Cheaper Ways to See the World

  1. Volunteer

Seeing the WorldWhether you volunteer on a farm, in a guest house, or on a community project, plenty of places offer accommodation, food (or both) as a per diem. Even if they don’t, you’ll be doing a good deed and you won’t be out spending money on frivolous things!

To find out about opportunities, either contact NGOs and charitable organisations you support (Greenpeace, for example, offers international volunteering opportunities), or join websites like WWOOF (Willing Workers on Organic Farms) or Workaway. Also check out Projects Abroad and International Volunteer HQ. Some volunteering opportunities may even contribute to your degree!

  1. Teach English overseas

Once you’ve completed a TESOL course (Teach English as a Second Language), you can travel and be paid for teaching English in many different countries around the world. Search online for further information regarding this.

  1. Couch surf

No, not that kind of couch surfing.

Travel the world and make new friends by crashing on people’s couches/futons/spare beds! The couch surfing community is very egalitarian and if you’re using it you should probably at least offer (on your profile) to show people around your own city. It’s pretty safe if you just contact the people who have great reviews (but they may be popular, too—get in early). Find out more on the website.

  1. Use AirBnB

So it’s a lot like couch surfing but you are paying to stay in people’s houses/apartments. The good thing is that you can often book the whole place to yourself and it’s still cheaper than a hotel. If you’re travelling as a couple or group it can even be cheaper than hostels, and often a lot nicer. Join up here.

  1. Travel by train

One way to save money is to take overnight trains from place to place, saving you a night’s accommodation and a day’s travel. You can book sleeping cabins, pack yourself a midnight feast, and settle in. Be warned though that you’ll be woken for passport checks if crossing borders! Rail passes are usually a lot cheaper for students and ‘youth’. Check out Eurail passes for Europe, for example. If you do travel during the day it’s a great way to see the countryside.

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Five Tips on Living Cheaply

Living CheaplyWhether you’re studying full-time, holding a part-time job, or want to start saving for a holiday, here are five quick tips on living cheaply:

Find cheap digs

Student accommodation, share houses, the granny flat at the back of someone’s house; you can deal with the small space and the noise for a while, if it means having more time to study or more $ to put away for that summer break in Eastern Europe. Gumtree, Flatmate Finders, and Flatmates.com.au are all good places to look.

Eat protein

Eggs and cans of tuna are cheap and good for you! Also, protein makes you feel fuller for longer, so technically you may not have to buy as much food. Great cheap food items with which to pair your protein would be fresh or frozen veg (frying everything up in a pan is cheap and easy), cans of beans (also full of protein), and wholegrain bread.

Find cheap or free entertainment

You don’t want to be stuck in your tiny room all the time. Chances are you’ll have a friend with a larger collection of DVDs and games—invite yourself over! There will always be free stuff happening in your neighborhood, too, like talks, bands, and exhibitions. Or local business might offer special discounts on meals or drinks for students. The Stoffers app can help you find these, of course!

Don’t get into debt

OK, it’s kind of inevitable if you’re a Commonwealth-supported student (but you won’t have to pay that off for ages…). I’m talking about credit card debt. Banks still seem to be happy giving out credit cards with limits higher than you can manage. If you spend too much and then fail to pay the minimum once or a few times then you’ll be paying fees and more interest, and debt can absolutely spiral out of your control! It’s stressful, you don’t need it. So stick to a VISA debit card or something similar, and only use the money you have.

Walk, ride or PT

Obviously a car can be a huge expense. Yes, it affords you the freedom to go wherever you want, whenever you want, but think of the thousands you spend on fuel and insurance (not to mention repairs, new tyres etc.). You can buy a really good bike for about $300 to $600, and a second-hand one is even cheaper. If you’re in Melbourne, the city is laid-out well for bikes. In Sydney and Brisbane you’ll have a few more hills to grapple with, but think of how fit you’ll get! Ditto for walking, which obviously costs nothing. Public transport costs, but it’s cheap, especially with student discounts. And if you want to get out of the city and need a car all of a sudden, it’s really not too bad to hire one for a weekend.

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How to Save Money on Haricuts

Cheap haircutsThe amount you save directly relates to how much you trust your housemate’s steadiness of hand. Jokes!

But seriously, haircuts are expensive, am I right, ladies? And don’t get me started on the extra cost of color. Numerous times have I been tempted to go Full Britney rather than shell out $100 for a mediocre trim.

Ah, crazy Brit Brit, we hardly knew ye…

The gang has a few hints on how to save money on haircuts without compromising too much on quality.

Tip 1: Log onto your local Gumtree and do a search for in-training stylists looking to practice their trade. These students are often fully qualified hairdressers and just trying to get more experience, so with the blessing of their salons, offer haircuts, blow waves, style, and sometimes, color, completely free! Keep in mind that you get what you pay for, and when the haircut is complimentary, you have to live with the results. Sometimes the student needs to practice certain styles and colors, so for the risk-takers out there, this could be the way to go to save money on haircuts. Plus, as a bonus, you can say you have modeling experience.

Tip 2: But say you don’t trust a trainee with your precious follicles. In this case, do an online search for salons that offer student discounts. As a hint, check out salons close to University campuses, as they often cater to the student population. Many locations offer 10 to 20 percent discounts with a student ID.

Tip 3: Most salons offer first-time discounts. If you put little value on loyalty, simply go to a new salon each time. On the other hand, if you become a salon regular, they often offer free fringe trims and similar services to loyal clients.

Tip 4: Refer your friends! I recently went a new salon and received a new client discount of $25. The stylist tipped me that if I recommended a friend, not only would he/she receive the same discount, but also as a thank-you, I could receive the same discount on my next haircut.

Tip 5: When all else fails, ponytails.

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