Uni students are broke people.
Okay, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration, but things do get costlier at university. Transport fares are expensive (with concession passes double the cost), textbooks are even more so, and socialising needs spending. If your wallet is calling for help, we present you with four ways to help you cut down on expenses and still live out some of the most exciting years of your life.
1. Exercise your (student card) privileges
Been flashing your matric cards only at cinemas or bubble tea outlets? If so, you’ve been missing out: most universities have full-fledged student privilege card schemes, with various deals painstakingly sourced by their various student committees. Detailed lists of what you’re entitled to (ranging from discounts in F&B to dental consultations) can be easily found via a quick google search or through updates sent to your school email. These discounts are often timed and will get replaced by others, so make it a habit to check what’s on offer every semester on the various websites (NTUPerks, NUStyle, etc).
So go on, flash your (student) card like a boss! Do note, also that most schools have alumni card privilege schemes as well.
2. I’ll give you credit for that
Credit cards have long been avoided by students and for good reason. The increase in freedom that university brings and the easy access to cash a credit card gives can become a deadly combination, if not managed responsibly.
That said, credit cards do bring with them many perks and reward schemes that will help you save on expenses. For those unwilling to commit to a full-fledged credit card, try the ones created for students in mind. These reduce the risk of overspending and bad credit scores (which would affect future loans) while affording you the privileges relevant to a student lifestyle.
3. Secondhand steals
Textbooks and school resources can get expensive, especially when they’re rarely used throughout a module. Many seniors sell used texts on online marketplaces like Carousell or closed Facebook groups, so check if what you need is available for cheaper before placing an order with Book Depository or your school bookstore. Sometimes, your seniors and friends are more than willing to loan you what you need if you ask, so there’s no harm in trying!
If you’re organising overseas trips or events for your CCAs, friends, or just about anyone else, try renting or borrowing the items you’ll need as well! Sites like Leasany have items like Gopro & Tent that you can rent to spice up that getaway or birthday party. If the budget allows, engage services such as Picneeds for a memorable experience.
4. Online shopping
E-commerce has rapidly grown within the decade and Singaporeans are a big part of this increase – 41% of us purchase something through our phones at least once a month! One compelling reason to shop online is lower prices, as compared to buying from brick-and-mortar stores, something made possible because of lower operating costs.
To further maximise your savings when online shopping, and thus save even more, we suggest buying things only during promotional periods or sales seasons.
Alternatively, make use of deal and discount sites like Picodi, which helpfully consolidate coupon codes and discounts across various categories for your perusal. You can sign up to be notified when new discount codes are available and save even outside of Singapore, while travelling or on exchange! Picodi also has noteworthy codes exclusive to its users, so keep an eye out for those as well.
To get the best of both worlds and save even more check out other sites like Fave (formerly Groupon), where you can purchase offers that help you save in-store.
University, for many of us, is the final step before adulthood and the working world. Picking up ways to save will not only help now but also come in handy in the future when we start working to earn our keep and assume full control of our finances. If you have any tips on how to spend smart and make the most out of the uni years, please do share them with us below!