HOW TO LIVE ON A STUDENT BUDGET
Go to uni, they said. It’ll be rewarding, they said.
Funny how they left out the part about it leaving you broke and eating two minute noodles every night for dinner.
Okay, so maybe I’m being a little dramatic. The two-minute noodles don't make such a regular appearance, but being broke is definitely a reality for many students.
Having lived off a student budget now for the past three years, I think it’s fair to say that I’ve accumulated a fair few hacks when it comes to saving an extra few dollars here and there. So for all you penny pinchers out there looking for some inspiration, check out the tips below!
- Take a page out of Macklemore’s book and thrift shop it
If you can get past that old musty smell, thrift shops are actually a haven for bargains.
Not only could you literally pick out a whole new outfit and it wouldn't cost more than $30, but some of the items you find are totally unique and vintage.
Another thing I love about thrift stores is that most of them give some of their profits to a charity, so you’re also contributing to a good cause!
While there’s no telling what you’re going to find each time you visit a thrift store, I’ve always seemed to walk out with my arms full after visiting the Western Sydney Salvo Store in Minchinbury.
In saying that however, big always isn’t the best. There’s tiny op shops located all within 5 km's of each other along Oxford Street in Sydney. Why not make a day of it with your friends and see what goodies you can find!
- Hit the shops at night
Not only will there be less people around, but this is usually the time that the supermarkets discount items for the day.
You might find that most of the discounts are on products that might be nearing their use by date. If you’re worried you won’t consume it all before that date, where feasible, freeze the product to give you a bit more time.
Eating like a king on a peasant’s wage isn't as hard as you might think!
If you haven't already, sign up to Unidays right now.
Seriously, get on it.
Not only is Unidays free to sign up but once you do, you’ve got access to a crazy amount of discounts. The even better thing is that the discounts are for some pretty cool brands such as The Iconic, City Beach, Glue Store and ASOS, just to name a few.
They’re also partners with some unique boutique stores, which I wouldn't have even known existed until I signed up.
If you’re a shopaholic like me, Unidays lets you feel a little less guilty about purchasing a new outfit for the weekend.
Unidays just get’s it.
- Like and join all local Facebook buy, swap and sell pages
I was a little skeptic at first when a friend told me about these pages which seemed to have popped up in crazy numbers on Facebook, but after some investigating (and some selling of my own old stuff) I’m fully on board.
These pages are great for not only do they let you get rid of your unwanted items and sell them for a bit of extra cash, but it’s crazy how cheap people will go to get rid of items they no longer want themselves.
The items listed for sale pretty much encompass just about anything you can think of; from clothes to old lawn mowers and even people selling services, such as cleaning and baking. There really is no telling what your going to come across each time you log on and check.
At risk of sounding like your mother, I just want to point out that there are some dodgy people in the groups that you just need to be weary of. After all if you’re as poor as me, you really can’t risk losing any cash!
- Tuesday is your go-to Movie Day.
Cheap Tuesday, as Hoyts like to call it, is the perfect day to head out to see the latest movies at a discounted price.
It might be a little more crowded in the cinema as all the other tightasses have come out of hiding too, but for $11 who really cares.
Unfortunately the same discount doesn't go for movie snacks, so brush up on your ninja skills or bring an oversized bag to hide your goodies in.
As you can see from the tips above being a tightass doesn't mean you have to miss out on some of the more finer, expensive things in life.
Now go forth and bask in all your savings!
WORDS BY LAUREN SUTTIE