Moving to a new city as a student can be an exciting time, but you’ll need to plan it carefully so you have enough money to cover your expenses. As a student, you might be on a strict budget, so what can you do to ensure your finances stay in good order even as you make your big move? We offer some useful pointers for budgeting, meeting your expenses, and hitting your savings goals.
Planning for moving to a new city
Getting ready for your big move to another city is an exciting time, and no doubt you’ll have considered costs like removalist fees and rental bond. As you plan your move, do a budget for your one-off costs as these can be bigger than you might anticipate.
One-off costs could include removalist fees, hiring a truck, rental bond, internet, and utility connection fees, parking permits, and furnishings.
If you’re renting your own place, you might need to pay two weeks’ rent in advance in addition to the rental bond (usually equivalent to four weeks’ rent). Sharing a place with housemates is a great way to save on rent and split the costs of things like internet and gas. If you do share a place with housemates, make sure you understand things like formal versus informal living arrangements as these have legal consequences.
Moving out of home
When you’re moving to a new city, you’ll potentially be moving out of home for the first time. If so, make sure you plan for the costs of moving out of the home. Again, use a budget to get an accurate estimate of how much you’ll be paying for the move, your new living expenses, and extras like entertainment and lifestyle costs. Be realistic about your incomings and outgoings. Take the opportunity to create an emergency savings fund so you have enough to cover unexpected bills.
Budgeting as a student
As a student, renting is likely your top living expense. Renting a room could be the cheapest option, and you could be paying several to a few hundred dollars a week for included internet utilities, at minimum.
Additionally, you’ll be paying for things like contents insurance, utilities, internet, food, entertainment, and transport. If you have debt, such as a personal loan or credit card, you’ll need to budget for these repayments as well.
Transportation is likely another significant expense. You’ll want to research the local area and explore public transport options if you don’t have a car.
Getting a job
Unless you have substantial savings to fund your studies, you’ll probably need to find a job to support yourself. If you’re arriving without a job, start doing research beforehand. Update your resume and look online for local jobs, perhaps close to your university or where you’ll be living.
You could submit applications before you arrive to improve your chances of a job offer soon after your move. By locking in your income as soon as possible, you could avoid draining your savings if you take too long, get a job.
The importance of saving
Saving money can feel like an insurmountable goal when you’re studying, working, and maintaining an active social life. If you take charge of your money from the start, however, you’ll have a good chance of ending up with a good financial picture throughout your years as a student.
To save effectively, you need a clear picture of your incomings and outgoings, and this means, again, making a budget. Use your budget to identify where you can cut back, such as by cooking your own meals in bulk, borrowing and renting everything from textbooks to cars, and take advantage of free entertainment. Use your student ID to get discounts, shop specials, and stay disciplined with saving.
When you get paid, pay yourself first. Transfer 5%, 10%, or your savings goal into a dedicated savings account. This way, you can build up your emergency fund before saving for specific goals, like a holiday or a car.
Getting financial support when you need it
Planning your one-off and ongoing expenses with a budget is essential when moving to a new city as a student. By managing your costs carefully and focusing on saving more, you can gain a solid financial footing. At the same time, you have options available if you need assistance.
Take advantage of government help for students, and consider whether a personal loan could help you. People accessing small cash loans borrow $710 on average, and this could be enough to cover an emergency situation.
Depending on your specific situation, you might be able to take advantage of government assistance. This could be in the form of government subsidies like Commonwealth Supported Places or student income support. Check your eligibility for government assistance like these so you can access the support you need.