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How to Manage Your Money as a Student

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Published 8 months ago

How to Manage Your Money as a Student

Student life can be a blast, but it can also be tough on your wallet! Between tuition fees, living expenses, and social activities, it can be challenging to manage your finances and stay on top of everything.


That's why we've put together this guide to give you some helpful tips on how to manage your money as a student in Malaysia. Whether you're a first-year student or approaching graduation, these tips will help you develop healthy financial habits and save money along the way.


By following these tips, you'll be able to enjoy your college life without worrying about your finances and set yourself up for success in the future. 

Let's get started!


✍️ Create a budget 

As a student, there are plenty of temptations that can make it hard to keep track of your finances. From the endless food options at your local mamak to the latest shopping deals in town, it's easy to overspend and find yourself short on cash. 


That's why creating a budget is crucial to help you stay on top of your finances. 


Here are some tips on how to create a budget:


Track Your Spending, Even the Small Stuff

It's easy to lose track of your spending when you're a student, but keeping an eye on every ringgit you spend is the first step to creating a budget, because those cents quickly add up! Manually keep track of your expenses in a notebook, spreadsheet or even with an app like BigPay, which automatically does it for you


Divide Your Expenses into Categories

Separate your expenses into categories like food, transport, entertainment, and study materials. This way, you can easily see where your money is going and adjust accordingly.


Plan Your Budget and Stick to It

Creating a budget plan can be daunting, but it's easier than you think. There’s no one size fits all, so explore different types of budgeting systems and see what works for you! 


Stick to your budget plan as best you can, but don't be too hard on yourself if you slip up occasionally. Your budget is meant to help you, so regularly review and adjust your budget according to your needs. 🤗 


🛍️ ​​Minimise Expenses

Being a student in Malaysia can be tough, especially when you're on a tight budget. But don't worry, there are ways to minimise your expenses and still have plenty of fun! 


Here are some tips to help you save money and while enjoying your student life:


Cook up a Storm at Home

Let's face it, food in Malaysia is amazing, but eating out can quickly add up. Why not try your hand at cooking at home? Not only will you save money, but you'll also impress your friends with your culinary skills. Check out local supermarkets or wet markets for fresh ingredients and get cooking!


Cut down on unnecessary expenses.

Do you really need that expensive cup of coffee every day? (It’s okay, we’ve all been guilty of that 😅) Or can you make your own at home? Consider cutting back on these types of expenses and replace it with something more affordable.


Hop on the Public Transport Bandwagon

Petrol bills can quickly add up when you’re constantly stuck in traffic, and as much as we love the convenience of Grab, it’s pretty costly! 


Consider taking public transportation as it’s a great way to save money. Plus, you get to avoid the hassle of traffic jams. Whether it's the bus, LRT, or (omg KTM), look for student discounts and monthly passes to save even more.


Score Some Sweet Student Discounts

One of the best perks about being a student is student discounts. Keep an eye out for student discounts at your favourite stores, restaurants, and entertainment venues, like the cinema and stationary store!  


Get Thrifty and Buy Secondhand

Good news for you, thrifting is back in style! You can find some real gems at second hand stores or online marketplaces like Carousell and Facebook Marketplace. Not only will you save money, but you'll also be doing your part for the environment and looking trendy while doing so. 


Consider buying used textbooks. 

Textbooks can be expensive, so consider buying used textbooks online or from other students. You can also rent textbooks or use e-books to save money.


Make the Most of Free Resources

As a student, you have access to many free resources. Make use of your university library to borrow books or study materials. Attend free events and activities organised by your university or local community. You can also find free online resources like e-books and courses to help you learn and grow.


By following these tips, you can minimise your expenses as a student in Malaysia and still have fun. So, get creative and start saving!


💵 Find Scholarships and Financial Aid

Being a student in Malaysia can be expensive, but luckily, there are many scholarships and financial aid programs available to help ease the burden! Here are some tips to help you find and apply for scholarships and financial aid:


Check with Your University

Most universities in Malaysia offer their own scholarships and financial aid programs. Check with your university's financial aid office to find out what options are available to you. You can also ask your academic advisor or professors for advice.


Search Online

There are many websites and databases that list scholarships and financial aid programs available in Malaysia. Some popular ones include Scholarships2u, JPA, and PTPTN


Apply Early and Often

Scholarships and financial aid programs have limited funds and deadlines, so it's important to apply early and often. Make sure to read the application requirements carefully and submit all the required documents on time. Don't be afraid to apply to multiple scholarships to increase your chances of success.


Keep Your Grades Up

Many scholarships and financial aid programs have academic requirements, so it's important to keep your grades up. Make sure to attend classes, complete assignments on time, and seek help from your professors or academic advisor if you need it! 


The Bottom Line 

Being a student in Malaysia can be both exciting and challenging. It's important to learn how to manage your finances early on, so you can set yourself up for a healthier financial future. 


By creating a budget, minimising expenses, finding scholarships, and starting to save early, you can achieve your financial goals and still have fun without worrying about money.


With these financial tips in mind, you can develop good money habits that will serve you well throughout your life. Your future self will thank you!

On this page

✍️ Create a budget 

Track Your Spending, Even the Small Stuff

Divide Your Expenses into Categories

Plan Your Budget and Stick to It

🛍️ ​​Minimise Expenses

Cook up a Storm at Home

Cut down on unnecessary expenses.

Hop on the Public Transport Bandwagon

Score Some Sweet Student Discounts

Get Thrifty and Buy Secondhand

Consider buying used textbooks. 

Make the Most of Free Resources

💵 Find Scholarships and Financial Aid

Check with Your University

Search Online

Apply Early and Often

Keep Your Grades Up

The Bottom Line 

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Written by

Sabrina Loh

I’m Sabrina, a versatile writer with 7+ years of experience and I’ve been published by household names such as Tatler, Harper’s Bazaar, Mindvalley, and Cosme Japan.

👇 Follow my journey on my social media accounts 👇

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