So you’re just a few months into your first year of study and already you’ve spent more than you thought you would. Or perhaps you are the parent, the primary source of income, and are wondering, with all your other responsibilities, if you’ll be able to keep up your side of the bargain for another three-plus years. Below are five simple ways that university students can save money, no matter where it’s coming from.

Live Nearby

Getting to uni, getting to social events, travelling to get food, groceries and access services – these are all things that cause your money to evaporate extremely quickly. $20 petrol here and there doesn’t feel like much at the time, but it adds up way too fast. Choose to live somewhere central and you can save those pennies for bigger and better things. Rental prices for these sorts of locations can be intimidating, but there are options to make it easier. Whether you gather a group of mates and split the rent or go for affordable student accommodation like Iglu, you won’t have to sell the shirt off your back to the rental gods to live near your campus.

Travel Options

The amount of money you spend from day to day depends on both your means of transport and how far you have to travel. But remember that you are a student, which means you are entitled to all kinds of discounts! If you can take advantage of a travel concession, make sure you get it sorted sooner rather than later.

Food Options

Food is perhaps the easiest way to save money as a student, particularly if you’re living at home. Simply pack your own lunch; there’s nothing to it! Of course, time is not always on a student’s side, particularly in the early hours of the morning. With this in mind, it is important to familiarise yourself with the area. Where are the cheapest places to eat? Is there a supermarket? Having the answers to these questions on hand when you need them can save time and cash.

Textbook Options

Nowadays there are many different ways you can access your textbooks. They can often be viewed online, for example, and they tend to be cheaper to buy online too. Keep an eye out for any second-hand book sales, and make sufficient copies of textbooks you are borrowing. Alternatively, the university’s library will always have copies of your desired texts, even if there is a waiting line.

Free Events

Sure, you could go out clubbing every weekend, especially if you have some ‘spare’ cash after your thrifty weekdays. Of course, with so many options to socialise and have fun offered through your institution, paying excessive amounts of money to go out can seem a bit on the silly side. Check out societies and general events, make a note of when they are, and watch your weekends fill up with fun activities that won’t drain the old savings account.

Saving money probably sounds like a complete drag, but it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. Arm yourself with the right information and you’ll never have to refuse a lunch offer – but you might have to nominate a place that won’t leave your budget worse for wear. In fact, chances are your friends will appreciate it just as much as you do. Happy saving!

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