CHECKLIST – ask yourself these questions

CHECKLIST – ask yourself these questions


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Student ServicesVisit our website atUNIVERSITYOF GUIDETOFINANCIAL SURVIVALATUNIVERSITYStudent OrganisationContact Student ServicesTUU Hobart: 6226 2495Launceston: 6324 3787SA Launceston: 6324 3757Hobart: 6226 2697North-West Centre: 6430 4999AcknowledgementsThis publication was developed by Student Services at the University ofTasmania. The development team would like to acknowledge the followingsources of information:Credit Union Services Corporation (Australia) Limited, 1998, Stop thatcrisis, bookletation (Australia) Limited, 1997,Budgeting – making it easy, bookletCentrelink, Austudy Payment: The Guide, January 2001$file/aus0101en.pdfThis publication was updated/developed in November 2001.ContentsOverview 1Why you need a budget 1Preparing your budget 2Decide on your priorities 3Some tips for better budgetingand minimising costs 3Do you have a Health Care card? 4Are you coping financially? 5When trouble strikes – talk to your creditors 5Financial counselling 5Is employment an option? 6What is the Student FinancialSupplement Scheme 7Weekly/Fortnightly Budget PlannerAnnual Expenditure PlannerYour Guide to Financial Survival at UniversityOverviewThe majority of university students live on a low income and can experience difficultiescoping financially ...



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UNIVERSITYFOTASMANIAContactStudent ServicesVisit our website at GUIDEOTFINANCIAL SURVIVALTAUNIVERSITYStudent ServicesLHaoubnacrte:s t  o6n2: 2  66 2362947 3787North-West Centre: 6430 4999Student OrganisationTUU Hobart: 6226 2495SA Launceston: 6324 3757
AcknowledgementsThis publication was developed by Student Services at the University ofTasmania. The development team would like to acknowledge the followingsources of information:Credit Union Services Corporation (Australia) Limited, 1998, Stop thatcrisis, bookletCredit Union Services Corporation (Australia) Limited, 1997,Budgeting – making it easy, bookletCentrelink, Austudy Payment: The Guide, January 2001$file/aus0101en.pdfThis publication was updated/developed in November 2001.
ContentsOverviewWhy you need a budgetPreparing your budgetDecide on your prioritiesSome tips for better budgetingand minimising costsDo you have a Health Care card?Are you coping financially?When trouble strikes – talk to your creditorsFinancial counsellingIs employment an option?What is the Student FinancialSupplement SchemeWeekly/Fortnightly Budget PlannerAnnual Expenditure Planner11233455567
Your Guide to Financial Survival at UniversityOverviewThe majority of university students live on a low income and can experience difficultiescoping financially when trying to cover day-to-day living costs and expenses related tostudy. This guide has been developed to assist you in planning your finances during yourtime at university.Budgeting is the key to managing these costs. This guide provides you with some helpfulhints, a budget planner and information on where to get help should you find yourself notcoping financially.Always allow sufficient funds in your budget for these education-related items: Services and Amenities (S&A) fees Textbooks Equipment and /or clothing Field trips, excursions and placements Photocopying and printing Internet access and computer requirements University Library fees and fines University parking fees and finesWhy you need a budgetThe main reason for preparing a budget is to be aware of all yourexpenditure. A sample budget form and an annual budget plannerare located in this booklet.It can be frightening to find out just how much its costs to live. If your first attempt at abudget comes out in the red, don’t panic. Thi shappens to most people. Take the time tosit down with your partner, if you have one, and look carefully at each item on your list.Think about what items you really need or whether they are just “nice to haves”.Are there any areas where you can make reductions? Can you cut down on some items fora few months until you get over the crisis? Some areas to focus on are lunches, take-aways, entertainment, magazines, gifts and cards, clothing and impulse buying on creditcards.Don’t make your budget too inflexible or too tight. If you do the time will come when youwon’t be able to stick to it any longer. Flolow your budget for three months and then lookPage 1
Your Guide to Financial Survival at Universityat it again. Is it working for you? Does it have a little reward for you for sticking to it?Are there any items which can be further reduced or should be increased? Open a bills paying account at a financial institution for paying electricity, gas and waterand other recurring expenses such as car registration and insurance, medical benefits, vetfees and school expenses.Promise yourself you will not use the bills paying account for any other purpose.Preparing your budgetFill in your income and expenditure details on the sample budgetplanner. The aim of a budget is to bring to your attention all theareas where you spend money. When completing your budget,keep in mind the following: The budget is based on your pay period – i fyou are paid weekly, work out all