Because even online students still need to balance the books.
Study is a great way to further your current career or move into a new one. There is no doubt that education is an investment that will pay off. However, no life-changing decision comes without implications as does no investment come without a cost. Affording study and life's other costs can be a tricky task for students without a solid budget or some sort of financial plan. What's more, it is just as important for online students to manage their budget before and during their study as it is for those who study on campus.
In this post, we have put together some top budget tips for all students.
Firstly, Write a Budget
Writing a simple budget is a great way to ensure that you spend your income effectively and allocate money for the important things. Record down your total weekly income and your weekly expenditure; don’t forget to factor in monthly or quarterly bills such as electricity. Once you have done this you can see where your big expenses are and try to cut down on the less important expenses. You can also use the budget to help you make decisions about whether or not you need to find additional income whilst you study. Once you have a money plan you can take note of when to expect your bills. Record these on your calendar to help you plan payments. One great way to do this is to set aside money for future payments into an additional bank account.
Make the most of any and all discounts you may be eligible for. Don't feel bad about it either, everyone knows what it's like to be a student or at least has an understanding of the financial situation students may be in.
As one of the largest RTOs in Australia, we believe at Upskilled that our students should have access to student rewards. The Upskilled Student Rewards Program, offers a variety of benefits including access to Australia’s leading lifestyle benefits program, the Presidential Card. Other institutions should offer similar programs, otherwise full-time students around the country may be eligible for a student ID which will attract a range of discounts including state public transport.
When your study-life is busy it is tempting to resort to supermarket ready or take-away meals. Both of these are expensive options; by far the best way to save money on your food is to make your own meals. Invest in a ‘quick recipe’ book and have a go. Or check out some of our favourite quick and nutritious recipes. Soups are a great place to start, as are recipes with noodles. Next time you make a cheese sandwich, work out how much it has cost you, you may never buy a shop made one again. Whilst shopping for food, do some price comparison research and look for bargains. Visit your supermarket in the evenings to find out at which times they discount food that is getting close to its use-by date. Often these items can be frozen or kept a bit longer than the date suggests.
Even if you are working hard and on a tight budget, it is important to occasionally treat yourself. Treats don’t have to be expensive; instead of going to the cinema have a movie night in with friends, instead of an evening out drinking take a homemade picnic to the beach. You can also play around with the timing of your treats; set yourself work goals with planned rewards or set aside a regular day for some ‘me-time’.
Spreading the payment for your course fees can be a great way to ensure a smoother financial path when studying. At Upskilled we have teamed up with zipMoney to offer flexible weekly, fortnightly or monthly interest free payment plans. Applying for these plans is simple and hassle free and will give you more peace of mind as you manage your student budget. Studying is a great life investment but not only that; most people find that they really enjoy their study and their lifestyle while they are studying.
We hope that these budget tips will help you to embark on an exciting and important time with a little less worry on your plate. Education is an investment in the long-run and with these tips on your side, you're sure to thrive.
Find out more about the zipMoney options for financing study at Upskilled here.
And see why you need to invest in your study tools here.