Student Budget

Living out of home is an exciting experience, but if it is your first time here are a few helpful things you should know!

Cost of Living

The costs supplied in this section are estimates only. All costs are quoted in Australian dollars and may be subject to inflation or currency fluctuations. The cost of living depends on individual lifestyles. SAIBT estimates that a single international student requires approximately A$23400 per year or A$450 per week for accommodation, textbooks and other study materials, as well as your personal expenses including transport, entertainment and recreation costs. This amount does not cover major expenses such as the purchase of a car, television, stereo or computer.

Please note that the first few weeks in Australia may be expensive, due to an outlay of ‘one-off’ expenses. These may include temporary accommodation, rental bonds, books, clothing, furnishings, etc. As such, we recommend you bring at least A$3,500 in travellers cheques and/or bank draft to cover initial expenses as well as at least A$800 cash.

It is advisable that you open a bank account immediately upon arrival, so you can transfer funds from overseas. A simple way to find a suitable bank or credit union is to search for ‘Banks’ or ‘Credit Unions & Societies’ in the Australian Yellow Pages directory:

Study Adelaide

The Study Adelaide website is a useful resource for students that details all you need to know before and after you arrive in Adelaide:

Useful Tips for Students

1. Cut down your ATM Charges

Every time you use an ATM which charges you $2.50 a transaction, you are wasting money. $2.50 adds up a lot over time. Check out your banks partner ATM's below:

  • Commonwealth Bank and Bankwest
  • ANZ
  • Bank of Queensland and RediATMs
  • BankSA, Westpac and St George
  • Bendigo Bank and Suncorp
  • NAB and RediATMs

2. Set up Direct Debit Bills

Once you know roughly how much is going to be taken out, direct debit is an easier and cheaper way of paying, but make sure you always have enough money in your account before the bill is due. If you don't have enough money in your account, you could be charged overdrawn fees or default on a payment.

3. Research Transport Options

Look into which transport options are the most convenient and cheapest. Also make sure you use concession ticketing. It is also a good idea to see if anyone wants to car pool and share the costs of fuel and parking.

4. Always ask for student discount

Many retail stores, adventure parks, cinemas and restaurants have student discounts at the presentation of your ID card. This may be restricted to certain days, however, most have the offer all year round. Here are some of the stores which do:

  • Apple
  • ASOS
  • The Iconic
  • Mink Pink
  • Forever New
  • Urban Outfitters
  • City Beach
  • MYER Miss Shop
  • Glue Store
  • Surf Stitch
  • ghd
  • Topshop
  • Amazon
  • All Aussie Cinemas
  • All theme parks and adventures

5. Buy used

Buying used is a great way to save money when you are a student! Two things that are usually good quality used items are textbooks and furniture!

  • Check out the Second Hand Bookshop, Social Media pages and EBay! You can also sell your books when you've finished for extra cash!
  • Scavenging through Gumtree, the local tip shop or op shop can save you a lot of money and you can actually get some great furniture, especially in upmarket suburbs. A splash of paint or stain can really change a piece. You might even find re-modelling furniture to be a lot of fun!

6. Eat out less

Start getting creative in the kitchen and planning packed lunches. Just like ATM fees, $5 adds up really quickly when you can make a meal for 4 for $10 at home.

7. Drink water

Having water during the day instead of sugary drinks will save you a lot of money. It will also provide you with a little extra cash for heading into Adelaide with your new uni friends.

8. Buy Home Brand

You will find so called 'Home Brand' products in shops. Home Brand food is a lot cheaper than brands and most of the time they are made by the same company. The only reason they are cheaper is that their packaging is plainer.

9. Cut all paid memberships that you aren't using

Gym membership is one of these culprits. If you aren't using it, then lose it. Be strong, if they offer you free personal training to stay, don't take it! If you haven't used the gym up until now, you won't use it in the future.

10. Find free entertainment

There are so many free things to do in Adelaide. Here are some you should check out!

  • The Garden of Unearthly Delights is a festival running through February and March with rides, music, sideshows and markets.
  • Head to Glenelg Beach for a relaxing seaside adventure.
  • Adelaide has free trams throughout the CBD. You can take it from one end of the city to the other while hopping on and off at your leisure. Tram goes all the way from the city to Glenelg Beach.
  • Climb Mount Lofty, the highest peak in Adelaide.
  • If you need a dose of culture, the South Australian Art Gallery is huge and free. They have some works by Renoir, Holbein and the like – as well as an impressive collection of Asian and Indigenous Australian art.
  • As if you needed more proof of Adelaide’s awesomeness: they have free bike hire. You can pick up a bike from different pods around the city, though you will need to leave your ID as security. Ride freestyle around the city or follow a set path like the River Torrens Linear Park trail. This is a 10km loop through the heart of the city that travels past the Torrens lake, the zoo, rose gardens and waterbirds or take the Henley beach trail the seaside.
  • For a small fee enjoy the outdoor cinema under the stars either at the beach or in the botanic gardens in the city.