Look, there is no sugar-coating it: university is an expensive time! You will be tempted with countless food options, cafés, and overpriced parking. As a university senior, let me tell you a secret: there are ways you can save as a tertiary education student, in order to have more than $2.37 in your ‘everyday savings’ account. Here are seven budgeting tips to help wallets and (hopefully) make sure your pay pass attempt doesn’t get rejected … again!
1. Have at least two bank accounts – one that you can access with your everyday card and one that is your savings account. Your card cannot access this savings account; therefore, you can’t spend the hard earned cash. I personally have my wage transferred straight into my savings account, instead of my everyday account. This forces me to save, and if you’re a lazy student like me, won’t bother transferring more when your run out!
2. Save with a goal – whether the goal is an overseas trip, a music festival, Uber surge prices, an investment property (haha gotcha, good luck!) or even a car, it is vital to have an endgame in mind. I find this strategy helpful because it tells me where I need to be in terms of savings. If I am falling behind in reaching my goal, I simply reduce the amount of coffees I buy at uni! Problem solved!
3. Have a rainy day fund – who knows what the world has in store for us, having a few extra dollars can really reduce unnecessary stress in emergencies. ‘
4. Budget (like with a legitimate pen and paper) – I know budgets are hard, annoying and you usually struggle to stick to one. But trust me, it really helps to know where your money is going and if it is well spent. As a university student, we have some fixed costs and variable costs. A popular budgeting rule is 50:30:20 – 50% of your income towards fixed costs, 30% towards the fun stuff, and 20% towards savings. Don’t just keep your budget in the memory bank. Physically write it down because it holds you more accountable. ‘
5. Look at all the income streams available to you – part-time, casual, or even freelancing work: the possibilities are endless. Not only do these jobs offer an income stream, they are highly valued by employees and bump up your CV. Never think that there is only one option to bring in the moola.
6. Don’t forget to check up on Centrelink – you may be entitled to youth allowances. The payments can be a lifesaver, and add to the bank account when you really need it.
7. Bring your own lunch to university or work – that $11.99 spicy chicken burrito bowl adds up. Yes, I’m talking about coffees too! If you buy five cups of coffee per week, that would be, on average, $17.50 and in a year nearly $910. That’s a saving and a half on something that’s definitely (although you may think it is) not an essential.
Be sure to follow at least half of these budgeting tips, and I am sure that you will surprise yourself (and your bank account) on what you can achieve