Top 5 Student Saving Hacks

 Image credit: bankrate.com

Image credit: bankrate.com

Because we could all use a few extra dollars.

It’s an age old fact. A timeless stereotype that spans generations. Students are poor. And it’s really no surprise when the vast majority of us complain about having approximately $4 in our bank accounts. We love to spend our money on fun, friends and food. And why shouldn’t you? But at the end of the day we’re all saving for something long-term too. Whether it’s an overseas trip, a future home or something unexpected. On that note, here’s some ways to live your best life, without breaking the bank.

1.  BYO food

Let’s get the boring stuff out of the way, quick-smart. I know that no one wants to hear it, but I really can’t stress it enough. Bring yourself a little pack to uni, work, your internship or wherever your day may take you.  BYO food WILL save you a bunch of money every single time you do it! It’s the gift that keeps on giving. Say every Monday you avoid the $10 you’ve been spending on sushi, that an extra $40 in your pocket every month!

2.  Use and abuse student discounts

Take advantage of your student status! There is so much out there that YOU (yes, you!) can get cheaper just because you’re studying. Surely you’ve seen the advertising for Uni Days  - thanks to Uni Days, you can get discounts on anything from clothing and lifestyle to technology and food. Sign up for free, there’s an app too! Similarly, Student Edge also has free membership, offering deals on a bunch of different stuff like entertainment, food and fashion. Another app for you, Pokitpal, which provides students with deals and discounts on entertainment (including nightlife), lifestyle and food, as well as a points rewards system.  Lastly, grab and international student card if you’re heading overseas for a bunch of global and local savings.

3.  Know your deal day

Make a point to know the special student deal days for places you frequent. Who doesn’t love a nice visit to the movies?

On Wednesdays we go to Dendy for $8 student tickets. Event Cinemas does $8 Mondays for us tertiary education kids. A cinebuzz membership can also score you a $10 ticket throughout the week. You’re welcome.

You can’t get closer to UTS than Central Park, where a Palace Cinemas has recently opened, offering $11 tickets on Mondays.

If you’re keen for a no-frills cheap feed, UTS café Penny Lane has a daily $10 meal special. Wanting to venture into the city? A gem of a happy hour is at The Argyle on a Tuesday night, where you can pick up bao and tacos for $2 along with some bevvies.

Don’t forget your own backyard! The Loft and The Underground at UTS have happy hour every day of the week 2-4pm.

In terms of going out, my nightlife recommendation is Wednesday night student night. El Topo in Bondi Junction has free entry and $4 drinks. Double Bay’s The Sheaf is free and drinks are $5. A $10 note can also get you into The World Bar. Or get out there and explore. You’re spoiled for choice.

4.  Track your spending

Monitoring your expenses can definitely help you be mindful of how much cash you’re splashing and where it’s going. Some banking apps (we're jealous of you, CommBank kids) have even incorporated this tracking function within themselves. Otherwise there are plenty of free apps like ‘Track It’, which allow you to log the finer details of how, what, when, where and why your money is gone. Every time you make a purchase, you simply log an entry in the app, describing how much was spent and what on. This lets you to look back on your purchase history any time, and also shows you what your monthly spending figure is. Seeing those figures add up can be a real scare tactic to encourage yourself to save. 

5.  A budget will save you

At the end of the day, it’s hard to save money if you don’t know how much you don’t want to spend in the first place. It doesn’t have to be a Government-level planning affair either! A simple monthly plan of how much you’re wanting to save, willing to spend, and need to spend will suffice. If you were really fancy, you could break your spending figures up into food, entertainment or more, but that’s your call. Go forth and save!

Isabelle ‘Izzy’ Stackpool is in her second year at UTS, double-majoring in Journalism and Public Relations. Her passions include travel, sushi and kittens.