Being a student means being in a permanent state of broke. Textbooks, fees and supplies tend to drain your bank account every month. And it doesn’t help that working full-time and studying full-time is almost impossible to handle.

The thing is, we all still want to own nice things. Or, at very least, we want to look like we own nice things. But how do you do that when you’re living on a tight budget? Well, read on…


First things first, you don’t need to buy big brands just to look good. What you need to do is invest in a few signature pieces of good quality clothing. Always start with the basics. Get a great pair of jeans. You’re a student so that’s probably the most used item in your closet. Then go check out some student fashion bloggers and see what can buy cheaply and what you should invest in. There’s no shame in shopping at Pick n Pay.


You can’t go out and buy every new cool gadget that comes out. That’s going to be your reality for quite a few years, so you’ve got to accept that. What you need to invest in is a good laptop and a good cellphone. The former because it’s your most used resource while studying and the latter because it’s basically an accessory you carry around and use 24/7.


If you’re living off campus, chances are that you don’t have the funds for a Nespresso machine right now. But there are a few things you should invest in. For example, a good set of cast iron pots is important because it’s something you use on a regular basis. Plus, you can show them off when you’re cooking dinner for your friends.


Whether or not you entertain guests in the bedroom, you should always invest in your bedding. Good sheets are important for a good night’s sleep and your duvet cover needs to be just right. You only need two sets of bedding and you’re sorted. Of course, you need to keep them clean. Oh and, if you want to look like you own nice things, only put framed posters and photographs up on your walls. You’re not a teeny bopper anymore.

When it comes to appearing as though you own nice things, the most important thing is to keep all your possessions in good condition. Get a good cellphone case and laptop bag, and don’t leave your clothes lying on the floor.