Your time at university is one of the most exciting periods of your life. You are just starting to become independent and making rapid progress towards building a career. However, it is also a stressful time with many competing priorities and commitments.
Getting your finances set up for university is an easy way to eliminate the hassle of juggling your money when you should be busy studying.
Prepare a plan
Work out a rough plan of what your expense and income will be while you are at university. Having one will make it easier for you to set aside the right amount each week for living cost and savings.
Open a savings account
Open a separate high interest savings account which you can store your long term savings in. Set up automatic transfers from your regular account into your savings account every time you are paid. Putting away small amounts now will help you establish good habits for when you are earning serious money.
Accessing your cash
Most large banks offer special student accounts which have no or low fees. These are a great way to keep the cost of banking down while you are studying. Make sure you check and understand all the conditions of your account and ATM card. You don’t want to find any nasty fees on your statement later on. Debit cards are also a perfect way to make online purchases without getting hit with any of the fees or interest charges that come with a credit card.
It is likely that you won’t be earning too much while you studying so you will probably be eligible for the Government’s superannuation co-contribution. If you add some of your after tax savings into superannuation the government will also make a contribution of up to $500 each year. If you can’t afford to save anything else this is a great way to get a boost.
With long semester breaks every year it is likely that you will have the opportunity, and definitely the urge, to travel overseas. Most ATM cards will hit you with around a 3% fee for withdrawing cash overseas or currency conversion. Get yourself a debit card that charges no annual fee, no currency conversion fee and no overseas transaction fees. Even if you only use it while you’re overseas it is well worth having to save on bank fees.
With these tips you’ll have your finances all set up for university so you can focus on better things, like studying and having fun.