- Personal Finance»
- Paying for College
Australian Students do it hard.
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.
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.
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.
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.