yourexpenditure on a weekly basis. If you are paid fortnightly calculate your expenditureon a fortnightly basis, if you are paid monthly calculate your expenditure on a monthlybasis. If you have children, include the Family Allowance in your income – and any other“extras” such as board. Write down where you think your income goes. If you aren’t sure about all yourexpenditure items, keep a record of where every cent goes during one pay period. In the case of quarterly bills – electrictiy, telephone and other utilities – divide youraverage bill by 13; divide it by six if you are paid fortnightly; or divide it by three ifyou are paid monthly. Likewise for yearly accounts, and repairs and maintenance, divide by 52 if you arepaid weekly; divide by 26 if you are paid fortnightly; or divide by 12 if you are paidmonthly. For house repairs allow an amount each year – based on 10 year cycle – to coverrepairs to fences, gas, water and sewerage pipes, lawn mower, hot water system,gutters, roof etc. For car repairs contact your State motoring association for information on how much itcosts to run a car – including replacement of tyres, spare parts, servicing charges,depreciation etc. School costs should include the costs of uniforms, shoes, books, pencils, excursions,and sports fees. For household repairs allow for the repair and replacement of items within the homeover a 10-year period. This includes the stove, refrigerator, washing machine,microwave, dishwasher, TV, video, stereo, beds, furniture, bed linen, curtains, smallelectrical items, crockery, cutlery etc. Personal expenses include items such as lotto, donations and hobbies, entertainment.ctePage 2
Your Guide to Financial Survival at UniversityDecide on your prioritiesOnce you have completed the details of your budget, check what itlooks like. Determine your goals and see where economies can bemade. You may also find it useful to complete the Annual Plannerprovided in this guide. Using the planner will assist you in identifyingyour high expenditure months thus enabling you to adjust your budgetaccordingly.Some tips for better budgeting and minimising costs Make budgeting a family/household project. Do your grocery shopping late on a Thursday/Friday nightor a Saturday afternoon when goods such as meat,vegetables and bread are often marked down in price. Alsouse a shopping list to avoid impulse buying. Try ‘home brand’ products at the supermartk, eas they are not only cheaper but areoften a quality brand relabelled. Make your lunches to take to Uni each day. Buy only in-season fruits and vegetables, they are normally cheaper. If you can afford it buy meat in bulk and freeze in meal size parcels. Seal drafts around doors and windows, this will keep theheat in and lower your heating bills. Also close doors,curtains and windows to reduce heat loss further. Shops around to get the best telephone deal and avoid the expense of a mobilephone. Make sure you get an itemised telephone account when sharing a house/flat withother students. This will help everyone to keep track of what they shouldcontribute for the payment of the account. Pre-paid phone cards are a good idea. Spread expenses out as much as possible so they aren’t concentrated in one or twopay periods. Keep your records in a safe place – bills, certificates, insurance policies andrenewals, wills etc. Open a bill paying account at a credit union, building society or bank. Set your goals – put needs before wants. Don’t rely on overtimeo r a second income. Don’t run for cover if an unexpected illness, accident or mishap occurs. Keep going – be determined to succeed.Page 3
Your Guide to Financial Survival at University Stick to your budget but don’t be afriad to alter it if it can be improved. Before you apply for credit, find out what the repayments are – be sure you stillhave a surplus at the bottom of your budget, after the new loan repayments aretaken into account. Credit won’t help you beat your budget and it is never free. Aim to have an emergency savings fund. If you have children who receive pocket money, encourage them to budget too. Review your budget regularly.Quite often students find it difficult to stretch the budget to cover thepurchase of a lounge or desk when they move into a flat or house. Otherbudget breakers are clothing, shoes and miscellaneous household items.While you are on a tight budget you may find the following outletsuseful.St Vincent de Paul SocietyHobartHobartBurnieDevonportLauncestonLauncestonCity MissionHobartLauncestonLaunceston212 Argyle Street151 Collins Street51 Mount Street22 Edward Street247 Invermay Road61 Paterson Street13 Main Road, Moonah351 Hobart Road, YoungtownCnr Wellington & Frederick StsPage 46234 42446234 15106431 11256424 22956326 86116331 35736228 95426343 21156331 6999
