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Australian Students do it hard.

Updated on October 5, 2010

How to live and eat well on a low income.

My 19 year old son is going it alone as I write this.

He had wanted to defer from his University for two semesters due to a lack of money.

As he put it "Dad why should I have to be that poor for that long. I will get a better full time job and earn enough to do it easy and keep my life at Uni fun. One year full time work should do it".

We talked about all the possible outcomes, and he and I both felt that more study time would be better without full time work.

He decided on a compromise plan which may help others in a similar position.

Here is his plan.

Reduce costs.

Rent, food and transport costs have increased dramatically in Australia, so a strategy was needed to reduce outgoings so that less time would be used for work, so more for sleep, friends and study, or a balanced life style. work.

To achieve this he will do the following.

  • Move as close to the Uni as possible.
  • Clean his car up and sell it for the best price possible.
  • Buy long life food in bulk.
  • Buy veggies or meat at markets, not supermarkets.
  • Stop eating junk food. (huge saving.)
  • Pool resources with like minded fellow students.
  • Save time by doing most admin and banking etc online.

Increase his income.

Like many of his friends my son has at least 3 jobs going at any one time.

Before he started at Uni he researched the best paying jobs that he could do without a degree.

He chose to be a lifeguard as the pay a lifeguard was ok and the job easy enough for him. He plays a lot of sport and swims as part of his training so he stayed close to his skill base and has a free place to do some of his exercise.

To get the first job he spent a little bit of savings getting the certification he needed and went a level higher by doing an extra course to give him the edge in getting the job in the first place and a better start pay for having the extra qualifications. So here how he intends to get extra income to live better.

  • Go to his current employees and ask for more responsibility and more pay. Even a small change in hourly rates helps.
  • Ask for more hours on the best paying jobs.
  • Try to get work at the Uni he is attending to save time and transport costs.
  • Find another job with better hourly pay and lose the lowest paying job that has the least advantages, eg long travel, or worst job etc.

    Repeat with next lowest paying. Upgrade his jobs.
  • Look for work related to his other interests which may pay well. eg teaching music, junior sports coach, or whatever his interests are.

La Crosse

This is where the food gets used up!
This is where the food gets used up!


My son has upgraded one job and moved to minutes from the uni.

He has dropped 1 job and has another job close to home and the uni

He still has his car, but is getting it ready for sale.

He will be starting back at Uni next semester.

Interesting development. He asked for more pay from his highest paid job and got it. Pays to ask eh?


OK he is now dropping the junk food and today he went to the market and bought food.

He also purchased a cheap cooler to keep it in, as there is 5 people sharing one fridge.

he got nuts, fruit, vegetables for stir-frying,and meat.

He is lucky, as no one else in the house is a fast food freak thus no bad influence.

Latest update.

My son is now living with his girlfriend in a lovely clean modern apartment within bicycle riding distance from his University and has saved $2,000.

Lacrosse awards night at MCC

As you can see, my son is adopted. Here he is getting yet another best and fairest. He has a room full of such trophies.
As you can see, my son is adopted. Here he is getting yet another best and fairest. He has a room full of such trophies.


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    • profile image

      Sahin 4 years ago

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      Jae 4 years ago

      I need help with a conclusion praagarph?I am typing an essay on Italians, and need help on the conclusion praagarph.Here is the essay:ItaliansItalians are warm, welcoming people, who love to relax, celebrate, and socialize with family and friends. Their celebration and relaxation usually takes place around a dinner table at a restaurant or at home, so they can enjoy the traditions of Italian cuisine. Italians have a strong passion for eating, but also enjoy talking.In Italy, conversation is considered an art form. If you were to walk the streets of Italy, or stop at a cafe9, you would notice people of all ages engaged in intense and animated discussions on a wide variety of topics, ranging from family, work, politics, gossip, food, drinks, and sports, especially soccer.From the largest cities, to the most rural of villages, there is one place that will always remain as the central meeting point of Italian culture- the Piazza ( meaning square ). No matter how big or small the Piazza is, you will always see people sitting, strolling, walking, talking, and interacting with one another. Piazzas are also the main focal points for festivals, gatherings, celebrations, and political events.To real Italians, lunch is a 1-2 hour affair with traditionally a two to three course meal, which explains why most places halt for two hours of the day. Stores shut down, banks close, and all of the streets are empty. At around 2 o’clock, people start to emerge from their houses and populate the streets again until around 19:30 when it’s time for dinner. After dinner, the streets come to life again as Italians stroll around the piazza to work off their meal or head off for their evening engagement. Italian food is high in the ranks of most delicious, richest, and most varied of all cooking, with dishes for every occasion. Their food plays a huge role in their life and culture. Every region has their specialty, not only pasta, but all varieties of meat and fish are cooked to old, handed down recipes, mouth watering puddings, and of course, nobody can beat their ice creams. Shopping may not be a national past time, but it is taken very seriously in Italy. The major cities, like Rome, Milan, Florence, are full of the most wonderful shops selling everything from designer clothes to the newest and hippest furniture to be found anywhere in the world. Milan has its furniture fair every year and furniture makers from far and wide will go there to see what is happening at the leading edge of furniture design. Leather is also a good buy in Italy, Italians know their leather and the finest gloves, shoes, jackets, and bags are worn by virtually all Italians. They glory in being chic, and are generally always beautifully turned out. Sports are a very important passion in the lives of many Italians. Football, being their main passion, with hundreds of football clubs with top soccer teams playing for their country. Volleyball is also much enjoyed as is rugby, with the rugby team playing for the European Challenge Cup. Italians place more value on the simple things in life ( family, community, enjoying a Tuscan sunset ) rather than the material things most westerners covet. There are plenty of happy farmers in Italy who want no more than to share a meal with others in their community. The Italian Language is a romance language, spoken as a native language by about 70 million people in Italy, San Marino, and parts of Switzerland, Croatia, Slovenia, and France. Italian is based on the Tuscan dialect, which beforehand was only available to upper class Florentine society. Unlike other romance languages, Italian retains Latin’s contrast between short and long consonants. In particular, among the Romance languages, Italian is the closest to Latin in terms of vocabulary.

    • earnestshub profile image

      earnestshub 9 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Thank you glassvisage. I am about to add to this hub, just an update and some more tips.

      I appreciate your comments.

    • glassvisage profile image

      glassvisage 9 years ago from Northern California

      Sensible tips! Buying produce from a market really makes a difference? I never knew...

      Just make sure the poor guy doesn't burn himself out! More responsibilities at work can mean more money, but also possibly more fatigue, which can cut into schoolwork!

      Overall, it sounds like a good compromise :)

    • earnestshub profile image

      earnestshub 9 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Thank you for reading and your nice comments.

      I wish you and your family love and good fortune.

      I think that that many Nigerians are doing well in Australia and several Melbourne suburbs have Nigerian people living together and looking after each other that I know of.

      Many share costs and houses which seems like a good way to live.

    • efeglo profile image

      efeglo 9 years ago from Nigeria

      That was an interesting stories about your son. You have also done very well for being a good father. Much love to you and your family. If i may ask, sure Nigerians are doing well too in Austrialia?