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The money struggle at university is real. It’s hard enough being under-slept and over-worked, let alone wondering if you’ll have to have ice cubes for dinner until you get your next StudyLink fix! Breathing Space is here to help, with a few tips on how to make simple changes that can help you save a few pennies and stop you having to ration that last potato over four days.
First of all, consider switching to water. Ditching daily soft drink or juice habits can save you upwards of $60 a month (and two kilos of sugar consumption), not to mention improve your brain function and physical health. Flavouring your own water is cost effective, colourful, and a good way to avoid unwanted chemicals found in other drinks. Apple and cinnamon, orange and vanilla bean, or blueberry, peach and mint are a few personal favourites but the combinations are endless. Additionally, if you and your keepcup can’t stay away from the coffee shop, try utilising places on campus that provide it for free, such as the Bubble or the Women’s Room (which has a hot water jug).
Making a meal plan can drastically save on your weekly bill by reducing impulse food purchases and avoiding the heightened prices that you pay for convenience. For those days that you do slip up however, uni’s got your back. Hare Krishna offer $5 lunches in the Kirk courtyard, VUWSA offer free bread on Fridays, as well as offering food packages to students in need. Lastly, don’t miss the affordable fruit and vegetable market in the Tim Beaglehole courtyard each Wednesday.
If you can’t bear the thought of sacrificing that double-shot soy Vic Books cappuccino, there are a number of innovative ways in which you can make money instead of cutting back. Trade Me welcomes all of your hand me downs, while some part time jobs such as becoming a mystery shopper or doing online surveys for money are flexible and require very little commitment.
For more on campus money advice collect a “Do your dollars make sense” brochure from Mauri Ora or contact Victoria Student Financial Support and Advice. And remember, at 23 Walt Disney declared bankruptcy, Oprah had just been fired, and J.K. Rowling was broke. You got this!