How to Save Money While Studying Full-Time

Posted February 28, 2020, by Elesha

Little tweaks to spending habits can really help your student budget go the extra mile. Whether you’re studying online or on campus, there are more ways than you think to save money while studying full-time!

Behold, our best money-saving hacks for students on a skinny budget studying in Australia. 

Groceries and Meals

Become a ninja meal planner

This is one of the best money-saving hacks for students. A bit of time invested planning your meals each week will really add up to cost-saving on your weekly shop. 

There are heaps of tutorials out there on how to budget meal plan. Just type ‘meal planning to save money’ into a YoutTube search and you’ll bring up a bunch of inspiring tutorials on how to slash your grocery bill with meal prep.

We’re loving these 6 low-cost meal prep ideas.

Buy online

Doing your grocery shopping online is an awesome money-saving tip for two reasons. 

First, you can compare prices and offers easily online to make sure you’re getting the best deal and second, you’ll avoid the extra temptations of a supermarket. Things that were never on your list won’t somehow end up in the trolley. 

Have a few meat-free days during the week

Quality meat isn’t cheap and you can definitely save money while studying if you opt to go meat-free a few days a week. 

The good news is, healthy plant-based ingredients that keep you feeling full can be super cheap; think lentils, chickpeas, brown rice, etc. Cheap and healthy? Win-win! Plus they’re great for boosting your brain power, triple win.


Just because you need to save money while studying doesn’t mean you have to eliminate all the fun out of your life in order to cut costs! 

Only drink and eat out when it’s happy hour

Look for your best local happy hour deals and build your nightlife plans around those times. We’re not just talking about 2-for-1 cocktails, look for meal deals too!

The Happiest Hour app is a money-saving goldmine for students, with daily deals on the best local happy hours and meal discounts in Australia’s capital cities.

Helloooo $4 wines and $1 serves of buffalo wings.

Subscribe to discount voucher sites 

Groupon and Scoopon are a few of the most popular discount sites for students to score a bargain on everything from travel, restaurants, experiences, beauty, local businesses and more offers. 

Subscribe to the email lists so you never miss a daily deal. You could also consider splitting the cost of an annual Entertainment membership with friends and share the deals. 

Be a (cheap) tourist in your own city

This is one of our favourite tips for saving money as a student. Every capital city has a tourism website, blog, or app that lists a bunch of free, local activities to do – like these 42 free things to do in Brisbane or these 15 awesome free things to do in Sydney.

Get your nose out of the books and out of the house to explore all the cool things your hometown has to offer on the cheap.


Getting involved with local events or causes as a volunteer is an awesome way to meet new people while giving back to the community and having fun at the same time. All without spending money!

Bills and General Living Expenses

Ask for a discount before you renew contracts

If you’ve got a contract or subscription coming up for renewal – phone, internet etc, contact the company and let them know you’re going to cancel your subscription to look for a cheaper provider.

You can bet you’ll be transferred to someone on the customer service team who has the power to offer discounts to retain customers. 

This also works if your credit card has an annual subscription cost – you’d be surprised how quickly card companies will waive that cost if say you’re thinking of closing the account.

Consider living on campus 

In some cases, living on campus could be a cheaper option than accommodation types. You’ll save money on transport and utility bills (such as gas, electricity, water and internet) are usually already included in the rent. 

Crunch the numbers to compare costs with alternative accommodation options to find the most economical choice. 

More Tips To Save Money While Studying

Take advantage of student concession perks 

Studying full-time can give you access to discounted public transport, flights, gyms, tech and more.

Join sites like Student Edge, STA Travel and UNiDAYS to get the hop on money-saving student deals.

You could also investigate the option of getting an International Student Identity Card (ISIC) which comes with its own discounts and offers for Australian students including movie tickets, fuel, and public transport.

Save money on textbooks

StudentVIP is Australia’s largest textbook marketplace and a great way for students studying in Australia to save money on expensive reading materials that are a must for your course.

The site allows you to buy used books from students who are finished with them and because it doesn’t take a commission, it’s one of the cheapest places around to buy your textbooks. For books you’ll only need for a short amount of time, check them out at the library instead.

Stash every $5 note

Make a deal with yourself to save every $5 note you get back in change.

Stash it away in a jar or envelope and you’ll be surprised how quickly the dollars add up. Once you hit $100, use it to treat yourself or bank it into your savings account. It’s a pain-free way to save money while studying. 

Learn to love a budget

Ok, even if you can’t bring yourself to love a budget, at least accept that having one and sticking with it is gonna be the best way to stay on track with your student finances.

You don’t want the joy of completing your studies to be overshadowed by a big financial mess you created while doing it!

Make budgeting fuss-free and easy with your pick of budgeting apps and tools to save money while studying.

For more tips of living your best student life, check out our 5 Tips To Help You Get Out Of Your Study Rut and 21 Motivational Quotes That’ll Make You Want To Study Hard.



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