 1: Make your own lunch

I know this might sound like an obvious thing, but making your own lunch REALLY is the thing to go for! To save money, I once ate 2 pieces of bread and a slide of ham for an ENTIRE YEAR! To be fair, I didn’t know how to cook and I was lazy to switch things up too. But it saved me A LOT!

Since I still live with my family, they buy bread and ham and other groceries. So it doesn’t cost a thing to me. However, when I go to university/college, a single ‘ham sandwich’ (which I swear looks exactly like mine) is $6!! I don’t care if they toast it as well, but $6?! Nuh uh, noo way.

Number 2: Library

Remember how I said textbook can cost around $200? Imagine buying a textbook for $200, only to use it for 3-4 months, and you’ve only really need to use it once a month! IMAGINE PAYING $200 TO OPEN THE BOOK 4 TIMES! It’s really ridiculous how much they’re charging us to buy their book and they rarely even use it!

So here’s my tips on how you can save money on textbook:

  1. Digital copies are nearly half the price. So you can opt for that.
  2. Share it with a friend. Split the bill for the physical/digital copy.
  3. Look out for used textbook and get that. You can even sell it back after using it!

But here’s my secret tip.

If the textbook is available in the library but they only allow you to borrow it for a few hours, grab it whenever you can and SCAN IT. Not only will they be clearer than your phone (I’m horrible at taking photos), they’re always in your email when you need it!

Free digital textbook!

Number 3: Phone Bills

I know it may not apply to everyone, but if you’re renting out and need to pay for your own bills and groceries, you really shouldn’t pay more than you need to for your phone bills. I know people who complain about something being expensive, yet they pay $$$ on their phone every month!

If you’re someone who can control themselves and can survive on a few calls a day, then consider getting it prepaid. That way, you can limit yourself and you only pay what you need/use! When I was in high school, I prepaid my phone $10 every 2 months!

Photo by Tofros.com from Pexels

Number 4: Student ID card

When I went around googling for more ideas on how to save money as a student, I can’t believe NOBODY wrote about taking advantage of their student ID card? I flash my ID card like it was a black credit card!

Whenever I go out with my friends, I always look for ‘concession’ prices. These are usually discounted prices for people with a concession card, which includes student ID cards! I’m not sure if it applies to everyone else, but it does in Sydney.

A lot of the arcades and restaurants around universities/colleges offer that! For example, a shopping center near my university offers “Tuesday $15 unlimited games for Students from 4 pm-midnight!” or “10% off large meals for students”. So definitely take advantage of your student ID card!

Number 5: If possible, walk!

As I mentioned earlier, transport isn’t the cheapest here in Sydney. But if you live fairly close to your university/college, then definitely consider walking or riding the bike to school! It will save a lot of money!

Since I live so far from mine, it can cost me up to $30-$60 a month on transport! It’s crazy, but there’s no other way eh? Parking at university can be super expensive too!

10 ways to save money as a student
Photo by Stanley Morales from Pexels

Number 6: Research!

This isn’t really a save money tip, but you can earn extra money on the side if you’re at school! I don’t know if it applies to other universities/colleges, but often times, people would ask for you to participate in research studies where they’ll offer a reward to you upon completion.

Of course, I’m not asking you to be a lab rat, nor will they treat you like one. But the research is usually more casual like wanting students to participate in studies where they want to see how many students walk/take the bus/train to school. It usually isn’t anything crazy. If it is, participate on your own risk!

Number 7: Savings account

If you work or have money coming in, then definitely DON’T spend them all like there’s no tomorrow! Put them in a high interest savings account if you don’t really know where to use them on!

I’m not a big spender, so I usually put mine in my savings account. If I put in money in that account, it will get interest, which is basically free money for me!

Number 8: Open week

Here’s another crazy one that I’ve NEVER seen people talk about on other posts, but PLEASE ATTEND YOUR SCHOOL’S OPEN WEEK. You don’t have to go every day of the week, but oh my gosh, there are so so many freebies for you to collect there!

I go nearly every semester, and from there, I got 2 free A4 writing books, a few free pens and highlighters and A LOT OF FREE FOOD and activities for you to do! I basically go there just to get the freebies that they give out! You save a lot of money!

Number 9: Events

If you’ve got free campus events going on, then you should definitely join in! Not only are they free, they’re usually a lot of fun too! These include parties, clubs and outdoor activities too! We once had a sports competition where they give out free movie tickets to the winners!

I obviously didn’t participate (I’m really unfit), I just went to get their free sausage sizzles (sausage on bread)!

10 ways to save money as a student
Photo by Wendy Wei from Pexels

Number 10: Scholarships

I’m not a very smart person, or at least not smart enough to get myself some academic scholarships. But if you are smart and you want to save money, then definitely try your best and apply for them!

Of course, academic scholarships aren’t the only thing that they offer. They give out scholarships for students who are in a difficult situation like living in a rural area, low income or with a disability, then definitely take advantage of the scholarship and save money!

I hope you found this post helpful, especially those who are currently studying at school! I had a lot of fun writing this one up, so if you have any money-saving tips, do let me know in the comments down below! I’m still studying, so any tips and advice would be great! Well then, bye for now!


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  1. I love that there are so many ways to save money – especially with them being the little things. Making your own lunch goes a long way! Even though I graduated 3 years ago, I still try to use my student ID card to this day. Thanks for sharing all of these tips!

    Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me

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