Apart from the high tuition fees incurred when pursuing education abroad, the cost of living in countries like United Kingdom and Australia does not come cheap. Neither are there hawker centres nor mommy/granny’s cooking. So how do students studying in overseas universities save money?
3 Singaporean students share with us their top tips to save money overseas.
Annette, London School Of Economics (United Kingdom)
- Choose the cheapest tariff on utilities – they never give you the cheapest one.
- Don’t use the heater, buy a fleece robe to keep warm.
- Use table lamps rather than ceiling LED lights
- Invest in an electric lunchbox to store your cooked food rather than buy takeaway.
- Subscribe to newsletters and emails that give you discounts, especially student ones such as studenthut and studentbeans. Download the app and check website myunidays.com for 10-30% discount on shopping and other things
- Find websites such as secretsales that let you know the best deals. Also, download honey as a chrome extension that lets you know the voucher codes available.
Nina, Monash University (Australia)
- If you eat out, split the meals, keep the “liao” and cook rice yourself. For example, if you buy chicken parma and it’s a big piece, split it into two and “dabao”.
- Stop buying fresh produce from the supermarket. RIP. OFF. Get it from the markets instead.
- Learn to look at price per kg and NOT price per packet. For example, supermarkets might sell a $4.50 pack of mushrooms (maybe its $13/kg) when you can get $9/kg at the market.
- Look at supermarket receipts for extra points/coupons for alcohol or petrol.
- Learn to monitor price fluctuations of things such as petrol. Note the pattern and keep pumping when the price is low.
- Hang out with thrifty friends.
Quan Yi, JASSO Tokyo Japanese Language Education Centre (Japan)
- Up your kiasu level. Supermarkets usually give discounts for their items after 6pm (mainly food). As the night progresses the discount increases, for example from 20% at 6pm to as much as 50% at 9-10pm. Depending on your ability to snatch that discounted bento/sushi before the occasional aunty or like-minded foreign students you can save a lot of money!
- Buy from local supermarkets rather than chains. The price difference can be quite significant and as for everything Japanese the quality of your food items is 99% assured. That minced chicken from the supermarket will still be minced chicken at the local grocery, albeit cheaper and stretching your dollar (ok yen) even more.