Budgeting Tips

Being a student is synonymous with being broke. Here are some practical tips to help make life on a student budget a little easier.

Budget and Funds

  • Make a weekly budget and stick to it.
  • Make sure you’re getting what you’re eligible for from Studylink.
  • AUSA can help: we have food parcels and grants for emergencies.
  • You might be eligible for a community services card.
  • Check out the Scholarships office website.
  • SJS is a good place for jobs- www.sjs.co.nz
  • Also try signing up to market research surveys they can pay very well.
  • Look at student notices, because some people need volunteers for their research projects and ,may pay in petrol/food vouchers.
  • If you want to advertise yourself as a private tutor to the local community (for free), try Tutorly


  • Go food shopping with a list and don’t go shopping while hungry.
  • Make your own lunches.
  • Buy food basics together with your flatmates.
  • It also saves money if you cook a shared dinner one night a week each.
  • Pak’n’Save is cheaper than most other supermarkets. Most supermarkets change their specials on Sunday night.
  • Get an Onecard for foodtown/countdown.
  • Chinese supermarkets tend to have very cheap vegetables.
  •  Buy fruit and veg in season.


  • Try op-shopping. Some places like the Red Cross shop on Dominion road have $2 per item sales. Paperbag Princess on K road is well worth a look.
  • Charity shops (Salvation Army) are loads cheaper than ‘vintage’ stores.
  • It also depends on the area- Red Cross on Dominion Road is loads cheaper than the one on Mt Eden Road.


  • Join the University medical centre- cheaper than most doctors.
  • You can get free or discounted dental checkups occasionally, keep an eye out on the back of bus tickets/supermarket receipts.


  • Have shorter showers, and use a hot water bottle instead of a heater.
  • Shut the curtains when it’s dusk- it retains heat. Also, try asking your landlord about insulation. There’s a council/government subsidy to insulate older houses.
  • If your rent is too expensive, move!


  • Many video stores have cheap nights, and cinemas tend to be cheaper on Tuesdays with some having 2 for 1 deals.
  • Some bars have free pub quizzes on Monday/Tuesday nights where you can win free bar tabs etc.


  • Make sure you have a tertiary HOP card or a tertiary concession train ticket if you use a lot of public transport (40% discount for students).
  • Car pool.

Check out websites such as www.sorted.org.nz.