Leaving home to go to university is such an exciting time in a young person's life. It might be in the same city, interstate or you might even be an international student. The opportunity to be free and make your own decisions is exhilarating. However, it also comes with challenges. Not only are you leaving the only home you've ever known, it's now time to be fully independent and pay your own way.
When living on your own, you have to factor in how much of your budget needs to be allocated to rent, bond, food, utilities, and public transport - none of which are cheap.
Shared accommodation: AU$85-215 per week
On campus: AU$90-280 per week
Groceries and eating out: AU$80-280 per week
Gas and electricity: AU$35-140 per week
Phone and internet: AU$20-55 per week
Public transportation: AU$15-55 per week
Entertainment/leisure: AU$80-150 per week
These costs, especially accommodation, vary depending on what city you live in.
The most expensive city to live in is Sydney, followed by Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, and Perth. These are also the places that have educational and part-time employment opportunities.
The most practical solution is to live in shared housing with other students and split both the bills and housework. Living with someone also gives you extra security over living alone. However, sharing a living space also come with issues, including debates on whose turn it is to do the cleaning, conflicting personalities, and flatmates who don’t give their share of payment on time.
Many rental properties also require furniture and appliances which means shelling out more money for the items you need.
But as a student who may or may not have a full-time job, these kinds of costs are unrealistic.
As the cost of living in Australia continues to increase, student debt also increases. Within the period of 2006-2012, student debt soared to 30%. You’re lucky if your parents can cover your tuition. And while there is also available government financial assistance and scholarships, there are varying eligibility requirements. Considering the expensive cost of living, especially if you live in or near the city, government support may not be enough.
That’s why many students who live away from home have part-time jobs to sustain themselves. However, 2/3 of domestic students had an income of less than AU$20,000 per year, which is below the poverty line. 21% of these students only had an income of less than AU$10,000 per year.
As for international students, 25% of them are also experiencing financial difficulties and their student visa only allows them to work for up to 20 hours a week.
Juggling school and a part-time job can have a negative impact on your studies. Full-time students work an average of 16 hours per week, and there are days that you had to miss classes for work, skip meals and give up other essentials.
When you are a student who has moved out of your family home to be nearer to the city where your school is at, it can be hard to adjust to the changes, especially as it's likely to be the first time you're living away from home.
The combination of juggling school and work and maintaining your rented room or space can add additional stress.
The Room Xchange is offering an alternate solution. By signing up as a Guest, you can offer an agreed amount of help to Hosts in Xchange for food and accommodation. Help can include basic household tasks like cleaning, grocery shopping or looking after the kids.
The money you save as a Guest can go to your savings or school fees or even for some well-deserved leisure activities. This way, you wouldn’t have to be buried so deep in student debt and get through the day without stressing about money.
If you'd like to become a stress free University student in Australia click here to book a call.