Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A uni students guide to budgeting

This year marks my fifth and final (fingers crossed) year of being a university student. In that time I have learnt a thing or two about money, a lack of means you learn pretty quickly. I thought I would pass on 10 of my money saving tips.

1. At the end of each day put the coins from your wallet into a money tin. It is often when we have coins in our wallets we splurge on things that we don't really need that add up over time. When the tin is full you can put it towards something you have been saving for or pay off some of your credit card debt.

2. Do your grocery shopping for the week in one go. Plan what you need and write a list and try to stick with it. I find if you do the groceries once a week rather than going to the supermarket every time you need something you don't "over" buy. It also means that your more likely to get your 4 cents petrol discount.

3. Buy laundry powder in bulk (random I know but it really works out a lot cheaper)

4. Is there a magazine you buy every week/month? Buy it at the petrol station when your filling up that way you will get an 8 cents discount on your petrol (Woolworth's petrol station) Also try and fill up on a Tuesday or Wednesday when petrol is cheaper.

5.  Keep snacks (nuts/ museli bars/ fruit) in your draws at work or school or in your handbag that way if you are ever feeling hungry you wont have to go out and buy something

6. A lot of farmers markets are only open certain days of the week, for example here they are open Wednesday - Sunday. Sunday afternoon they offer huge discounts on fresh produce to get rid of it before closing until Wednesday. Find out if something similar happens near you.

7. Get to know the people who work at your local op shops they will hopefully give you discounts in the future or let you know what new good stuff has come in. (A fellow blogger gave me this tip but I cant remember who, thanks if your reading this and I hope you don't mind me passing on your pearls of wisdom)

8. Embrace $5 steak nights at the local pub

9.Need new clothes? Clean out your current wardrobe first and figure out what you actually need and what will work with the clothes you already have. Organise a clothing exchange with friends for a quick and cheap update.

10. Embrace public transport. I am not sure what parking is like in your city but here it is through the roof! Catching the bus costs me $13 a week where as driving would cost $32.50 + petrol, plus your always guaranteed an interesting trip.

I hope you find something that helps. A lot of these tips mean you only save a little but it all adds up over time and that money might get you a few things off your etsy wishlist.


  1. All very good tips, Megan! We took all our bottles and tins to the recyling depot this past weekend and got back $16.50! It's going in the "trip to England" account. Every penny counts!

  2. Oh,this reminded me of my College years,spent away from Home.And now reading this,reminds me to be extra careful,while planing my trip for PostGrad to Paris ( Hopefully,Fingers Crossed )
    And as Erin said : Every Penny Counts!

  3. Those are really tips! I was a poor uni student I remember I always bought lollies and chocolate at the lolly shop between classes. Or I was waiting and feeling really peckish.

    The coin thing is really great! I still do that now.

  4. Ha, I wish I had listened to you about 10 years ago when I was in college!

    My hubby and I save our coins, and I love it. Just recently, we cashed them in before our trip to Boston and had over $200!

  5. Great list Megan!

    One thing I used to do in my uni days was to buy used text books and sell my old ones too. That saved me a lot of money.

  6. oh i totally agree with all of these things. Its always fun having a busget and trying to plan a fun day around, there are actually a lot of cheap things through the city, sometimes you just have to hunt for it! eeee. I cant wait to get your mail xox

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  9. ahhh i need to print this out and post in on my wall!! SUCH GREAT TIPS! i'm awful with money! haha.

  10. Do you guys use coupons? I'm not sure if that's an American thing but those helped me a lot when I lived on my own.

  11. great tips. i live by many of them.


    xo Alison

  12. Yup, that's about where I cut off. Now I've been watching it again and I was planning to make it to the last episode but... we'll see. I have this funny habit of really liking things finished so when I found out it had stopped airing I wanted to finish watching it.

    these are all good suggestions- I'm a broke uni student myself but I'm pretty great at budgeting and saving money if I do say so myself :) luckily Mathew is also thrifty but we take a break from our habits to spoil each other every once in awhile.

  13. ahhhh thank you for this!! five dollar steak night?! AWESOME

  14. great tips meg! we always kept spare/loose change in a jar and it really came it handy when we had to go to the laundry mat!

  15. love this! i don't even have money to budget haha :(

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