When you’re studying, picking up extra shifts at work isn’t always the answer to improving your cash flow. It’s important to keep a balance between work, study and life. And you’ll need some ‘me time’ to relax or spend with family and friends too. Luckily, there are other ways you can make ends meet and now is the perfect time to start planning for the session ahead!
CSU’s Student Liaison Officer (Finance), Rachel Ayton, has shared six of her top tips for planning your finances while you’re at uni.
Do your research
Research the cost of study and create a realistic budget. As well as regular living expenses, you’ll need to plan for one-off costs, such as equipment, textbooks and amenities fees.
Apply for student payments
Check your eligibility for Youth Allowance, Austudy or Abstudy. Complete the Human Services Rate Estimator to find out how much income you might receive each fortnight. Eligible? Apply!
Check out scholarship opportunities
Research the scholarships that you might be able to apply for. These include internal scholarships through the CSU Foundation as well as scholarships offered externally. Many will open soon, and you’ve got to be in it to win it.
Defer your payments
Consider your fee payment options. Depending on your circumstances, you may have the option to either pay your fees upfront or to defer payment via a HELP loan. Again, take the time to do the research in order to decide which option is best for you. You may be wary of accumulating debt, but on the other hand, if you have savings available to draw on during the year you won’t find yourself running short in an emergency.
Ask for advice
Pick the brains of those who have gone before you. Most students tell us they prefer to ask friends and family for advice about finances and now is the perfect time. Ask them what they know now that they wish they had known when they started their studies. Maybe you can learn something from their experiences.
Contact CSU’s Office for Students for advice about your individual circumstances by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also catch up with Rachel in person at CSU in Port Macquarie for a budgeting workshop or individual appointment on 11 and 12 July.