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4 ways to manage uni and money

August 27, 2018

August 27, 2018

Going to university is a time of growth and independence, although the associated costs can make it an expensive proposition. Yet as Ben found, there are ways to minimise the cost and kick-start your financial future.

The day Ben was accepted into law school, he was first excited, then nervous; his life was changing forever.

Ben asked his parents whether they had a hidden cache of gold buried somewhere to fund his studies. The resulting laughter was not the desired response. He was going to have to pay his own way.

He started by writing down everything he would need to get himself uni-ready and ended up with a list of four items for consideration/investigation.

Firstly, he should find out whether he qualified for any kind of government assistance. Ben’s girlfriend, Sarah, suggested he look up www.studyassist.gov.au. This website provided all the information he needed including application criteria, available concessions and ways to manage assistance loans to pay them off quickly.

Item 1: Financial assistance.

Ben checked that off his list.

Nasty surprises are rarely nastier than university book lists. Unprepared for the prices, Ben first changed his underwear then got resourceful. Most books can be bought second hand, either online or through ads on university notice boards. He was careful to check the version number first – no point buying outdated books.

Item 2: Books

A job was not something Ben considered while doing Year 12, now he explored his options. Cafes, supermarkets, hardware shops – many had vacancies for casual employees. Ben landed a job in the campus cafe and discovered a talent for brewing coffee. He told Sarah he was a barista, not yet a barrister!

Item 3: Income

With the question of money-in dealt with, Ben now needed to consider money-out. His mother called it a budget; Ben called it interference, but after a month of working with nothing to show for it, Ben agreed to see his mum’s financial adviser.

The adviser was surprisingly inexpensive and she worked with him to put together a practical budget. Ben could plan ahead for things like car expenses and uni fees; he even managed to save a bit each pay. He quietly realised he should have done this earlier.

Item 4: Expenses

All items covered – job done!

If university is the key to your future, it should not be a financial spook that haunts you for the rest of your natural life.

Ben enjoyed his uni years without worrying about money. All it took was good advice and a bit of planning – oh, and agreeing that his mum was right now and then!

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The information on this site is of a general nature. It does not take your specific needs or circumstances into consideration, so you should consider your own financial position, objectives and requirements and seek personalised advice before making any financial decisions.