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Managing your money

As a student, you’ll need to manage your money and consider extra expenses that may arise throughout your degree.   

Learning to budget and being aware of available resources can be really helpful when trying to manage your money while at university.

Get money smart

The Australian government website MoneySmart has lots of information and advice about a range of financial issues, including a section specifically for students on how to live on a student budget.

As a student you can also register for free access to Blackbullion, an online provider of financial education for university students. Blackbullion provides short modules, financial tips and challenges that help you develop skills to manage your money.

Register on the Blackbullion site, using your University email address.

Discounts and concessions

USU Membership

Make the most of USU free membership. Members can sign up for clubs and societies, participate in USU programs and services, sit on committees, apply for student employment roles and grants, and take advantage of paid job or volunteering opportunities.

For an additional $45 you can join USU Access Rewards, giving you a 10% discount at food and retail outlets all over campus.

Travel costs

  • You may be eligible to apply for a travel concession, giving you cheaper public transport fares.
  • Department of Human Services Fares Allowance helps with travel costs between your permanent home and your place of tertiary study in Australia.

Rebates and allowances

Reducing costs

Here are some useful links and resources to help you cut your overall living costs as a student.

Food options

Reduce costs by cooking at home and seeking out affordable grocery options.

  • USyd Food Coop, a not- for-profit student run store on campus selling organic food and produce. Veggie boxes start from $15.
  • The Staples Bag, a social enterprise, located in Campsie with pop-up stores in Glebe, Surry Hills and other locations throughout Sydney, offering affordable staple groceries with weekly bags starting from $15.
  • The Food Pantry, a low cost affordable grocer, located in Marrickville, that rescues fresh fruit, vegetables, bread and other good quality food from being thrown into landfill and passes them on at highly affordable rates to the community.
  • Anglicare, provide immediate practical assistance if you are having difficulty to pay for food and household bills.
  • Lentil as Anything, a volunteer run vegan restaurant in Newtown where you pay by donation.

Computers

Consider these alternative options for purchasing computers.

  • Work Ventures, a not-for-profit social enterprise specialising in refurbished computers.
  • MicroSeconds, located in Ultimo, specialises in refurbished Apple products.

Household goods

Find cheap or free furniture, clothing and household goods on these trading sites. 

Books

Purchasing new text books can be expensive, so borrow or purchase pre-loved books to keep costs down.

  • Get to know the library, it’s free to access and they have an abundance of resources and study spaces.
  • The Co-op bookstore sells pre-loved textbooks, with extra discount for members.
  • Student VIP is a website where students from across Australia trade text books and provide advice, including tips on getting around campus.

Loans

While the University does offer interest-free loans to eligible students, there may be times when you need to explore external options.

  • StepUp Loan is a low interest loan for people on low incomes who have difficulty accessing credit from a bank. You can borrow from $800-$3000 with up to three years to pay it back.
  • The Student Start-Up loan is a $1077 loan for eligible students who get Youth Allowance, Austudy or Abstudy. Loans can be accessed each semester and are repaid once you start earning a certain amount of income.
  • No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS) offers loans for people on low incomes which can be used for educational expenses or to purchase household items and pay for some medical and dental services. You can borrow up to $1500 with up to 12-18 months to repay.
  • Family and Community Services (FACS) Housing provides interest free loans to assist with rental bonds.

Financial Support Service

Address
  • Level 5, Jane Foss Russell Building, Darlington Campus
Opening hours

9am to 4pm, Monday to Friday.

Last updated: 26 March 2019

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