As an international student living in a foreign country can be quite expensive, especially in Australia. For many students who are not that well off or who are not earning enough with their 20 hours a week part time jobs, it is important to develop a habit of saving money on monthly expenses in Australia.
In this blog we bring some important tips on how you can save money in Australia on monthly expenses by incorporating and changing a few things in your lifestyle.
Tip No. 1: Accommodation
Accommodations take up for a major part of your monthly expenses. For most international students living in Australia, most of their time is spend outside of their dorms. Students barely spend time inside their apartments because life for an international student is quite happening and exciting, so there is not really much time for you to laze around in your dorm.
So if you can, share your room with somebody then you’ll pay so little on your rent and will be saving money on monthly expenses. This will also help you in managing your house chores as it will be divided between you and your roommates.
Do not look for fancy and luxury houses if you’re living alone, instead buy a decent place which completes your basic needs such as cooking, sleeping, study and shower and some storage. Sharing your space with a roommate allows you to save a large sum of money on a monthly basis which you can use on some other important needs.
Tip No.2: Smart Grocery Shopping
Buy groceries in bulk. It sounds counterintuitive, but most grocery stores have additional discounts when buying in bulk. So instead of buying groceries every week, you can buy the items that you consume daily in bulk. This way you will be saving money on monthly expenses and you will always be stocked up.
Another tip for shopping for groceries for saving money on monthly expenses is that, go for shopping just before closing time, around one or two hours before they close up. Most people when they shop at grocery stores buy the most recent stocked products for maximum self-life. So if your need to buy only for the next couple of days, then you can go just closing time and buy the products which are about to be changed.
Tip No. 3: Avoid Eating Out
This is the second biggest expense for international students when they are living in Australia. Most international students get into the habit of regularly eating from restaurants and take-away. No matter how cheap you may think it is because of the “Discounts”, it is always better to cook for yourself.
By cooking for yourself at home you will be saving money on monthly expenses and you will be learning an important life skill. Cooking at home can have a lot of advantages, for example the first and foremost thing is that the quality of food will be so much better because you will be picking out the best ingredients and the freshest produce which makes a world of difference. Most restaurants use frozen foods which lose a lot of the nutrients, plus it adds to the cost of packaging and cooling. Cooking for yourself will also help you become more responsible and disciplined. Cooking is a skill which everyone must learn, and when you live as an international student it comes in handy.
Another tip about eating for saving money on monthly expenses is, avoid eating canned and packaged foods. In addition to it being weeks old and filled with added preservatives, it is also quite expensive because of the packaging and storing costs and more often than not, it is also bad for your health. So, if you were looking to adopt a healthier lifestyle now is the time!
Tip No. 4: Do not buy a car
Most students, who buy a car, think they are doing it for convenience and that it’ll save them a lot of money in the long run. But the thing is it all depends on your daily travel. If you’re someone who has to travel for at least 60 to 80 Kilo meters a day, only then it is convenient for you to buy a car, because you will be spending a lot of your time in it.
But for most international students, their daily commute ranges from their college to their dorms or apartments, which are usually located near the campus. So the car basically becomes a weekend companion.
Now a car costs a lot of money, no matter if you’re buying a new car or a pre-owned one, owning a car requires a lot of money and time, to maintain it in good condition. The servicing costs, the car washing costs, the consumables such as the engine oils, lubricants, brake fluids and other components can cost a lot of money if your car is just sitting most of the time. In addition to that, gas money is also a big concern as most cars in Australia, is performance based and are designed for higher output in terms of horsepower, therefore such cars are not the most fuel efficient and you will end up spending a lot of money on gas. On top of that the insurance also costs a bomb so all your plans of saving money on monthly expenses will go down the drain if you’re planning to buy a car.
The only other reason where buying a car is a good investment, is if you earn from your car. For example many international students in Australia take up part time jobs as an Uber eats or a taxi driver which involves spending lots of time on the road travelling long distances. This also enables you to earn money so it becomes a requirement to invest in a decent car which doesn’t breakdown often and keeps your comfortable.
Tips No. 5: Make a decision
This is the final and the most important tip for saving money on monthly expenses. Make a decision. Decide by yourself about how money you are spending on stuff which you can avoid. Saving money on monthly expense is not an easy thing; it is almost as tough as trying to quit smoking or any other bad habit. When you get used to spending a certain amount of money on a monthly basis you get accustomed to a certain lifestyle. You don’t even realise it and yet you end up with month end blues with little money in your bank account. Will power is everything when it comes to trying to saving money on monthly expenses.
As every person’s lifestyle is different, it is up to them to find the ways in which they can reduce their spending. Prioritize your needs and be cautious of your spending whenever you go out.
Make a list of your most essential spending such as rent, phone bill, internet bill, electricity bill, groceries etc. and always pay your bills the first as soon as you get paid. Try to set an achievable goal for saving money on monthly expenses and always try to save that much money. Do not compare yourself and your savings and lifestyles with your friends and peers. No one knows your goals better than you, so concentrate on yourself and try to save as much as you can, or as little as you can with what you have. Soon you will become comfortable in your space and then you can increase saving money on monthly expenses gradually.
Soon you will start to adapt to the new changes in your lifestyle and make minor adjustments that allow you to do all you wanted while saving money. It is never too late to develop the habit of saving money on monthly expenses. It will help you a lot in the long run.
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