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23 November 2021

Saving your money as a uni student: try our top three online tools to save on everyday goods

Welcome to part three of our ‘Saving your money as a uni student’ article series – we hope you are reaping the rewards of the savings tips and tricks our Money Matters team has been busy investigating.

So far, students Izzy HoltAmber Leach and Jasmine Lo have covered ways you can save on your energy bill and leverage rewards and discount schemes. This week, Jasmine and the team cover their top three online tools that can help you save money on various goods.

Take a look before you finish your seasonal shopping and save some funds to enjoy over the holidays (or put towards something useful in 2022)! 

By Jasmine Lo

Throughout my time as a student, I’ve been able to save various amounts of money on things like groceries, discounted electronics and free software. Here are my top three recommendations for online tools that I have found useful for making my money go further.

1. Explore your education pricing options

First things first: take advantage of your Deakin email! There are numerous online retailers that offer discounts specifically for students. All you need to do is provide an email with the .edu domain.

Search results for student discounts

I’ve been able to buy a new Samsung phone and MacBook Pro and save more than $200 on each item as both attract special deals for students. Optus, JB Hi-Fi, Spotify and Dell are some of the leading retailers that offer such discounts. Another tip is to Google the company you’re wanting to buy from and just put ‘student discount’ afterwards.

I am a film, TV and animation student so I use different programs and software. Many companies offer either free or highly discounted licence prices for students. I simply search for the program online and see if they do student pricing. Sometimes you will have to provide a picture of your student ID so make sure you have a valid one. By following this advice, I found out I was eligible for a year of free access to Maya, an industry-standard program for 3D animation!

Search results for student software licences

2. Find the right price with OzBargain

OzBargain search categoriesI swear by the OzBargain website. It is a forum fueled by the community which posts deals and bargains (hence the name!) to share with everyone.

There are many categories by which you can refine your search or look for a specific item. The website will tell you where it’s on sale and the sale price(s) available.

It might take a little time to get used to the layout, but it is very easy once you understand what you’re doing. I have saved an inestimable amount from checking this website regularly; my biggest saving from memory was a discount of around $500 on a TV from Big W.

3. Utilise website plugins and extensions

There are two types of plugins that I’ve been using to save extra money while online shopping: ‘coupon’ and ‘cashback’ plugins.

Coupon plugins work by applying various discount codes to the checkout automatically. I use Honey, which will show a pop up that it has found codes and ask if I would like to apply them upon checkout. Please note it is US-based so it doesn’t always work with every store.

Screenshot of Cotton On plug-in

Through using a cashback plugin, I’ve accumulated a total savings tally of more than $130. The one I like to use is ShopBack, but there are others available (such as Cashrewards). When searching for brands online, ShopBack will tell me what % cashback I could get in the search engine results.

Screenshot of Booktopia deal

Another way it works is that I can go directly to the shop’s URL and the plugin will tell me I can ‘Activate Cashback’.

Screenshot of Cotton On app

Happy saving!

Remember it’s important to do your own research to find out what savings and rewards programs are right for you. Go ahead and share this (plus any of your own handy savings tips) with a friend! 

Next week in our final ‘Saving your money as a uni student’ piece, the Deakin Money Matters team will review their super savings tricks for the supermarket. See you then!

Our thanks to the Office of the Dean of Students for supporting the Deakin Money Matters project team to create these resources.

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