How to save money while studying

By University of South Australia

How to save money while studying

By Haruka
Occupational Therapy student at the University of South Australia

I love living in Adelaide and it is my third year here but one of the struggles I have is saving money. As international students living away from home, we try to save as much as we can for several different reasons: you don’t want to spend too much of your parents’ money, you want to do more shopping, you’re saving up for your future, and so forth.
So, here are 4 helpful ways to save money! 

1. Cook at home

I have lived alone for a year now and I learned that cooking your own food can save a lot of money. Eating out can cost nearly $15-20 per meal, cheapest being around $7-8. Imagine how much more can you cook if you have that much money? Fresh vegetables and fruits, meat and other ingredients can be bought cheaply at the market. By using the money you spent eating out on groceries, you can cook enough for several meals.
Many argue that they are too busy to cook. I agree. I’ve been there. And I found this to
be quite helpful: cooking in bulk. By cooking in bulk, I cook a dish or two in a large quantity and save it in the fridge or freezer for other days. By doing this, you don’t have to cook every day! Of course, cooking at home takes time, energy and effort, but it saves money, it’s healthier and you are actually physically active while cooking.

2. Use your student status to your advantage!

Are you aware that with your student card you can get discounts at certain stores and restaurants, transportation fares and even movie tickets? Restaurants and food stalls in most food courts will have a student discount! Just show them your student card and you will receive 10% discount or free drink! There is also a concession price for movie tickets too! Just visit any cinema and show your student card. Depending on cinemas, Mondays or Tuesdays are cheap movie days.
And international students in Adelaide are offered the same public transport discounts as local students which can save you hundreds of dollars every year.
If you are into student discounts and vouchers, take a look at these two sites as well, Student Edge and PokitPal.
Not only that, if you look behind Coles’ receipts, you can find a few discounts too! You can also find this via Shop A Docket.

3. Choose your surroundings

What I mean by this is choosing the people that you surround yourself with. I have many friends who love to go out, eat in fancy restaurants and shop whenever they feel like it.
On the other hand, I have a group of friends who are careful with how they spend. While I love both groups so much, I have to be very cautious when I am around the first group. If you have any friend that loves to spend money and eat out, I advise you to not be ashamed and let them know that you are saving money. This way, they are aware and will not push you to go out so often. Of course, do go out and enjoy yourself once in a while! 🙂
Another piece of advice I would like to give is to save money with a friend. Let someone close to you, who can keep you accountable, know that you are trying to save money. This person will surely help you!

4. Cheap activities!!!

Lastly, there are many activities that you can do for free or a cheaper price! The first activity I did when I arrived in Adelaide was to visit the South Australian Museum. Some exhibits do have an entry fee, but they are worth it! Their displays and collections are updated quite frequently too. Other places like the Migration Museum, Art Gallery, National Wine Centre and Tandanya Cultural Institute are all free to visit.
Adelaide is small, but there are many events and locations you can visit. The Night Market, the Market Shed, Botanic Gardens, Central Market, Adelaide Hills, Adelaide Zoo and North Terrace precincts are a few places that you can visit. You can walk around and have a look without actually having to spend money. Also, Adelaide has many parks which you can gather your friends for a barbeque, to play sports or even to just chill out.

Additionally, at the University of South Australia, there are many events such as Brekky Bar, where you can get breakfast for $1-2.
Brekky Bar occurs every Tuesdays and Thursdays at City East and City West, and Tuesdays and Wednesdays at Magill and Mawson Lakes from 8:30am – 11am. They offer toast and spread, cereals, cheese toasties, tea and coffee and juices so that you can have your breakfast before your early lectures!

On top of that, there are free movies showing at City West with free popcorn, free fairy floss and free drinks!! The schedule for 2016 is still unavailable, but look out for it because it’s going to be great! Here are some of the movies that were shown last year.

So these are the four tips that I found useful in saving money. Of course, saving money is a good thing, but don’t forget to reward yourself and spend a few bucks once in a while! You need to explore and enjoy living here!
After all, Adelaide is an affordable city for your Australian education.

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