6/30/2016 12:21:00 pm

studyblr masterpost: HOW TO STATIONERY SMART

As students, it is not surprising that we spend quite a bit on stationery. As studyblrs, we might even 'invest' more money to achieve the 'tumblr-feel' and aesthetic stationery collection and notes. However, again, as students, we also have a limited budget, hence I am here in hopes of not just helping people stick to their budget and stationery smart!

(And yes, I'm using 'stationery' as a verb: it means to both use and purchase stationery (in my dictionary)

There were a couple of masterposts that was already out there, like this, but I was looking for even more alternatives, tips and tricks.

Note: this is just a list of methods I have thought up/tried and tested to stick achieve the aesthetic studyblr-feel and notes while sticking to your budget. I'm not saying you can't buy fineliners, midliners, moleskins and stuff, these are just suggestions and alternatives to stick to your budget.

This can be done through 3 steps:

1. Plan

a. Splurge vs necessities

Take some time to list down your necessities for stationery (what you cannot do without) and your splurges (what you want but not prioritized) in two columns. For example:

b. Budget

Sit down, do your accounting. Allocate a budget for your stationery, whether it's a certain amount for the month, term, semester or year, make sure your stick to it!

c. To-buy list

To make sure you don't buy too many things on impulse at the stationery shop/bookstore (I'm guilty of that too), write a to-buy list of stationery you need and put it in your wallet/purse. Ideally most of the items in the list should be from your necessities list, a few exceptions being those to treat yourself on special occasions, or when you've reached your target (A in exam, for example).

The next time you pass by the store, just get what is on that list.

d.  Prices

   i. Compare and contrast

Don't hesitate to take a minute or two to consider the difference in prices of the same product from different stores; the prices often range from a few cents to up to a dollar. This may not seem much, but in the long run, it will accumulate and you'll save more than a few dollars. If you do online shopping and have trust in the online store, check that out too.

   ii. Membership options

If the book/stationery shop offers membership options, check that out. For example, Popular, a chain in where I live offers membership at a decent rate: 3-year, membership at $30 (adult), $20 (student);1-year, $12 (adult) $8 (student), which is rather worth it considering it offers a discount of 10% for most of the items (excluding stuff like textbooks which has another discount).

   iii. Sales and promotions

Always be on the lookout for those, especially during Back to School season.

2. Organize

a. Keep all stationery in a centralised location

Not only will it be easier to find when you need them, it will also give you a clear idea of what you have. 
Knowing where all the things are 
= less likely to lose it (or for the item to lose itself) 
= finish using the item (e.g. use up all the ink in a pen, fully utilise it) 
= won't have to replace it so often
= won't buy the thing (thinking you don't have it) and have multiple sets of the same item lying around

3. Smart

a. Free stuff

I'm not saying you have to be cheapo (slang, describing tightward, misers), I'm saying this option can allow you to save more and you can direct the money to somewhere else. I'm not certain about other countries, but in the country I live in, freebies are basically what people love.

When I went to school open houses, conferences (MUN), property showhouses, hotels etc, there were usually goodie bags (first two of the list) and freebies. For example, at school open houses, there was usually a pen, a notebook/notepad, sometimes a post-it pad. Business conferences (from what I remember) usually have a notepad and a pen, and if you have a family member who frequents these events, you can perhaps ask them to bring some back for you.

b. Save the pen

It doesn't really matter (for myself) what kind of pen I use for my maths work, English and Chinese essays and compositions, as well as past year exam papers of all subjects, seeing that I don't really refer to it as frequently as my notes and mindmaps. Furthermore, writing an essay takes up a lot of ink in a pen, so for these less-important work, I use the cheaper (or free, see 3a) pen. This allows the pens that I like to use for notes (uniball signo 0.38, which costs $1.85) to be used for notes, flashcards and mindmaps, and it'll be used up less quickly.

c.  DIY

Instead of purchasing a nice but more expensive notebook/journal (for example), one can simply get a basic one and DIY themself.

d. Alternative

Like I said earlier, instead of buying a nice but more expensive item, there are other alternatives to it.
 What I'm saying is, you don't need Midliners, Moleskins, Fineliners to study/studyblr, there are plenty of options out there which are just as aesthetically pleasing, tumblr-worthy and they perform  the same function (highlight, write) just with a slightly different result (not exact shades of colours, different ink flow, etc), and they are cheaper! You can try:

e. 1 in, 1 out

This mostly applies to pens, highlighters, pencils, erasers etc. To ensure you don't have multiple items having similar function (say, 4 highlighters of different brands, all fluorescent yellow), have a one-in-one-out rule. This means, only buy the same item when the one you have is used up. When you bring a pen/refill/highlighter home, you also should dispose the one used up. (In the case of notebooks, make sure you have completed the one you're replacing (e.g. journal) before buying a new one). This also avoids cluttering. 

f. Motivation

Use your addiction of stationery to fuel your grades (further, besides using them to study). Set a reachable and realistic target relating to academics and allocate a reward (usually on the splurge list). Some examples:
  • Target: Get B+ and above for Additional Maths (a subject currently at D-ish) for the Aug exam. Reward: 
  • Target: Finish taking notes for Geography chapters 4, 5, 6. Reward: 

g. Gifts

Ask (or if they don't approach you/not close to them enough, hint) for giftcards or cash as your birthday or Christmas present, so it can go towards something you want or need. It also saves your family and friends the trouble of going to stores and deciding what to get you.


Let me know if you would like me to focus on any particular aspect of studying in future masterposts, and I'll try my best!


  1. This is a super awesome post! I pinned your summery thing at the end. It was cool.

    Nabila // Hot Town Cool Girl

    1. Thanks, Nabila! Hope you found it useful :)

  2. I've been seeing this 'studyblrs' on your blog. What does it mean exactly?
    And the splurge--those are lovely and needed if you're the artistic kind, huh? I love splurging, but often did not because I don't really see any use in them unless I'm feeling arty.

    1. Studyblrs are (from what I understand), tumblr blogs specifically about studying, so they post studying-related stuff.
      Splurging may not be for artistic people- it's just things that you don't exactly need (those are the basic necessities including pens for writing essays and erasers), but things you want, I guess.
      Thanks for dropping by!


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