Money matters: being a super saver

Finding ways to save money isn’t just vital for some people, it’s actually a hobby (Sam, I’m talking about you here). It’s a great hobby to have, as it means you’re richer at the end of the day and probably don’t have to worry about money as much.

In academia and I suspect life in general, knowledge is power (as the old saying goes), and knowing how to save money is, in my opinion, crucial knowledge that you will need throughout your entire life, not just uni. I’m a fabulous saver now, buuuuut I have my weak spots, namely, bubble tea. Last year I estimated that I spent about $800 on this delicious beverage. How the hell does that add up? Well, here’s a break down of the maths, and this can be applied to your own weaknesses, be they coffees, nights out, fancy-pants brunches, clothes, video games, whatever.

Formula: (Cost of product x number of times consumed per week) x 52 weeks. Or, if you only purchase during semester, 26-30 weeks, factoring in exam periods)

So my bubble tea spending formula is: ($5.20 x 4) x 40 = $832 (give or take a bit as I don’t know the exact number, but I do have a LOT of rewards points… score?). Since that depressing revelation, I have cut back significantly on my tea, and limit it to one a week tops.

Now let’s apply the same method to takeaway coffee, with an average price of $3 (very cheap): ($3 x 5) x 26 = $390. That is a LOT of money. I guess that’s the problem though, we never think about the total yearly sum, and $3 here or there doesn’t seem to matter, until you’re broke. Thinking you should probably cut back on your caffeine addiction? Don’t fret, I have some tips on saving money that make it really easy.

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Tips for saving money:

  • Have your morning coffee at home! That’s at least $3 a day saved. Cha-ching!
  • Make a budget and stick to it
  • Open an interest earning savings account. There’s usually a monthly minimum that you have to deposit, and this will help keep you on track as you HAVE to save it every month
  • Work out your weakness (coffee, eating out, etc) and try find cheaper ways to do it, take advantage of lunch or dinner specials, and as dorky as it sounds, invest in coupons, loyalty cards, and rewards cards
  • Eating on campus can be pricey. So, keep an eye on the societies, many of which regularly hold BBQs, pancake days, cake stalls, etc, and all of which are very cheap and sometimes free!
  • To save $$$ on your textbooks and stationary needs, grab a Co-op Membership if you haven’t already!
  • If you can, walk or bike to uni. It will either save you petrol/parking or bus/train fare (which does add up over the year!)
  • Save your coins. I know this seems like a weird one, but at the end of each day I put all or most of the coins in my wallet into my piggy bank (there are some cute ones in-store if you haven’t got one!) and when it gets full I count it, put it into the little bank bags and deposit them. BAM there’s an extra few hundred dollars in my account, easy as.

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