Tertiary Student Finances 101

Tertiary life. Along with study comes the challenge of juggling your money. So to help, we’ve cobbled together a few money hacks to wrap your brain around.

Make planning your friend

Making and sticking to a plan is half the battle when it comes to most things, particularly your financial wellbeing. But being organised isn’t boring – it’s liberating (honest). Try approaching money in the same way you tackle your studies, by mapping things out and chipping away. Both you and your finances will be better for it. 

A good trick is putting your money into ‘buckets’ for bills, spending money, and savings (when you can).

Pro tip: plan your money around your timetable. If you know you have a big study week ahead, see if you can put a little money aside for a late-night picnic for your puku.

Let your budget be your guide

If you’re moving out of home, rent is probably going to be your biggest weekly expense, so think carefully about your budget before signing up for a flat. Most leases are at least a year long, which is a big commitment. Look at the weekly rent and make sure you can afford it with all the other expenses you’ll have. 

This might be tough if you’re looking for a flat with friends whose budgets are bigger than yours. But stand strong. It’s stressful enough being a student without worrying if you can pay the rent as well.

Get cheaper bills

Shop around for deals on your bills like power and broadband – you could save money by switching to a cheaper supplier. Some will even give you a discount for paying on time, so make sure your flat keeps on top of the bills.

A lot of companies also offer extras when you sign up to them, like a free subscription to a streaming service. Flat movie nights, sorted.

Sharing is saving

Embrace sharing. Borrow or swap what you can: textbooks, course notes... even the contents of your wardrobe.

Books are often pricey and hefty, so if you and your mates can share them around, it’ll save you all money and storage. If you can’t borrow the books you need, hunt them down second-hand – online marketplaces can be a good source. Ditto styley retro threads.

If you’re in a flat, cooking your meals together can be an easy way to make your food bill cheaper – and it’s great for team bonding, too. Using a food box or meal kit delivery system could work out cheaper than going to the supermarket (just make sure you do the numbers first). You could even make enough to have leftovers for lunch, which means no pricey campus food.

Work those discounts

Behold your valid student ID card, your one-way ticket to the land of discounts. Get into the habit of carrying yours everywhere and use it wisely... meaning wherever and whenever you can. 

You might also be able to get a Community Services Card too, which can help with the costs of things like healthcare and public transport. Check the Work and Income website to see if you’re eligible. 

When it comes to these wonderful slivers of plastic, remember this: fortune favours the bold.

Get comfy asking if places offer student rates or a Community Services Card discount. Do the same online. If you can’t spot it on their website, chat with their bot. Your account balance will thank you.

Go green

Making conscious sustainable choices can not only be good for the environment – they can also help you save money. Check out our guide for tips:

Get your side hustle on

Your pūtea (budget) can get pretty tight when you’re a tertiary student. A part-time job can make a huge difference, if your timetable allows. Even if you’re just making enough money to cover your social life, it’ll be worth it. You might make a few new mates at your workplace too. Also, once you’re in with an employer, they could throw extra hours your way over the holidays. 

Your first year of tertiary education is a big step. Keeping on top of your finances can really reduce some of the stresses that naturally come with change. Just remember to factor in a bit of fun, too. This is your time to grab life.

Important information

This material is for information purposes only. Please talk to us if you need financial advice about your situation and goals or about our products and services. See our financial advice provider disclosure at anz.co.nz/fapdisclosure