Wouldn’t it be nice if the holidays came free? No expensive plane tickets, no $80 per Christmas present for everyone in the family, and no limits on food or fun… one can only dream. So, how can we survive the summer break without being completely broke when next year’s uni fees come through? By budgeting!
Budgeting is not a scary word. It simply means having a plan for how you’re going to spend your money. Having a spending plan will help you stay motivated to save and watch where you spend.
Take note of these handy points for budgeting this festive season:
- Be specific: Make your plan as specific as possible to be and stay organised. Include all of your outgoing costs whether big or small, and income amounts and dates. Don’t forget about uni by adding expenses like accommodation, textbooks, and HECS to be prepared before Session 1 hits you
- What works for you: There is no point making a plan if you’ll never look at it or forget you even made it. Whether it’s online or printed, coloured or not, organised or scribbled, now is the perfect time to trial what works!
- Extra work: Though it’s obvious, job opportunities are open and available at this time of year so pick up extra work while you’re not studying and save, save, save!
- If you are travelling, plan ahead: Book well in advance for transport and accommodation, suss out travel concession and student discounts, and divvy up costs to share the load if you’re not alone
- Christmas time: Some alternatives to spending a lot of money this Christmas are to offer your time instead of buying a present, or cooking instead of going out. On your end, you could ask for relevant gifts that you need (books or money) to save yourself the expense
- Think forward: When budgeting, keep in mind the big picture and plan for next year. For example, if your degree includes work placement, add it to your plan once you have the details. You may not be able to work during that time so think forward and set aside money before the time comes.
Now is also the perfect time to contact Centrelink (if you haven’t already) and look at scholarships to make the most of what’s available. You can also contact the Finance team in the Division of Student Services for financial advice related to Uni.
All the best with planning your spending and happy holidays!