Your money questions answered

Looking after your financial wellbeing can seem time-consuming and overwhelming while you are studying. Financial stress is a real struggle, and we get that!

Check out these answers to your most common money questions:

Q: What does ‘managing my finances’ look like?

A: It involves creating a budget, planning for your expenses and putting a savings plan into practice. This management needs to be ongoing and specific, so you can maximise your money and avoid the stress.

Q: Is creating a budget enough?

A: No. Simply creating a budget is not enough to manage your money. There are four key steps to help you be money smart:

  1. Information: Find out all the finer details to answer the overarching question – how much is it going to cost? This includes tracking your spending.
  2. Plan: Jot the information you collected into a budget plan. Observe the numbers and ask yourself – are you happy, does anything surprise you, are you spending too much in one or more areas?
  3. Goals: Then, set goals for how much you will set aside fortnightly, monthly or quarterly to add to your savings, which will help with any unexpected costs.
  4. Support: Don’t try and manage alone. If you need help, ask for it!

Q: How do I track my spending?

A: To determine how much you spend, observe your expenses over a period of time, either for a few weeks or months. During this time, take note of where each dollar goes by collecting receipts and recording the exact numbers. The aim is to determine your day-today expenses.

Q: Do I have to plan my money in an Excel Spreadsheet?

A: No, choose what works for you! You could use the Track My Spend app for quick, convenient planning or if you like to write, use a notebook or diary and see the numbers right in front of you.

Q: How do I know what other study expenses I have?

A: Check your enrolment and each subject for subject outlines, course information and subject coordinator contacts to tell you about:

  • Textbooks – do you need to buy the latest version, is it available online or can you borrow it?
  • Res school – how will you pay for your travel? Will you need accommodation?
  • Workplace learning – if you are unable to work over this period, how will you support yourself?
  • Equipment – do you need to purchase stationery, resources or uniforms for your classes?

Do your research now, rather than being caught out when the time comes to pay up. You may need to set money aside for these things.

Q: Who can help me?

A: There are ample support opportunities available to help you navigate money troubles.

  • Workshops: Register for a financial skills workshop to learn some key tricks about money management.
  • Scholarships: Apply for scholarships early, so you have time to put your best foot forward. There are funds available for technology, work placements, Res schools and more!
  • Contact CSU Finance: The friendly team can help you with questions, tips, counselling and resources.