Tips for Living on a Student Budget in Switzerland

Tips for Living on a Student Budget in Switzerland

Living in Switzerland, the most expensive country in Europe can be difficult if you are a student, but still not impossible. Otherwise, how would other students succeed in living there just with a reduced budget? Still, be prepared that a certain amount of money has to be spent for accommodation and living. However, here you can find some tips on how to manage to spare some money and live on a student budget.

Apply for a University Accommodation

Accommodation is one of the biggest expenses for a student, especially in Switzerland where renting a flat or a room can be really expensive. We suggest you look for a University accommodation, as it is firstly closer to the University and city centre and that way you will spare on transportation, secondly it is cheaper than renting a flat or room elsewhere. However, if there is no available University accommodation, you might consider finding some room to share in a flat with other people or even a studio flat just for yourself, but in order to save some money, you will have to make a compromise with the distance from your University and the centre. The further you go, the more likely it is you will find cheaper prices.


Public transport in this country is one of the best in the world, always punctual and reliable, but also pretty expensive. Therefore, we suggest you buy a used bike in the Flohmarkt (flea market) of your city, you could find one for less than 100 CHF. The cities of Switzerland are covered with an extensive network of bike paths, and for this reason is really good to move with a bike. If you happen to live in Zurich, there you can even rent a bike free of charge, but it is better to have your own, that way you don’t have to depend on its availability. And if you need to travel outside your city you can also look for a lift with BlaBlaCar, the famous carpooling app. All in all, going by bike or by foot will also allow you to spare some money for physical activities. You will become with time more fit and aware of it. Some jogging in free time or exercise in nature or parks might be a plus, should you need extra physical activity.

Cook at Home

Cooking at home is much cheaper than buying a ready meal or going to the restaurants. There are also some great benefits of cooking by yourself, because you know what ingredients you are using, you can cook your food as you like it and it is fun! If you are comfortable with cooking for more persons, you could also organize a dinner with friends or also roommates and ask them to bring something to drink. It will be much cheaper and cosier than going to a pub with your friends. Most young people like going out and sitting somewhere to drink something, and they do it so spontaneously and often, that they hardly realize how much money they spend monthly or even yearly. Make a difference, and if your desire is to drink something outside with your friends, how about buying drinks or beer from a shop and then sitting somewhere in nature or on a bench near the lake or river, talking with friends, with no loud music to disturb your conversation? It will surely be a completely different experience, and also much cheaper.

Buy Online

If you need to buy something that is not food related, do it online! It can be way cheaper than buying in a shop in your city. Use Amazon or eBay to order whatever you need. And what is better than receiving your desired object directly at home? That way you don’t have to spend your time, most importantly of all, and you will avoid using transportation as well. There are many options, where you can get your refund, should you be unsatisfied with your online shopping. If you think about it, there are not many shops, where it will be kindly accepted to return the ware back and get your money back should it be damaged or does not fit your size.

Student Discounts

One of the perks of being a student is that you can get a discount almost everywhere. Cinema, sports shops, food shops, some restaurants, cafeterias, museums, swimming pools, travelling and so on. Just explore more about it and you will surely find some discounts in your zone that you can use, or ask everywhere you go if they offer special students discounts.

Be Clever and Well Organized

Here are some other great quick tips to follow if want to survive with a student budget: don’t buy new books and use the library, buy in bulk, eat before you go out, exercise at home and in the open air, buy used and keep track of your expenses. That way, there is nothing and no one who can trick you into spending unnecessary money.

What about a Part-time Job?

If these tips are not enough to satisfy your way of living and help you spare some money, then maybe it is time you try to look for some part-time job with flexible timetables, in order to fit with your university undertakings. That way, you will feel more relaxed about living on a student budget and you won’t have to worry about it so much. If you don’t need the job anymore, you can easily give it up, or if you are not satisfied, find something else to do.

Being aware of living on a student budget and finding a way how to deal with it, will help you in further life adventures. You will certainly become more responsible and more proud of yourself for how you have managed to live and spare in one of the most expensive countries in the world. If you have learned this while being a student, then you should have no fear for your future life. Good luck with it!

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