Your Guide to Surviving in Auckland on a Student Budget

Alix Dougherty
October 19, 2020

Piggy bank


We have insider tips to make your student life more straightforward, from discovering the city's affordable gems to finding a part-time job. So, you’re looking to join the student life? Perhaps you’re moving out of home or travelling from overseas to join us here down-under. Whatever the reason may be, your life has led you here. Obviously, Auckland is expensive, so we understand your concerns about “living your best life” on a student budget. You’ve still got to have a killer outfit or a lavish cocktail for your next Instagram post, right? Or, if you’re an international student, you’ll definitely want to see some of Auckland’s best sights.


Read on to see how you can achieve your “best life” while living on a student budget.



Create a Balance Between Everyday Expenses and Entertainment Costs


Obviously, you’re going to want to have a few beers on the weekend or hit the shops, but unfortunately, as a student, you don’t always have the luxury of affording these things (though you’re likely to do them anyway). So here's a breakdown of the essential costs you’re likely to face, so you can weigh up your wants from your needs while living on a student budget.



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The Necessities (i.e. the bills you don’t want to pay but have to):


- Rent/board

- Food/groceries

- Home bills (e.g. power, water, WiFi)

- Petrol / transport

- Student fees & textbooks

- Laptop & stationery

- Gym / exercise classes

- Medical appointments



The Not-So Necessities (though necessary to make your life more exciting):


- Clubbing/drinking

- Excessive shopping

- That Gucci belt you don’t need

- Movies / Netflix

- Holidays & sightseeing

- Coffee / Starbucks

- Eating out

- Ubers / taxis



Source Some Income (you can’t live on your pink piggy bank forever)


Once you’ve figured your costs out, the next step is sourcing the cash to cover them. We’re pretty fortunate here in New Zealand to have student loans and allowances for our domestic students, and we even have course-related costs you might qualify for. So the first step is to see StudyLink assistance you can get because if you’re entitled to it, why not utilise it? The next step is finding a part-time job. And luckily for you, you’re in the right place! There are many part-time jobs for students here in Auckland (and the rest of New Zealand) – from marketing assistants to customer success executives. Fancy working at a startup? Auckland has plenty of them, and often they are looking for part-time staff to help them grow. And the best thing about student jobs like these? They’re flexible. Which means you have the space to balance your work-study-play life.


At JobNow, we can help you find the perfect part-time job in Auckland that’ll coincide with your classes and pay for your necessities and not-so necessities. Our Income Tax Calculator will also help you work out how much money you will get in your pocket every payday!



Here’s Where You Can Save Money On a Student Budget:


- Public transport

You can travel by bus, train or ferry with discounted prices with an AT hop card – show your ID card at an AT service centre (on campus or at a transport station) and put some cash on it.


- Movie tickets

Fit your weekly entertainment comfortably into your budget with a discounted trip to the cinema – just remember to take your ID card with you.


- Health care

Most universities in Auckland offer discounted student medical care and gym memberships to fit your student budget. And conveniently, they’re often located on campus. 


- Student events

You need to let your hair down on those stressful weeks, hit the clubs on student night (Wednesday), and take advantage of cheap drinks and entry fees. Universities also host student steins (parties) now and then.


- Cheap eateries

So you don’t have to live off two-minute noodles for the next few years, take advantage of the cheap food halls on campus, or try some of Auckland’s hidden gems like Mexican Cafe ($10 meals) or Aroy Thai ($15 meals).


- Free sightseeing

For international students especially, there are numerous things you can do and see for free around Auckland – including our many beautiful beaches, museums, art galleries, markets and hiking tracks – the list goes on!



See, Living On a Student Budget Isn’t So Bad After All.


Auckland may be pricey at times, and while living on a student budget may have its challenges, there are many discounts out there to use to your advantage! Be sure to keep an eye out for discounts, always have your ID handy, and balance your everyday expenses with your entertainment costs, and you’ll be sure to conquer the student life!


And hey, with a wide variety of student jobs at hand, we can help land you a position to pay the bills and suit your student lifestyle. Want to know the best ways to get in front of employers on JobNow? Have a read of how to maximise your JobNow profile to find out how.