9 Life hacks for students at Chalmers

​Did you know you can get paid for trash in Sweden? Learn about this and other ways to save money as a student. 
Picture of different fruits in store
When you first move to Sweden to study at Chalmers, many things are unfamiliar, so there’s a lot of opportunities you might not know you can take! Here are some life hacks for students to save money and make life a little easier.

1. Getting deals with your Chalmers Student Union card
There are many ways your student ID can benefit you. One of the easiest ways to get a benefit from your card is just by loading money onto it. You can do this with the help from a cashier at any cash register on campus. If you load money on the card (minimum 400 SEK), you can use it to buy food at any campus restaurant or anything in the store that is located in the Student Union. If you pay with your student union card, rather than a debit or credit card, you’ll be able to get discounts all over campus! 

picture of student card2. Mecenat and Student Discounts
Whenever you are shopping, remember to check for discounts! Your student union card has the name and logo for Mecenat. This is a student discount service with tons and tons of different discounts. Check out their website or app to discover where you can save, which includes, food, travel, clothes, software, and more! 
Whenever you are in a store or café, and you don’t know if they have a student discount, just ask! I’ve been to many places that don’t loudly advertise their discounts, so it’s worth checking, just remember to bring you student card with you.

3. Saving on Books
A good idea is to check out the libraries at Chalmers​. Once you create a library account, you can request any books in the library catalogue and get notified when they are ready to pick up. Then you have 14 days to use the books, and you can keep them for up to 90 days if no one else requests them. 
There may also be opportunities to buy used textbooks! In my programme, we have a shared document on Google Drive for selling and buying textbooks from students who don’t need them anymore. Ask students in the year ahead of you if you’re looking for a secondhand book! 

4. Staying Organized
Things get busy quickly once the semester starts, so it’s necessary to keep track of due dates, articles, and tasks. One way of staying organized is by using Notion, an organizational website and app. It’s free for personal use for students, and it is extremely customizable with things like task lists, calendars, and reading lists. I really like the way it makes things visible, rather than saving links for a project in a file on my computer bookmarks, I can add webpages in a visible way, so it is easier to remember why I saved them in the first place.

5. Review your Writing
As a student, we are constantly writing emails, papers, messages and more. It’s worth checking to make sure what’s being written makes sense and has as few mistakes as possible. It’s worth having someone read over a paper for feedback, but this isn’t always possible, so in everyday situations, it’s worth using a writing assistant like Gram​marly to help you out. Grammarly can be added as an extension on many browsers and software like Microsoft Word, and the free version will check your spelling, punctuation, and grammar for any mistakes. Even as a native English speaker, I make mistakes all the time with my writing, so running a quick check before sending and submitting things is very helpful.

6. Grocery Store Deals
“Är du medlem?” is a phrase I hear often when checking out at stores. It means “Are you a member?”. By becoming a member at grocery stores, you can get access to better discounts, use the self-scanning tools as you shop, get access to digital receipts, and even earn points when you shop for later rewards like food checks. Each store is different, so check out what the benefits are where you shop. 

picture of a recyclable can7. Make Money by Being Sustainable
Did you know that your trash is worth money? Specifically, your aluminum cans and plastic bottles. Check their labels for a symbol that says PANT with either 1 or 2 KR below it. This means you can take it to any grocery store with a machine for returning these containers. Once I get a bag or two filled with cans and bottles, I’ll take them over to my nearest grocery store to “panta”, which is the Swedish word for returning drinking containers back to the machine. The machine scans your cans and bottles and tallies up the amount in kronor, which you can then use to get a discount the next time you shop! One reason this system is so important is that aluminum does not degrade when it is recycled, so it can essentially be recycled forever. By returning cans, this material can be reused to make quality products, which saves a huge amount of new material and is more sustainable.

8. Buying used stuff
Whenever you need some new clothes, decorations, kitchen items, etc. Check out the secondhand stores first! There are many of them all over Gothenburg, and they are a great way to save some money and live a bit more of an environmentally friendly lifestyle. Last year, I needed some snow pants and boots, but I didn’t want to have to buy brand new ones for the short time I expected to need them. I was able to find both secondhand, and they worked great! These places are also great if you want to get things like vases, picture frames, or even holiday decorations for making your home cozier. Take an afternoon and look around, you never know what treasures you’ll find.

9. Stream Free Movies
Aside from books, you can get another benefit with your library card from the public library (Stadsbiblioteket Göteborg)., You can get access to a movie streaming website called Cineasterna. By logging in with your library card information, you can access all kinds of different films, including recent and older releases from many countries and genres. Check it out and find something new to watch!


Page manager Published: Tue 08 Feb 2022.