How should I spend my scholarship money?

spend scholarship money

So you’ve just received a scholarship – congratulations! Now that you have the money, the next step is deciding what to spend it on. If this is your first foray into financial freedom, the temptation can be nearly overwhelming. Late night Uber Eats spree? Update your wardrobe for the new semester? Plus there’s that phone upgrade you’ve had your eye on for a while…

Sadly, we have some bad news – there are definitely more important things you should spend the cash on. After all, the reason you applied in the first place was to help with the costs of your education, right? Let’s take a look at some of the best ways to spend your scholarship money.

Before you spend a cent…

First things first: make sure you read the scholarship’s terms and conditions very carefully. Some scholarships will have specific rules about what you must spend the winnings on. If your scholarship has strict requirements, don’t try and spend it on something else – you’ll just end up in a world of trouble.

Wise ways to spend your scholarship money

Free to spend the money on whatever you’d like? Here are some of our top suggestions.

Tuition fees

One of the biggest costs of higher education is tuition and course fees. So it just makes sense to use your scholarship funds to cover as much of it as possible. The top benefit is not having to worry about acquiring student loans and stressing about paying them back once you graduate.

Education expenses

Outside of tuition, there are probably lots of other things you’ll need to buy for your educational journey too: textbooks, a laptop or tablet, stationery, special tools or equipment… This can all gradually add up to quite a bit of money – so why not put some of your scholarship towards these expenses?

Accommodation and living

If you’re moving out of home to study, you’re going to need somewhere to live – and you’re going to have to pay for it too. Your scholarship can help take some of the pressure off the cost of living, covering rent, utilities, meals, furniture, appliances, or other living essentials.

Travel expenses

On the other hand, if you need to commute to classes, you might like to use your scholarship money to cover these costs instead. Put down a deposit on a car, use it to fly home and see family on the holidays, or use it to pay for fuel or public transport fares.

Invest in yourself

Studying can take up a lot of your day. And if you work too, you might find yourself with even less free time. If you don’t need the money for anything else, use it to support your own health and wellbeing. You might like to pay for a gym membership, use it to cover medical appointments, or invest in a hobby to enjoy on your days off.

Put it away

If you don’t currently have a steady source of income, it might be best to open up a savings account and just store the money away. That way you can feel secure knowing you’ve got money to cover emergencies. Or you could even use it as motivation to study hard and save it for a big celebration when you graduate (like an overseas trip).

Budgeting is still important

No matter how you decide to spend (or save) the money, having a budget is still important. It might be tedious, but it will keep you from overspending and teach you good habits for the future.

You might like to read our essential budgeting tips, or check out some easy ways to save money as a student.

Find out more

At the end of the day, how you choose to spend the money comes down to your personal circumstances. Whether or not you already have an income, your living costs, and your lifestyle can all come into play when deciding the best course of action. Don’t forget you can always ask for advice from your parents, friends, or the student support team at your university.

Ready to apply for a scholarship? Take a look at our scholarships database to search for opportunities, or read more blogs about taking control of your money.

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