We have already told you about the things you should do and expect before you even hop on the plane and study in Australia. But guess what, there are no mental preparations that can get you ready for the deluge of expenses when getting your degree from the Land Down Under. Australia is home to some of the best universities in the world and will totally make your effort and money worth it. But on the flip side, it is quite costly to study here.
But that doesn’t mean you should be discouraged, as there are work arounds to circumvent these huge expenditures. You only need a handful of creativity and a dose of self-discipline. Let us show you the ways.
This perhaps is the most underrated weapon in the arsenal of money-saving ideas. Your school ID is the hall pass for the many pricey products and services in Australia such as retail stores, movie theaters, museums, and restaurants. You may inquire your student activities office for any student discounts and perks your ID can take advantage of.
And before you make purchases on clothes, food, concert tickets, or just about anything, you may ask first if you can avail of any discounts for being a student. Asking won’t hurt. Worst case scenario, they will say no. Otherwise, you get a great deal. Also, you may join Student Club, which will further maximize your ID and further broaden your access to student discounts.
When strolling or jogging around town, you may take on a lookout for closing sales on groceries and food shops and take of note of them. Some of these stores hold clearance sales during evening where they sell products that are about to go out of date on insanely marked down prices. Food items like seafood, fresh produce, vegetables, fruits, bread, and dairy products are usually the ones getting slashed.
They may still be days from getting expired, but it helps to take note of the expiration dates before purchasing and avoid those that are already too close to their due, especially when it comes to dairies. And make sure you consume them before such dates. Going through a bout of diarrhea as a tradeoff for saving five dollars on your food expense is not worth it.
And since we are on the topic of food already…
Have you ever opened your fridge and found that you only have a disparate of food ingredients such as bananas, apples, chicken breast, and peanut butter that it is next to impossible to come up with a decent meal? A group of entrepreneurs and web designers probably go through the same episode every day and cooked up (hah!) a brilliant culinary innovation: Supercook.
Supercook is a website where you can input whatever ingredients you have in your fridge or cupboard and it will come up with recipes that involve those what you have. The website does this by scanning other legit recipe websites such as AllRecipes, Food.com, and Martha Stewart, among others (you can create two meals from the above ingredients, by the way). This is a great way to maximize what you have, be adventurous with your meals, and stop throwing food because you think they have no use.
If saving money won’t cut it, earning it will doubtlessly do. Working while studying definitely pays off, not only monetarily, but in terms of creativity and learning new things. But working hard isn’t enough, working smart is the way to do it.
When you enrolled in Australia, you will be given specific amounts of weeks available for holidays, so be sure to inquire on your school for the maximum number of weeks available for your course, as these are the days when you are allowed to work for as many hours as you prefer. Also, take your holidays on schedules when there is the most work available so you may earn as much as you can. These may vary depending on your industry or job. You may ask your superiors or coworkers for such days. They’d be happy that somebody is eager to fill in on these peak days.
But all work and no play can make your student life exhausting and arduous. You need to go out and have fun as well. And yes, that also costs money. But that doesn’t mean you cannot cut the expenses. Australia is filled with events and venues you can enjoy without making you weep on your empty wallet. You just need to take an effort in looking for them.
Some of these include museums, art galleries, and cultural institutes. These venues are cheap and even free to visit, and you may learn a thing or two about art and history, too. If staring at paintings and relics aren’t your thing, you may go for botanical gardens, parks, zoos, and precincts (not the place where the cops hangout) with your friends to chill, relax, play ball, or even have barbecues.
Sometimes, a couple of barbecues and trips to the zoo will never do. You want your night outs the way you do it back at home: with friends, alcohol, and dim lights. But going to bars and clubs will make you bleed money (possibly more than what you can earn), no matter in which city you are living. Your workaround? International student nights.
If you have one in your school, better ask for the date(s) and take note of it. It is the time when beer and other alcohols’ prices are getting slashed. Go with your friends or make new ones. If you have more company with you, the less you tend to drink, therefore the more you save.
If you are not living half a mile from your school, you should try biking instead of commuting. It is fun, gets you to school quickly, lets you avoid traffic jams, needs no fuel, and helps you burn calories. But we know, bicycles are very expensive. So owning one is already out of the questions.
It’s a good thing bike sharing websites like SpinLister lets you rent a bike to try for a couple of days before you can return it and rent another one if you get the hang of it. This creates a good opportunity for you to try it out around your city, town, or campus before you invest in your own bike. And when you are already have the money, you can buy a second-hand one through Craigslist.