college student sitting with a laptop

Are you excited for college? Interested in exploring this brand new world filled with possibilities? To experience and to learn? Or, are you terrified of the costs, the expenses and other concerns? It’s fair to say that college does bring a lot of significant costs. Some of them are absolutely essential, and others can be avoided. Let’s look at the purchases you’ll need to make for your time at college and a couple that you won’t.

It’s no surprise that being a college student comes with finding feasible ways to enjoy your glory days. Many students find themselves broke trying to stay afloat with expenses such as tuition, housing/living arrangements, books, organisations, and of course, having fun. With things to do but no money to spend, we’re going to break down how to budget your money and spend more wisely.

College is the best and most interesting time of one’s life all wrapped up in 4 short years. Whether you’re broke or ballin’ on a budget, it’s important for any college student to use this time to become a financially smart young adult!


Need: A Great Laptop

You definitely need a computer for college, and we recommend getting your hands on a laptop. A laptop is portable enough to use anywhere like commuting or even in the back of a classroom. It’s also far easier to type those long monotonous essays on a laptop compared to fiddling around with a tablet. However, if you are looking to save money, it is worth pointing out that you don’t need one of the most expensive laptops on the market. There are plenty of cheap models, ideal for word processing, or even streaming content. These models can be purchased on the market for a fraction of the cost and save you a fortune in your first few months of college. You may also want to consider checking out the seasonal deals that are often directly aimed at students.

Avoid: A Car

Contrary to what some students believe, you do not need a car for college. If you buy a car, you will be taking on a number of hidden expenses such as tax, insurance and maintenance. There’s no need for this when you consider that dorms for the first year are usually within walking distance and even if you do move away from the college, you will still be able to get great deals on public transport.

Need: Books

Some college students do try to get by without purchasing the appropriate books for their lessons and courses. Instead, they tend to rely on online resources such as Google Books. While this is a possibility, many lecturers will insist you bring a book to their class, and you may not be able to find all the information  you need without the appropriate texts in hand. The good news is that every year students are selling their old textbooks online so you can usually purchase them for a lot less than the recommended retail price.

Avoid: A TV

If you are at college, there is absolutely no need to buy a television. You can get a massive range of content on various streaming channels as well as from official providers such as Netflix and Amazon Prime. You might even find deals for students and get some of the services free for a limited period of time.

Need: A Printer

Finally, you will need to purchase a printer unless you want to pay extortionate prices for printing on the college campus. Another benefit is that you won’t need to worry about getting up early to print something off last minute before a lecture or class.


First use our cost calculator to decide whether or not a Pretty Penny loan is right for you.

Then to apply, simply complete our quick online application and send us a bank statement. Or call us and one of our friendly staff members will be happy to help. You can use our cost calculator to get an estimate of your repayment amounts. We do our very best to help every kiwi that applies. Our motto is to:

“Treat everyone with the same respect and trust, regardless of their personal or other circumstances.”

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