Budgeting and Financial Awareness

Managing your finances can be challenging. As a university student, there are a number of expenses you have to consider including course fees, textbooks, computers, transport and living expenses. As you progress into life at the university, you may encounter more financial hurdles and milestones such as getting salaries from employment, working part-time, moving out of home, purchasing a car or entering a union with a significant others. With so many financial commitment and requirements that one has, it is important to be financial aware to help you make important decisions. 

Note: for online scams, see the Online Safety section, and for debt, see the Debt, Scams, and Consumer Issues section. 


Common financial considerations for students 

  • Renting - what is a bond? Where should I search for a place? How do I sign an agreement? Check out the ANU's Renting page for detailed information about renting for ANU students. 

  • What about HECS and HELP fees? Check out the ANU's HECS-HELP page for more detailed information. 

  • Food is an inescapable cost for students. Shopping and cooking for yourself is always cheaper than buying takeaway or eating out, and can save you lots of money in the long run. Carefully plan your grocery purchases and meals to minimise waste to reduce this cost. ANUSA and PARSA offer a number of services, including grocery and free meal vouchers, to help students who may be struggling. Check out the 'eating well' section for more info.  


Getting help - Financial assistance within ANU

If you find yourself in need of financial assistance, there are options available for you. 

  • Both ANUSA and PARSA offer emergency payments for students affected by unexpected financial burden. They also offer grocery vouchers for students struggling to purchase enough food. See ANUSA and PARSA for more information. (See also the 'Student Bites' initiative, offering bags of groceries to students for a gold-coin - although availability is currently affected by COVID-19.) 

  • Other financial assistance offered by ANUSA and PARSA includes for financial hardship related to unexpected medical expenses, textbook costs, carers' costs, graduation attire, and family assistance (PARSA only). See their pages above, or contact their Student Assistance Officers for more information. 

  • There are emergency accommodation bursaries available for undergraduate and postgraduate students. See the Bursaries and accommodation scholarships page for more information, or contact <rcc@anu.edu.au>. Please note that on-campus residential halls generally have specific, in-house bursaries available, too. Contact your hall or college's administration for more information.  


More resources 

Do you need some impartial, confidential assistance managing your affairs? 

  • Care Inc (02 6257 1788) is a Canberra organisation offering free, confidential, professional financial counselling. They can assist with credit, debt, budgeting, gambling harm, consumer law issues, or seeking a microfinance loan. 

  • Call the free National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007 for free and confidential advice from professional financial counsellors. The hotline is open from 9.30 am to 4.30 pm, Monday to Friday, or see their webpage here

  • See the ACCC's useful 'Where to get help when you're in debt' page. 

  • Moneysmart is an Australian Government initiative that offers practical, impartial information and resources relating to financial matters, including many of those specifically relevant to university students and young people. Topics include moving out of home, rental bonds and leases, getting a job, and buying and running a car - see the pages here. You'll also find information and advice on other matters, including bank accounts, credit cards, compound interest, investing, and more.  

  • ANU Thrive can help talk through the options available to you and provide resources and information.

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