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Finances for first years

Finances for first years


First years listen up! This epic blog has everything you need to know about money for your new university life. It may be challenging to stick to your budget but we promise that following these tips will help you shop savvy and save!

Written by Victoria Prince


You’ve made it to university – a thrilling adventure awaits you.

Amidst the excitement of newfound freedom and academic pursuits, there’s one aspect of university life that often takes centre stage much sooner than expected… managing your finances.

Victoria Prince, Lucia Flint and Sarah Faulks walking on Albury Charles Sturt campus

Apply for scholarships

You know that saying, “If you don’t ask, the answer is always no.”?

Well let’s apply this to your university journey, where every dollar counts.


There’s a pot of scholarship gold waiting for you, especially for first-year students.

Whether it’s degree-specific or location-specific, there are plenty of scholarship opportunities available you just need to apply!

Shop second hand

When it comes to essentials like textbooks and placement uniforms, don’t shy away from the pre-loved items it’s a budget-savvy game-changer!

Dive into platforms like Facebook Marketplace, join online groups or befriend students further ahead in your course to find a treasure trove of pre-loved items.

Not only will you save money, but you’ll also contribute to a more sustainable and eco-friendly campus lifestyle.

So, why not make friends with a well-worn textbook or a gently-used uniform? It’s a win-win for your wallet and the planet.

Track your expenses

Start by creating a financial diary over the space of a month recording every expense from those academic brain boosters (aka textbooks) to the oh-so-tempting late-night snacks that magically vanish from the fridge…

Now, divide and conquer.

Write down the heavyweight champs of your budget – the fixed costs that never change like rent and shine the spotlight on the variable costs like groceries and other incidental expenditures (I’m looking at you spontaneous coffee run).

Understanding where your money goes is the key to financial wizardry.

Victoria incredibly proud of her $7 spent on bulk groceries

Cook at home

Here’s where the real magic happens – cook in bulk or better yet cook as a group!

Picture it: a communal kitchen filled with laughter, shared responsibilities, and the aroma of delicious possibilities not to mention shared grocery costs and a streamlined cooking process.

Don’t want to share your food?

Whip up large batches of your favourite meals, for future you to thank you later!

The other secret weapon here?

Frozen veggies.

These little green (or colourful) powerhouses not only bulk out your meals but also give you a nutritional bang for your buck.

They’re budget-friendly, have a longer shelf life, and retain their nutritional value.

What more could you want?

Don the apron, grab your spatula, and let the budget-friendly cooking extravaganza begin! 💸🌽

Victoria Prince and her friend Lucia Flint cooking a group dinner

Take advantage of student discounts

Hold onto your student ID, because it’s not just a piece of plastic – it’s your golden ticket to a world of savings!

Let’s talk about unleashing the power of that little card by taking full advantage of student discounts.

From software subscriptions like Microsoft to online shopping, entertainment (hello Spotify and trips to the cinemas) or gym memberships, many companies offer discounts to students.

Remember, the key here is to always ask, student discounts might not always be advertised.

Your budget will thank you, and you’ll still get to enjoy all the perks of student life! 💻🎟️

Pictured left to right: Katie Powell, Victoria Prince, Paige Hughes and Sophie Cargill

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