Banking & budgeting

Banking & budgeting

9 expensive student habits and how to quit them

Picture of By Abigail Hua

By Abigail Hua

In Budgeting & Banking

Everyone has their vices, but did you know your bad habits could be costing you $1000s every year? And they could be easier to quit than you think!

The student lifestyle, whilst undoubtedly fun, can knock you out of financial shape if you don’t keep an eye on where your money goes. The cost of every little habit adds up, so if you’re looking to save a bit of cash, just following a few of these tips could save you a surprising amount of cash (and don't worry, we're not about to start lecturing you on going out too much). It's likely that every single student will succumb to at least one of these habits at some point (even the very best behaved), so read on!

9 expensive habits to quit today

1. Using public transport

For some students, public transport can be a necessity. But for a lot of us, if we’re being totally honest, it’s just an opportunity to stay in bed for an extra half an hour instead of walking to lectures.

If you’re serious about saving the pennies, this tip is a must. Public transport is expensive, so even just reducing your use of it (only taking transport in the mornings but walking back in the evenings, for example) will have a positive effect on your bank balance.

If walking to uni would be a serious trek for you, why not buy a bike second-hand or see if there’s any going on Freecycle or any of these other swapping sites.

Estimated saving: $50/week (varying depending on location)

2. Smoking

We said we wouldn’t lecture you on this one, and don’t worry – we’re not! But think of the cash you could be saving…

We all know smokes don’t come cheap, yet often they’re the hardest expense to kick. If the idea of quitting cold turkey makes you want to run to the hills, you could try e-cigarettes or limiting your smoking time to nights out and social occasions – as long as those times don’t occur every day of the week (remember the money-saving goal here).

Don’t forget we’ve got a whole section on kicking the smoking bug, and we promise it’s not preachy!

Estimated saving: $40+/week (depending how much you dabble)

3. Drinking regularly

We’re under no illusions here – we all know drinking is an inevitable (and let’s face it, pretty good fun) part of uni life, but if you make it too frequent a habit, the financial drain will creep up on you (and your liver!).

One option is to stick to drinking only at weekends (or if you’re a mid-week party person, your two days of choice per week). You might find this gives your grades a bump too!

Another option would be that instead of drinking at the pub or going clubbing, buy your own drinks at a local shop and have friends over instead.

Here’s our guide to how to do pre-drinks on a student budget, and if you are going out somewhere, at least use these tips to spend less, eh?

Estimated saving: $50/week

4. Clothes shopping for the sake of it

Try to get into the habit of only buying clothes when you actually need them, as opposed to wandering down the high street and spending frivolously (we all know what it’s like on student loan day).

If you’ve got a real passion for fashion, try getting into charity shopping instead, and keep your eye on online swap shops too.

Estimated saving: $25/week

5. Buying food on campus

Campus meals are mighty tempting – what’s not to like about rolling out of a lecture to the alluring smell of the nearby canteen?

Whilst it might not seem like much to grab a meal and a drink there twice a week between classes, the cost can soon add up. Instead, do a bit of forward planning and prepare your lunch and snacks the day before.

Estimated saving: $20/week

6. Food shopping without a list

Remember that supermarkets are out to make money and will do anything to get you to spend that little bit extra – so much so that they employ these tricks to get you spending more.

Make a rough meal plan for the week, write down what you’ll need, and stick to it!

Need more help with saving on your food shopping? We’ve got a whole guide to help you with that too.

Estimated saving: $20/week

7. Buying branded goods

Think twice before you buy your favourite trusted brands – there’s often little or no difference between them and the cheaper, lesser-known brands and basics.

This goes for food and drink, but also things like medicine and cleaning products too (you could save a mint by going for these alternatives instead).

Don’t believe us? Have a look for yourself and compare the ingredients – they’re often exactly the same! Time to give the supermarket downshift a try.

Estimated saving: $10/week

It may not seem like you’re saving a lot by quitting these small habits, but if you’ll admit to indulging in every one of these habits, giving them the boot could make a total saving of around $210+ a week (and you clearly have a lot of spare cash to play with!). The total potential saving for the year is just shy of a whopping $11,000.

The above savings are of course based on estimates, but with this sort of cash up for grabs it really makes you think, doesn’t it?

Got any expensive habits that you’ve recently kicked and saved a loada’ cash as a result? Let us know in the comments!

7. Subscriptions

Stopping payments for useless subscriptions can save you money and reduce clutter in your financial life. Here’s a concise guide to help you cancel unnecessary subscriptions:

  1. Review Your Subscriptions:

    • List All Subscriptions: Make a comprehensive list of all your current subscriptions.
    • Check Statements: Review bank and credit card statements to identify recurring charges.
  2. Evaluate Necessity:

    • Assess Usage: Determine how often you use each subscription and whether it adds value to your life.
    • Prioritize: Rank subscriptions based on importance and utility.
  3. Cancel Unnecessary Subscriptions:

    • Visit Subscription Sites: Log in to each subscription service and follow their cancellation process.
    • Use Cancellation Tools: Consider using apps like Truebill or Trim that can identify and cancel subscriptions on your behalf.
  4. Set Reminders:

    • Renewal Dates: Keep track of renewal dates and set reminders to reassess the necessity of each subscription before it renews.
    • Free Trials: Mark the end dates of free trials to cancel before you are charged.
  5. Manage Future Subscriptions:

    • Use Prepaid Cards: Use a prepaid card for new subscriptions to limit automatic renewals.
    • Monthly Reviews: Regularly review your subscriptions to ensure they remain useful.
  6. Negotiate Discounts:

    • Contact Providers: Reach out to subscription services to negotiate lower rates or better deals.
  7. Automate Savings:

    • Set Up Transfers: Automatically transfer the money saved from canceled subscriptions to a savings account.

By taking these steps, you can effectively stop paying for useless subscriptions and better manage your finances.

7. Food Delivery Orders

To stop the habit of ordering food with delivery apps, try these steps:

  1. Identify Triggers: Understand when and why you order food and find alternatives for those situations.
  2. Set Limits: Define a specific limit on how often you can order food.
  3. Simplify Cooking: Prepare easy meals in advance and find quick recipes.
  4. Remove Temptation: Unsubscribe from app notifications and delete the apps.
  5. Reward Yourself Differently: Find non-food rewards and healthy treats.
  6. Create New Routines: Establish habits like regular grocery shopping and cooking.
  7. Seek Support: Use accountability partners and online communities for encouragement.
  8. Mindful Eating: Practice mindfulness to manage cravings and emotional eating.
  9. Financial Awareness: Use budgeting tools to monitor spending and visualize savings.
  10. Professional Help: Consider therapy or coaching for personalized support if needed.

These strategies can help you break the habit and develop healthier eating practices.

Views expressed by authors do not necessarily reflect those of Student Wow Deals. Student Wow Deals accepts no responsibility for any reliance upon the articles contained herein.

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