19 Student Money-Hacks: Back to School Like a Pro 🎓

Spendee
Spendee
Sep 11 · 7 min read
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New semester, new you, right? 😏 That isn’t always so easy, but let us help you budget though this school year with no stress (other than exams). Follow our 20 Tips to save the most out of your student budget! 💰

1. Use Student Discounts 💰

It may not look like it — but they’re everywhere! Whether it is your public transportation card, your meal at Maccas or cinema tickets, we’re sure many companies have a secret student option. 🤫 The rule is, even if you don’t see it — ask for it — you never know!

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2. Avoid Gym Memberships 🏋🏼‍♂️

We’re not saying that you should spend all your evenings with Netflix & Snacks (only sometimes 🤭) — but there are many cheaper alternatives to your fancy gym membership! Some universities have their own gyms for just a small fee — and if yours doesn’t, you can create weekly sports events with your classmates, go for a run, or practice calisthenics in street workout parks. 💪🏼 The possibilities are endless!

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3. Know How To Save on Food 🍽

Food costs should be about 10–15% of our net income, which is very hard to maintain especially as a student! 🎓Make sure that you follow a balanced diet while practicing our 20 Tips to Save on Groceries & another 20 Tips to Save on Eating Out.

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4. Cook Together With Your Flatmates 👨‍👩‍👧

Living together in a dorm or in a student flat can easily lead to treating those strangers as a second family. 😉 Sharing cooking duties isn’t only cheap, but it is also a great way to socialise! You can start with a potluck dinner, and if you’re satisfied with everyone’s cooking skills, take it to the next level & meal prep for more days — it’s up to you!

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5. Track Your Expenses & Use Budgets 💸

It’s amazing that you’re already using Spendee to analyse your spending habits — but your party category could use a budget! 😉 Set up a budget for a category you can save the most on — and let us guide you through the month. We’ll let you know how you’re doing in time and when it’s time to slow down!

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6. Have a No-Spend Day 🏆

Students love being challenged, are we right?! 😎 Choose a day of the week when you’re not able to spend anything. No, not even that coffee for your super-boring lecture. 👀 Let’s see if you can make it!

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7. Join Online Student Groups 💬

Throughout your semester, you will be buying a lot of things that graduates are trying to get rid of. 🤯 Whether you’re looking for Mathematics 101 coursebook, new office desk chair or a “questionably-functioning” microwave — we’re sure that you can save dozens of bucks buying it from other students! If that’s not what you’re looking for, maybe you’ll fancy joining a workout group or staying up to date with everything going on. Or selling your own stuff?

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8. Join Study Groups 📚

Chances are, your study group won’t be as hilarious as the one in Community TV Series 😏 but you will find a group of friends who can help each other so there’s no need to pay for an expensive tutor.

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9. Use What Your Uni Offers 🎓

Many universities have free access to tons of magazines, journals or softwares that can help you save those few bucks on things you’d use anyway. 💸 Usually, these offers or partnerships are hidden on the website — but we’re sure that when you ask, they will let you know about all the possibilities!

10. Take Cash on Night Out 🍷

You can’t spend what you don’t have, right? Take only what’s acceptable for your budget & avoid taking your card with you. Budgeting isn’t the only advantage: you’re also avoiding any possible theft or loss by not taking all your valuables with you. 🤩

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11. Look up Free Events 🎈

Some of the parties you’re invited to cost more than lunch for a week. Avoid them and look for organisations or clubs with no entrance fees! When there aren’t any free available options, you can always join your friends house-party, right? 🏡

12. Ask your friends to host a house-party 🏡

Never host a house party by yourself. Ask your friends in the cheaper flat! Seeing the aftermath and participating in the clean up will make you say: thanks Spendee. You’re welcome! 😏

13. Say No To Bad Habits 🚭

We are humans and we all struggle with different bad habits — but often, the core in changing your behaviour is starting with the small things! They’re good both for you and your wallet. If your bad habit is smoking, begin by limiting it only to your night’s out and avoid smoking a whole pack in one day. 😱 If your guilty pleasure is coffee, stop buying the expensive one on your way to school and rather make yourself a cup at home. Setting up a budget can help following this one!

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14. Don’t Buy a Car 🚗

Unless it’s absolutely necessary for your commute. This is hugely dependent on your location, but there are many cities where using public transportation or riding a bike works just fine! 👌🏼

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15. Distinguish Your Needs & Wants 🎯

Know exactly what you need to “survive” in a month and what is definitely not a necessity, rather a want. 🙏🏼 We know it’s very difficult to limit yourself like that — but it’s very important especially in your first year, when you’re experimenting with your budgets, positive cash flow and learning what you can and can’t do with your money.

16. Don’t Overdo It With School Supplies 📝

While your designer journals with cute stickers look awesome (yeah, they do) there is no need to buy them! Resist this temptation and use your laptop to take notes instead. Your wallet & back will help you! If that’s not possible, just buy cheap stationery and avoid supplies you won’t use anyway. Yes, we’re talking about 20 markers for different colours.

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17. Volunteer on Vacations 🏝

You’re not looking for that exotic beach, you’re looking for great memories for a lifetime. Are we right? 💪🏼There are many volunteering opportunities all around the world, where you will be provided with living necessities, meet like-minded people and most importantly help those in need. Research your options — whether you have a tight budget or you have bucks to spend, it’s still less expensive than resorts!

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18. Don’t Skip School 😏

You’re paying for it. Even if you’re lucky enough to study in a country where it’s free. Don’t use it as an excuse to skip your class! 🙇‍♂️ You have a chance to learn something today, that you will otherwise have to pay expensive courses for. Appreciate it and gain as much (free) knowledge as you can!

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19. Earn Side-Money Through Uni 💰

Many universities need short term help and reward students with a scholarship for that. 💸 Whether it’s participating in research publications and experiments, administration work or helping out with conferences and school events — it’s your time to shine. And what’s better, teachers will remember you for that!

It’s the time of your life — so make it stress free!

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