4 tips to save money for university students

Student is learning tips on saving money

A team of students held a workshop for students who wanted to learn more about financial literacy. This wonderful event was held online with 3 amazing guest speakers, but don't worry! We’ve got students all around the world covered with these key learnings direct from the event.

Everyone has heard about rising interest rates, changes in superannuation, risks of a recession, housing or renting crisis and the higher cost of living. The IND201A (Industry Engagement Project) class held a Financial Literacy Workshop online to help students understand what to do and where to go when they need help navigating their finances.

The workshop provided resources, websites, and tips from expert guest speakers to teach students about financial literacy and to how to incorporate it into their everyday lives.

Financial Literacy tips for students

Jacqualyn Floyd is from Wesley Mission, an organisation that supports people of all ages and races in finding housing and accommodation, adoptions, home care, age care, training support with addiction or mental health and aid in financial or domestic challenges.

She covered topics from the Wesley Mission Financial Literacy Education Program and provided free tips on:

  • Goal Setting
  • Saving Strategy
  • Budgeting

1. Set up financial goals using SMART Goals

The best way to be in control of your money is to set financial goals and reduce the financial stress of overspending. For example, you can set up an emergency savings account to put aside money each week, fortnight or monthly with automatic transfers.

Use SMART Goals to help you identify your goals and calculate a budget for how to achieve them alongside everyday necessities. This will help you:

  • Save and cut down on expenses
  • Keep track of what you have actually spent

An important detail to remember is not how many goals you identify, but how motivated you are to keep working on reaching those goals. Think about:

  • How important those goals are
  • What is the time frame for those goals
  • The dollar value for those goals and how much you need to set aside weekly or fortnightly

Three plants at different stages of growth represent the importance of saving money to achieve your financial goals

2. Develop a saving strategy

Every day you face a decision to spend or save; to have things now or to wait for the future. There are benefits to waiting and saving money now for the future, to be able to manage to develop a habit of saving.

There are easy ways to start putting this into practice today. Put money into a savings account after each pay, no matter how small the amount you put away. It will all grow into a bigger dollar amount in the future.

Think about what motivates you to start saving, what motivates you to develop a better budgeting habit:

  • Money for emergencies
  • No debt
  • To help family
  • Buy gifts for families and friends
  • Entertainment and travel

3. Identify features of a good bank account

Another key point to keep in mind is to look over your bank account features.

Features in a bank account you should look for:

  • No account-keeping fees
  • Free monthly statements
  • No minimum deposit amounts
  • The ability to set up and cancel direct debits
  • No overdrawn fees
  • The ability to access a debit card at no extra cost

You can start saving today by cutting back on one expense that won't affect your everyday life.

Bills are one of the expenses you need to budget for as a student

4. Budgeting

Budgeting is like a scale you should try to keep in balance when considering your money coming in and going out.

This will allow you to know what is happening with your money and help you to oversee your budget by prioritising your spending on essential items and identifying any problem areas that need to be reviewed.

You may find yourself in financial stress if you are spending more compared to what you are earning.

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