budgeting guide
Photo: iStock/Courtney Keating

When you start studying, it’s worth weighing up the costs of living against your budget and looking for ways to save money. Here’s our budgeting guide to keep some cash safely in your pocket.

Stay in shared accommodation 

Living in shared accommodation is a great way to reduce your costs and bills. Australia is one of the world’s most urbanised countries, so the chance of finding a room for rent near your campus is high with many students looking for roommates. Here’s how to find the best shared accommodation for you.

Use your student ID to score discounts

Many retailers and entertainment outlets offer discounts to students with a valid student ID. This can range from movie tickets to discounts on books and even bank fees. Don’t be shy about asking for a discount. You won’t know until you ask!

Get RentBond to cover your rental bond

Put your money towards stuff that’s more important while you pay your rental bond off over time. Rent.com.au’s RentBond product is an easy bond financing solution that lets you pay your rental bond out in 6 or 12 monthly instalments. Find out more about RentBond here.

Save money on food

If you can find a good local market you’ll find it’s cheaper to buy fresh fruit and veg there than the supermarket. Farmers markets are becoming increasingly popular and larger cities are likely to have a few. Sharing food costs and cooking meals with your roommates can be helpful to cut costs and you’ll get to know each other’s tastes pretty quickly.

Buy secondhand

Picking household items and clothing secondhand from op shops is a great way to save some cash. Take a friend along, you’ll be surprised how much fun you can have. Many Australian charities have op shops so keep an eye out for the Salvation Army, St Vincent de Paul and Red Cross.

Hold off on pets until later

Anyone who has had a pet before will understand the costs that are involved in pet ownership. It’s another mouth to feed and vet bills can get pretty costly. If you love animals, there are plenty of shelters that need volunteers.

Save money on power

If you’re renting a property through a landlord or property manager, you may have to pay for your power. If you’re in shared accommodation, this cost will usually be shared among you and your roomies. Depending which energy company you use, the costs for your power will vary, so it’s worth comparing the costs of different providers.

Buy a bike – or start walking 

Car and public transport costs can add up pretty quickly. Some major cities are easy to get around on foot or to cycle through, so consider buying a secondhand bike to use between places.

Cut down on your vices

Let’s face it: Smoking and drinking are pretty terrible for you. They’re also pretty pricey. Try to cut down on your cost of living by reducing these habits as much as possible.

Find a good phone plan

Consider landing a more basic phone plan or prepaid offer that includes unlimited texting with free incoming or outgoing calls.

Avoid credit cards

Credit cards can be good when used carefully, but it’s best to live within your means, no matter how low the interest rate is from your bank. If you must have a credit card, opt to transfer your debt to a 0% interest credit card that offers a balance transfer promotion.

Sell excess stuff

We’ve all overspent in the past. If you can, consider selling some of your excess stuff that you no longer need to leave some funds available for other purchases.

Get a better price on gym memberships

Look into your campus gym. Would you save money if you started attending closer to your place of study than one in town? Many universities and TAFE campuses offer memberships at a reduced rate for students.

Drink coffee at home

Consider cancelling a couple of daily expenses that have a tendency to add up. Why not drink coffee at home before you start your day instead of purchasing a $4-5 coffee in the morning and likely a few more before the end of the day?

Studying? Let us know the best ways you save money so we can add to our list!


Rent.com.au is Australia's largest company dedicated to renters and is owned and operated by ASX-listed Rent.com.au Limited (RNT:ASX). For over 15 years, Rent.com.au has exclusively focused on making renters' lives easier by making it easier to find a property, secure it, move in and pay rent.