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A guide on how to live as cheaply as possible in Melbourne

Trinity College Foundation Studies

Thu Nov 02 2017


Picture this. You’re a new international student coming to Australia to study. You’re excited about what awaits you – the friends you’ll make, the things you’ll learn and the sights you’ll see. But there’s only one problem: your funds are already running low and to have fun means spending money. Damn.

Sound familiar? We hear you. As international students, we get how hard it is to budget and manage money, especially in a country as expensive as Australia. We’ve all been there.

Minako Seki is a Japanese international student studying at Trinity College. She has been in Australia for five months and during that time, she has experienced just that. This has especially proven difficult when it came to food. Everyone’s gotta eat after all but with zero skill in the kitchen to begin with, Minako, like many students, found herself spending more money eating out.

While she has become gradually more comfortable with cooking, not everyone is as proactive as her.

So, if you are the kind of student who’d love to have more money in the bank but still need to keep up your student life here in Melbourne, what are some creative ways of ‘living efficiently’ in this city?

It’s not being cheap, it’s about being efficient 


We all need to eat, it’s just a fact of life. While grocery shopping is generally affordable, we all know that there’s a bargain that can be found and Indonesian student Kevin Bambang has just the tip for students who want to save more money to spend on other things.

His advice? Wait until closing time for prices at Queen Victoria Market to drop. Legend.

The other tip Kevin gave was for students to join as many clubs and attend as many events as possible. Every club is going to want your attention so why not use that to your advantage and take up whatever free food or gifts they might be distributing. Not only will you be meeting new people, but you’ll also be saving money too. Talk about win-win!


Looking good is important to but why bother with brand-name clothing when you can get literally the same white t-shirt from Big W or Target for way less?

Take our advice and be more thrifty with your spending habits by shopping at these department stores!

If you’re really looking for more quality items, consider vintage shopping as well. Bargains can always be found from the clothing of yesteryear and if you sport the right retro outfits, you’ll be a trendsetter at your school in no time. Don’t let the Regina Georges of the world tell you your vintage skirt looks ugly!


Melbourne loves its coffee. And if you’re not down with coffee, something is wrong with you (sorry, not sorry).

But as good as Melbourne coffee is, a good cup of it can set you back $4 dollars to $5 dollars a cup. If you’re the type to drink it everyday, that can cost you a total of $1,825 dollars! Let that really sink in…

But if you absolutely NEED your coffee, there is one way to get it for much cheaper. Sacrifice taste and texture for affordability by grabbing your coffee instead from 7-Eleven. It’s just one whole dollar there and while it may not be great, at least you’re getting your day’s worth of coffee right?

Just remember that you can always have extra money in your pocket if you’re smart about how you spend your money. So keep looking for bargains and do whatever you can to hold onto some of the precious money you have because you never know when it’ll come in handy!