Living on a Student’s Budget

Don’t go broke or end up in debt. Work out what you can afford using this weekly budget as a guide. It’s important to understand how much money is coming in each week, how much you’re spending on essentials, and then extras on top of that. Power, WIFI, food and rent should always take priority.

Money saving tips:

  1. Make a clear budget… and stick to it! 
  2. Work with your flatmates on your household budget and groceries (joint meals!)
  3. Break down your bills to WEEKLY not monthly!
  4. Use the resources available to you (e.g. for food: OUSA’s foodbank, or New World/ Veggie Boys reduced price food sections)
  5. Live within your means, recycle, use student discounts!
  6. AVOID payment plans!!! Although it may seem like a small amount each instalment, these will add up over weeks which can take a toll on your budget.
  7. Check the power/heating budgeting tips in this magazine.
  8. Set up a separate bank account for rent, power, internet, groceries etc.

How to set up your budget:

  1. Establish your income
    First up, you need to work out how much money you have to play with. 
  2. Estimate your outgoings
    Next up you need to figure out where all your money is going. 
  3. Calculate your weekly budget
    Once you’ve got all your expenses laid out before you, it’s time to break it down into a weekly budget. 
  4. Set yourself some goals
    Whether you need to budget to get by or to save up for something, it’s all about setting goals to either reduce your spending or boost your income.

Do your own budget!

Weekly Income:

Student Allowance/Living Costs $__________

You can take out up to $240 in living costs, which you have to pay back. If your parents combined income is under the threshold, you might qualify for the student allowance, which you don’t have to pay back. Check out the info on the website.

Work $___________

Student Job Search is a great spot to grab some casual work if you need a bit of extra coin!

Other $___________

E.g. help from your parents, savings etc.

Total Weekly Income $___________

Essential Costs

Rent $___________

The average Dunedin shared flat is around $150.

Insurance $___________

Groceries (breakfasts, dinners, and household stuff) $___________

Lunches $___________

You can save a lot of money by bringing lunch from home. $4 Lunch at OUSA Clubs and Socs is an absolute treat if you can’t be bothered to do meal prep!

Transport $__________

Don’t forget: active transport is good for you and the environment.

Electricity/Wifi $___________

There’s a bunch of different power and WiFi companies. Most of the time you’ll have to pay a bill once a month, but do your research on the best providers.

Healthcare $_________

Make sure you get your Community Services Card for discounted health care.

Total Essential Weekly Costs $___________

Savings $___________

It’s good to get into the savings habit even if it’s just a small amount.

Woohoo Cost (Let’s be honest, we all have things we like to spend money on, so just budget for these things)

Clothes/Stuff $___________

Facebook marketplace is great for recycling on a budget!

Going Out $____________

We all know what this category refers to…

Coffee/Cafe $___________

Everyone has to get their caffeine occasionally and besides, where else would you have your first date?

Recreation $___________

To relearn that lockdown hobby or perhaps to stimulate your inner adrenaline junky?

Follow this link for a list of alternative financial support options for students in times of need. Please book an appointment to come see us for more information or to discuss your financial situation.