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How to save money as a student


5 tips to help students save

We want to help you enjoy everything that student life has to offer, while being smart about what you can save. Enter our student saving 101.

1. Write a student budget

At uni, it’s tempting to go on a Euro summer vaycay during the mid-year break, and attend every event during O-week. All these fun things cost money, so a budget could really help you live your best uni life. Things to think about include your monthly income and fixed expenses like food, transport, rent and bills. Then you can see what’s left for on-campus, treat-yourself moments. Our in-app budgeting tool, Free2Spend, could help with this.

2. Earn money while you study

Holding a job while battling a busy timetable can be hard – we get that. That’s where casual and part-time jobs come in handy. They’re a good source of regular income, and also allow you some time to focus on uni work.

Start on campus — student jobs are super convenient with managers who are sympathetic to an ever-shifting timetable. Your uni’s website could be a great place to look to find local casual and part-time gigs.

3. Save money as a student

There’s no group more represented in the world of discounts than uni students. Take advantage of the saving hacks while you can:

  • Flaunt your student card: Travel agents, cinemas, cafes, restaurants and bars often have great student discounts. Sites like Unidays and Student Edge have all the information on what’s available. Make sure whenever you leave the house, you’ve got your student ID handy! 

  • Avoid new textbooks: They’re one of the biggest ongoing expenses for any student and second-hand books are usually just as good. Don’t forget you can buy and sell used ones on sites like Student VIP! 

  • Hit the groups: Nearly every uni has a student-run buy/sell Facebook group. Come for the second-hand goods, stay for the locals-only memes.

Pro tip: Sign up for a USpend transaction account and you could unlock our awesome bonus variable interest rate on your linked USave savings account*. Check out the full bonus interest eligibility criteria

4. Save money as a student without working

If working isn’t an option, there’s a range of government assistance packages to keep you going. Here’s a few examples:

  • Youth Allowance: Financial help for full-time students under-25
  • AusStudy: Financial help for full-time students over-25 
  • ABSTUDY: Financial help for Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander students and apprentices

Depending on the amount you're qualified to receive, these could help boost your savings while studying. And if you move to another city to study, you might even be eligible for a living away from home allowance. They do however come with their own set of restrictions, especially if you start earning a separate income. Visit the Department of Human Services for more info. 

5. Consider a student scholarship

Not just for the sporty and the smart, scholarships provide financial assistance to a range of students from diverse backgrounds. Some offer lump sums to spend as you need to, while others cover more specific expenses like textbooks, tuition or accommodation.

Most uni's provide unique scholarship opportunities (with no application fees), so check the website or student help desk. There are usually hundreds — if not thousands — on offer. A lot to gain and nothing to lose if you just apply and see what’s on offer.

Studying at uni is an awesome time in your life, and you should enjoy all the perks and social experiences that come with it. Follow our tips and stay mindful of your goals to help keep you on track with spending and saving. Also, do your bit in group assignments — it's just good karma. 


*To qualify for the bonus variable interest rate on eligible amounts in your USave account(s) in a calendar month, you must have both a USave and USpend account and deposit $200 or more into your USpend transaction account or your linked USave savings account from non-UBank accounts during the same month. The bonus variable interest rate will be applied to a combined balance of up to $250,000 held in your USave account(s), including joint accounts. Any remaining balance greater than $250,000 will earn the USave base variable rate. Bonus interest is earned the same month you meet the bonus interest criteria. If you qualify for bonus interest, your interest will be paid in 2 credits. The first credit is calculated using the base variable rate, and will be visible in the morning of the 1st of the following month. The second credit is the Bonus Interest, which will be processed overnight on the 1st, so please check your account on the 2nd of the following month.

The information contained in this article is of a general nature only. It doesn’t take account of any person’s objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this information, you should consider whether it is appropriate for your circumstances and seek independent legal, financial, and taxation advice.