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5 ways to show generosity on a student budget

Being a student is hard. Our schedules are often jam-packed with activities and events: attending class, listening to lectures, writing assignments, organising meetings, and working on those dreaded group presentations to name a few. While Bond makes being a student fun and exciting with brilliant academics, extra social events, and fun clubs and societies, the reality is that a busy student lifestyle equals living on a student budget.

The conjunction of being time-poor and poor-poor (AKA, living on a tight budget) is what makes being a student difficult. But, it’s not all bad – there are so many ways to save money, and to express your love and gratitude for others without spending too much.

Here are five easy and cheap ways to be a little more generous in your everyday life. I encourage you to give these ideas a go with your friends, family, peers and teachers, as these tips are guaranteed to fill both of your happiness cups to the brim!

1. Lend one of your favourite books out

Sharing the joy of a good book with someone in your life is a great way to connect on a deeper level, spark interesting conversations, and to show them you’re thinking about them – oh, and to stop them from spending all their time watching the latest Netflix hit… I personally like to leave a note on the inside with a compliment, and tab down the pages I think they’ll enjoy most.

2. Make or create a gift

Whether you’re a modern-day Picasso, a Michelin-star chef in the making, or a musically-gifted genius, why not use your talents to give back to others? Draw a picture for a friend, bake a batch of cookies to share in class… the list is positively endless, and should be cheap if not free. There’s nothing better than receiving a homemade gift or treated created with that extra little sprinkle of love.

Law and psychology student Stephanie suggests heading to free events or catching up with friends as great ways to be generous this Kindness Week

3. Text someone a compliment

Sometimes it’s nice to show your love for others unprompted, and one way to do that is by sending a kind text with a compliment or something you appreciate about them. Think of a friend or family member who may have been struggling lately – perhaps they’re in lockdown, or haven’t seen their loved ones in a while – and pass on those generous words.

This will brighten their day and give them the confidence boost they didn’t know they needed. Try to surprise them if you can, too – this will make the compliment feel ten times more genuine.

4. Buy someone an inexpensive gift

If gift giving is your love language, living on a student budget can be a tough prospect – but that doesn’t mean you have to give up your ways entirely! Pay a trip to Bunnings and buy someone an inexpensive indoor plant to boost their mood. Instead of buying a coffee every day, opt to drink tea at home and use the money to fund your leafy green purchase – at Bunnings, a cute pot and an on-trend plant will set you back no more than $15. Bargain!

Of course, you can always do this with other items that might strike a sentimental chord for the person in question. The moral of the story here is that you don’t have to fork out big bucks to give a gift – sometimes the simpler, the better.

5. Invite a new friend to a (free!) event

My last tip for showing generosity without breaking the bank is to be generous with your time and energy. Ask a new friend or someone you haven’t spent much time with to join you in attending a free event, whether that’s on campus, near where you live, or virtually for our remote students.

If you’re currently studying on campus, head to Grounded under the Arch (Tuesdays between 12pm and 1pm) for a free coffee, or grab a sausage sizzle together at Wednesday by the Water. These are two awesome and totally free ways to support your fellow Bondies during Kindness Week, whilst also making a new friend. Free food and good company? Sign me up!

There are so many ways to show generosity on a student budget, but these are just a few of my favourites. Don’t underestimate how far a simple text goes or how much that invite to lunch can mean to someone. Happy Kindness Week!

Kindness Week at Bond University

Bond's inaugural Kindness Week is being held from 25 - 29 October.

View schedule of events

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