Becoming a student is the start of an exciting new chapter in your life. It leads to employment opportunities, education and new skills that will set you up for the rest of your life. It can also be very expensive as you might not have a lot of spare time to work. But don’t worry, if you are careful and plan ahead you will see that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
So, just how much money will you need? It’s the one of the most important questions we ask ourselves again and again for the rest of our lives. And it’s even more important for students, because students don’t always have a high income.
How much money have you got?
Are you working? If so is it regular part time work? Irregular casual employment? Contract work? Or are you freelancing? As you can see there are many situations that define a student’s income, however the bottom line is; what is your cash flow? And, how much cash do you have in savings? Can you rely on money from your parents or guardians?
How much money do you need to spend?
The answer to this question is going to be different depending on your situation. For example; Are you renting? If so, is it a student share house or a private studio? Are you moving interstate or a long way from home? Do you have all the right textbooks and other study resources you will need? Can you afford a computer if you need one? How will you get to class? Are you driving or taking the bus? Can you afford new clothes and food?
What’s the difference?
Add up all your income, savings and other sources of cash flow. Now, add up all your expenses, accommodation, food, resources and so on. Then subtract your expenses from your income. Hopefully you have something left over.
It’s really important to plan ahead. There is a famous expression ‘most people don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan’. Don’t let this come true with your student budget. With proper planning and a good understanding of your budget your student life will be a great success and you will move into a professional career with every confidence.
Budget tips and tricks
When you cash flow is low controlling your spending is the best way to stay in control. Always think through your purchases before making them and ask yourself the following questions; do I really need this? Do i need it right now? And, can I get it cheaper somewhere else?
Becoming a student should be an exciting and optimistic decision. We don’t want you to become overly anxious about money. That is why we created the student budgeting calculator so that you can see for yourself just how much you have to spend. If you follow the guidelines set out above; Add up your cash flow, subtract your expenses, calculate the difference, plan ahead and make savings wherever you can, you too will see the financial reward at the end of your studies.