How to manage money while you study or train

Tips to help you stay in control of your finances while you’re studying or training.

Plan and stick to a budget

Budgeting is the best way to manage your money.

Start by using our simple money manager to make a budget. A budget can help you work out your costs over the whole year, including:

  • moving costs like removalists, furniture, whitegoods or a rental bond
  • study costs like uniforms, text books, fees or course materials
  • technology costs like a computer or internet
  • hardware costs like tools and safety gear.

Getting a clear picture of your spending habits will help you gain control of your money. Use the MoneySmart TrackMySPEND app to do this. It will help you see your progress and track your savings.

Once you create a budget:

  • keep a copy of it handy
  • look at it often to check you’re on track
  • update it when there are major changes.

Save for your future

Having a budget that takes everything into account will help you find money to save.

Set a target for regular savings and watch them add up. Use the savings goals calculator to get started. To set and plan savings goals you can also use the MoneySmart TrackMYGOALS app.

Having a savings buffer, big or small, will help you cope with unexpected events such as:

  • an emergency trip to the dentist
  • car repairs
  • any kind of crisis.

Other help

There are many ways to help manage your money while you study or train.

Our payments and services

Centrepay is a free voluntary bill paying service. Deductions come from your Centrelink payments. You can use them to pay many types of bills, such as child care, electricity or rent.

Tertiary students who need to live away from home to study might get Fares Allowance and other concessions.

The weekly payment option can allow you to get your income support payment weekly. This can help you if you find it hard to budget for a fortnightly payment.

Use online tools

ASIC’s MoneySmart Rookie has information about moving out of home, getting your first job, first car or first big bill.

Use ASIC’s MoneySmart Cars app to work out if you can afford a car.

If you’re shopping for a new phone or plan, consider ASIC’s MoneySmart information about mobile phones and plans.

If you need a fridge or other household appliance, check out the rent vs buy calculator. Renting may cost you more than you think.

MoneySmart has information to help you make the most of your money. Read the Under 25's section on the MoneySmart website.

Speak to someone

Our social workers can help you with counselling, support and information during difficult times.

The National Debt Helpline offers free financial counselling. Don’t wait to call them if your money is worrying you.

It’s worth getting free expert advice to get a clear picture of your finances. You can use the find a counsellor map on the Financial Counselling Australia website to find help in your area.

Fair and affordable loans

Check if you qualify for a no interest or low interest loan and online cash loans from Good Shepard Microfinance. These loans provide safe, fair and affordable credit for essential goods and services.

Check out the Student Start-up Loan to see if you’re eligible.

Page last updated: 15 November 2018