Family StoresHobartLauncestonYour Guide to Financial Survival at University115-117 New Town Road, New Town6228 1325157-161 Invermay Road, Invermay6331 8766Do you have a Health Care card?It would be a good idea to find out if you are eligible for a Health Care card. The cardassists those who are low incomes and helps with day to day living with reductions onelectricity, telephone (depending on the provider), car registration and also medicalprescriptions. Contact CentreLink to find out if you are eligible.Are you coping financially?If you find yourself answering ‘yes’ to any of these questions,you may already have a debt problem or be about to suffer afinancial crisis. Are you spending more money than you earn? Is Illness, loss of a job or personal problems causing you financial hardship? Are your creditors constantly contacting you to pay overdue bills? Are you always paying off the minimum balance on your credit cards? Are you borrowing from family and friends just to manage? Do you regularly pay interest and service charges on your debts because of latepayments? Are financial institutions wanting overdue payments or threatening legal action? Is your vehicle about to be repossessed? Are you behind in your house payments or rent? Do you need to use your credit card to pay for food? Are you paying off one credit card with another? Do you need top up loans to pay your utility bills and car registration?When trouble strikes - talk to your creditorsIf you are experiencing problems, talk to your creditors straight away. You may feelawkward and embarrassed but it is important to let your creditors know what is happening.Most creditors will be pleased you have called to inform them about your situation. When they haven’th eard from you, they will think the worst.Page 5
Your Guide to Financial Survival at UniversityAvoiding creditors only puts them off side. Before you talk to them, sitdown and work out what you are going to say. Take the time to thinkabout what money you have coming in and what money you are spending.Prepare a money plan so you can make an offer to your creditors that isrealistic and within your means.Financial counsellingIf you are in financial difficulties and it all becomes too difficult, talk to afinancial counselling service. Financial counselling services attempt tomeet community and personal needs. People from all walks of life andwith a variety of problems go to financial counsellors. They includepeople on pensions and unemployment benefits, fighting to keep theirheads above water, and struggling to pay rent, electricity bills and still eaton a restricted income.Most creditors now recognise the importance of financial counselling for customers whoare experiencing financial problems. Many institutions refer clients to this type ofspecialised service. Financial counselling is free and confidential. If you feel you maylike to talk to a financial counsellor, call one of the following Anglicare Tasmania offices.Burnie 03 6431 8804Devonport 03 6424 9382Hobart  03 6234 3510Launceston 03 6334 6060Is employment an option?The Student Employment Service (SES) aims to assist students to find part-time andcasual work to supplement their incomes while they study. The service is for studentswho are currently enrolled at the University and who are registered with the SES. The service acts as a liaison between those in the community who have work to offer(business or private) and students seeking work. We are in the business of helpingstudents to help themselves. How does that work? Details on how to register with theSES and to access job vacancies are available online at the Student Employment Servicehomepage: Hard copies of positions vacant advertised through the service are displayed in the Careersand Employment areas on each campus. Employment opportunities listed with other job provider organisationsare also available. Please contact the Student Employment Officer atyour campus for details.Page 6
Your Guide to Financial Survival at UniversityFor more information on how the service operates and what it can offer you, pleasecontact the Student Employment Officer on your campus. Students located at the North-West Centre can contact the Student Employment Officer in Launceston for assistance.HobartLaunceston  FTaelxe: p(h0o3)n e6: 2(2063 )2 0652926 2511FTaelxe: p(h0o3)n e6: 3(2043 )3 7683824 3785What is the Student Financial Supplement Scheme?If you are studying full-time in a tertiary course you can get a loanunder the Student Financial Supplement Scheme to increase theamount of money you get each fortnight.The Financial Supplement loan is not paid as a lump sum but is paid with your payment infortnightly instalments. For each $1 of your payment you trade in, you get $2 of FinancialSupplement loan. For example, if you trade in $2500 of your Austudy payment over ayear, you will get $5000 as a loan. The amountyou’ll be required to repay will be $5,000, plus yearly cost of living adjustments. Themaximum amount you can trade in is $3500 for a $7000 loan. The minimum amount youcan trade in is $250 for a $500 loan. Compulsory repayments of a Financial Supplementloan are required from the fifth year after the loan was received if your taxable incomeexceeds the current average. There are no interest charges or application fees; althoughfrom the year after the loan is taken out the outstanding balance is adjusted in line withchanges to the cost of living. Remember, this is a loan and you will have to repay it! If you also have deferred payingyour HECS payments the debts can build up. Think carefully. Full details are in a bookletwhich can be obtained from your Centrelink Customer Service Centre. Page 7