How to budget for university
Get on top of your finances before you start studying by creating a budget. Plan for the big things – like tuition fees and living expenses – and make sure you have enough left for the odd night away from the books.
Use an online budget planner
The MoneySmart online budget planner is a great tool that helps you build an overall picture of your money – where it’s coming from and how you’re spending it.
Take advantage of discounts
As a student with a valid student card, you’re entitled to all sorts of discounts at retail outlets, service providers, cinemas, gyms, museums and even food outlets. Do your research and find out where the discounts are.
The main costs of university study
Tuition fees are the most significant cost when studying. There are a number of options to help you pay these fees.
This cost will vary based on where you choose to live – on campus, with family, in your own home or in a share house. Don't forget bond payments and moving expenses.
If you'd like to house share or rent a place for yourself nearby, check how much you’re likely to spend by searching on realestate.com.au or flatmates.com.au.
Living on campus
On-campus rent varies depending on the campus' location and room type. There's also a one-off application fee.
If you're not living on campus, driving will be the most expensive option (due to parking fees) followed by public transport. Cycling, walking, or car-pooling are great alternatives. Deakin has fantastic facilities for cyclists and a free car-pool matching service.
Remember to take things like textbooks and printing costs into account. You can access your reading list online and at the Deakin bookshops before every new study period.
While there are many on-campus computer rooms, you’ll need your own computer too. There are a few not-for-profits that sell refurbished computers – take a look at Green PC if you have low income status.
Insurance and health
Whether it’s health, car, home and contents or life, don’t forget to add insurance to your plan. Bear in mind both routine and emergency dental and medical procedures too.
Food and entertainment
It's hard to know how much money you'll need for entertainment, so try breaking it down into different types: eating in, eating out, drinks, cinema, sports, hobbies. University isn't just about learning, it's about being social too.
The Student Services and Amenities fee (SSAF)
Domestic students pay a Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF). This covers services such as student welfare, sport and social activities.
Extra costs for some students
There might be some related costs involved in work placements. These could include:
- the location of the placement and whether you’ll need to pay for accommodation
- how you’ll travel to the placement
- if you have the right clothes
- whether you’ll need your own equipment.
For some courses, like optometry and nursing, students will need to buy their own technical equipment. Your faculty will be able to provide you with an estimate of these fees prior to enrolling.