Student hacks are great if you’re an international student looking for ways to stretch your money. Students can expect to pay some US$18,000 for their annual cost of living in the US; and A$27,000 and £16,800 in Australia and the UK respectively.
While how much you spend would vary enormously based on where you live and study, tuition fees can also add to your burden. International students easily pay twice to thrice the amount domestic students do, which makes knowing how to manage your money a must.
If you’re looking for some money saving hacks, we’ve scoured the web for some tips from students themselves so you don’t have to. Let’s dive in!
Student hack # 1: Meal prep
Food is often a big expense for students, so on top of our list of student hacks would be to meal prep. Buying meals on campus can burn a large hole in your pocket. For example, spending CA$15 for lunch each day on campus would amount to CA$75 at the end of the week, which can be the equivalent of your total groceries in the same period.
So next time you head to university, consider bringing your own coffee, meals and snacks from home. While meal prepping requires time and effort – and, for novice cooks, practice – the results are well worth it. Once you start cooking, you’ll quickly realise how much cheaper it is to prepare your meals.
Student hack # 2: Leave your money at home
There’s always the temptation to spend while on-campus, be it at the stationery shop to the campus cafe. Some students buy coffee and snacks out of boredom – which means spending money — and eating calories — they shouldn’t.
While controversial, this tip on our list of student hacks have served some students well.
By not bringing your money to university, you’re less likely to be tempted to buy unnecessary drinks and snacks. You won’t need them if you meal prep too.
Student hack # 3: Make a budget
Dave Ramsey once said, “A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went.” This quote is a helpful guide for anyone looking to save some money.
Drawing up a weekly budget can help you track your spending patterns and channel money towards fund you need or want, such as travel or into your personal savings.
Student hack # 4: Use student discount cards and apps
Did you know that your student ID is your golden ticket to saving money?
Don’t be shy to ask if there’s student pricing the next time you visit the cinema, computer store, or even cafes and restaurants.
Consider getting student discount cards such as the International Student Identity Card (ISIC), or downloading apps for food discounts,
Student hack # 5: Use resources available to you
Does your university have a gym or pool? Why not use resources available to you rather than spend money on a gym membership?
It’s the same concept for books – if you plan ahead, borrow your required reading materials from your university library so you won’t have to buy them. Maximise your student insurance plan and public transport pass too.
Student hack # 6: Create alerts to cancel your subscriptions
Do you engage in any services that have an auto-subscription? Whether it’s for Grammarly or a subscription to a digital magazine, consider setting up a cancellation reminder on your phone.
If you enjoy making payments with a credit card, choose one that gives you rewards or cashback. While we’re on the topic of credit cards, don’t forget to pay your bills on time to avoid the interest charges.