Your browser version is no longer supported, so you may experience issues while using this site.
Please upgrade to a current browser to enjoy the best experience.


Thrifty ways to save on a student budget

8 January 2018

While choosing to study is a big commitment, the potential benefits it can have on your future professional life and own personal growth can’t be overlooked. Still, living as a student in Australia can be expensive, especially when you’ve got less capacity to make money while you’re busy expanding your knowledge.

That’s why we’ve put together some handy tips on how to be ‘thrifty’ with your student budget.

Working out your student budget

Whether you’re studying for the first time, or returning to study later in life in order to upskill or make a career shift, it can be useful to create a student budget. This will allow you to see where you spend your money and where you can potentially save. 

Our budget calculator can help you get started. Input your regular expenses, your study expenses and your income to see how much excess you’ll have.

It’s time to get thrifty

Being a student doesn’t have to be the stereotypical ‘eating 2-minute noodles on a milk crate’ experience it’s portrayed as. By being a bit clever and thrifty, you can still have room in your budget for taking proper care of yourself… and maybe even the odd night out with friends. 

Reduce your rent: live with housemates

Renting, particularly in Australia’s capital cities, can be expensive. Depending on your situation, you might be able to live on campus, in a homestay or in a private rental. It’s usually a lot cheaper to rent with others than by yourself, so see if you can get some friends to rent with you.

Get discounts: use your student card

One of the best perks of being a student is that your education provider will usually issue you with a student card. This often entitles you to special student deals and offers. Think cheaper movie tickets, meals and healthcare. Make the most of student discounts while you can! 

Lower transportation costs: explore your travel options

Getting to and from your place of study can be quite costly. Petrol, parking, toll roads… it all adds up. Instead of driving, think about how else you could get there. Perhaps you can look at public transport options, or ride your bike. 

Dress to save: buy clothing off-season

Before buying a brand new jacket for winter, consider if you’ve got something in your wardrobe that will suffice for now. And then, if you’re still itching to spend some money, use the opportunity to buy off-season and get a head start on your summer clothes. If you desperately need some clothing for now, see what you can find at your local op shop – it’s amazing what great stuff people give away!

Socialise creatively: see your friends for less

Being thrifty doesn’t have to mean having no fun at all. Staying social is important for your wellbeing, but consider how you can make seeing friends a cheaper and healthier experience. Instead of going out for dinner, invite friends over for a bring-and-share meal at your house. Instead of going out for brunch, invite friends out for a walk or jog. 

Using a personal loan for study

In some cases, you can take out a student loan to help you pay for your studies. A personal loan for study can help you pay for things like:

  • Textbooks
  • Study-related materials, like art supplies or computer equipment
  • Course costs not covered by FEE-HELP, for example private school or college

Studying shouldn’t be a stressful situation, and having enough finances to get you through can give you the freedom to get the most from your studies. 

With a Suncorp personal loan you can make extra payments at no cost, and choose to pay weekly, fortnightly or monthly. Check your eligibility for a Suncorp personal loan, and don’t let lack of funds stop you from studying.

Read more:

Information is intended to be of a general nature only and any advice has been prepared without taking into account any person's particular objectives, financial situation or needs. You should make your own enquiries, consider whether advice is appropriate for you and read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement or Product Information Document before making any decisions about whether to acquire a product

Got a Question?

Ask Scout, the Suncorp Virtual Assistant