International students studying at an Australian university have a lot on their plate. From academic to social life, there is a lot to manage and balance. On top of that, managing finances and living on a budget can be a whole other challenge in itself.
Here are some of the smartest tips for international students studying in Australia to live life king-size on a small budget:
Buy in bulk at a discount superstore and cook at home
One of the best ways to save money as a student is by cooking at home and eating out less. Instead of buying your groceries from the store every week, try buying in bulk so you can make big batches of food that will last you a couple of weeks.
Do you know what you can cook in 5 minutes and can last for two weeks? Here are some ideas:
- Rice and beans
- Chilli con Carne
- Stir fry
- Pasta with tomato sauce
You can also try batch cooking meals like casseroles or shepherd’s pie so you have something to eat during the week without having to cook every day.
Grocery items you can buy in bulk to make a quick meal whenever you have some time include:
- Tomato sauce
- Curry paste
- Tinned tuna
- Frozen vegetables
Many students don’t realize how much they can save by cooking at home rather than going out to eat all the time. If you cook just three meals a week at home, you could save around AUD 60 per week!
This tip also applies to other items such as toiletries and stationery which can be bought at a discount when purchased in bulk.
Take advantage of student discounts
As an international student in Australia, you are eligible for a range of discounts on food, travel, entertainment, and more. All you need is your student ID!
Some of the best student discounts in Australia include:
- Cheap or free public transport in some states
- Discounts on movie tickets, theme parks, and other entertainment venues
- Cheaper rates at gyms and fitness centers
- Free or discounted entry to museums and art galleries
- Specialty store discounts on clothing, textbooks, and more
To find out what student discounts are available in your area, simply ask around or search online. You can also check with your university’s Student Guild or Union for more information.
Look for free events and activities
One of the best things about living in Australia is that there are always plenty of free events and activities to enjoy, no matter what time of year it is. From free concerts and festivals to markets and museums, there is something for everyone.
To find out what’s happening in your area, simply do a quick search online or ask your friends. You can also sign up for email newsletters from local businesses and organizations to stay in the loop.
Live with a roommate
If you’re living in student housing, chances are you already have a roommate. But if you’re renting an apartment off-campus, it might be worth considering getting a roommate to help split the cost of rent and bills.
Not only will this save you money, but it can also be a great way to make new friends and have someone to hang out with on those nights when you’re not in the mood to go out. Just make sure you choose someone you get along with and who has similar living habits to you!
TutorHelp.Club experts suggest that while choosing a roommate, international students should keep in mind the following things:
- Location: Your place of residence must be close to public transport, shops, and your university.
- Budget: Make sure you are both on the same page when it comes to your budget and living expenses.
- Lifestyle: Consider things like whether or not you are both neat freaks or night owls. It is important to choose someone whose lifestyle is compatible with yours.
Walk or bike instead of taking public transport
If you live close to campus or in the city, walking or biking to your classes is a great way to save money on public transport. It’s also a great way to get some exercise and fresh air!
Of course, this isn’t always possible if you live further away from campus or in a hilly area. But if you can manage it, walking or biking is a great way to save money and get around town.
While choosing your mode of transport, you should consider the following:
- The cost of public transport vs. the cost of a bike or walking shoes
- The distance you have to travel
- The weather
- Your fitness level
If you decide to walk or bike, make sure you invest in a good quality lock to keep your belongings safe.
Furnish your accommodation with hard rubbish
If you’re furnishing your place, one of the best ways to save money is to buy second-hand furniture from hard rubbish collections. This is a great way to get all the furniture you need without spending a fortune.
Some of the places where places abandon their hard rubbish collections are:
- The side of the road
Gumtree and other online marketplaces are also great places to find second-hand furniture. Just make sure you inspect the items before you buy them to ensure they are in good condition.
Some of the treasures you can find for free or at minimal prices in hard rubbish are:
- Furniture, such as chairs, tables, and bookshelves
- Appliances, such as microwaves, fridges, and washing machines
- Electronic items, such as computers, TVs, and stereos
- Clothing and accessories
- Linens and towels
- Dishes and kitchenware
- Sports equipment
Before you start collecting hard rubbish, make sure you check with your local council to find out when and where collections are happening. You don’t want to miss out on any great deals!
When choosing an item from hard rubbish, make sure you inspect it carefully for damage and pests. If you’re not sure how to do this, ask a friend or family member for help.
Hunt for bargains at local St Vinnies or Salvos
St Vinnies and Salvos are great places to find bargains on everything from clothes to furniture. These stores are run by charities, so all of the profits go towards a good cause.
You can usually find these stores in most suburbs, so they’re easy to get to. Just make sure you check the opening hours before you go, as they can vary from store to store.
Some of the things you can find at St Vinnie’s and Salvos are:
When shopping at these stores, make sure you take the time to look through all of the items. You never know what treasures you might find! Also, once you graduate and settle into a good job, you can give away your unwanted items to these stores to help out other students in need.
Take advantage of the Happy Hour Deals
If you like going out for drinks with your friends, then you’ll be happy to know that there are plenty of bars and pubs that offer Happy Hour deals. This is a great way to save money on your night out!
Some of the best Happy Hour deals can be found at:
- The Local Taphouse
- The Palace Hotel
- Lord Nelson Brewery Hotel
- Baxter Inn
These are just a few of the many places that offer Happy Hour deals. So, next time you’re planning a night out, make sure you check to see if your favourite bar or pub has a Happy Hour special. You might be surprised at how much money you can save!