This is the transcript for the video Supporting you through uni

Hello my name is Nick Cooper. I’m from UTS Financial Assistance Services and today we’re going to talk about money. As a student this is possibly the first time that you will be taking out a debt. Now I say this well in form because most students who come through the university system, whether you’re international or local have had to take a loan in order to pay for your tuition fees. Now I want you to know that this is a particularly good debt, as we call it, it’s a healthy debt because you are expecting a return on your investment. You are hoping that in doing a degree at UTS, you’re hoping to improve your career opportunities and improve your earning capacity to make a better life for yourself and your family in the future.

So today we start off with two streams of service which we provide at UTS financial assistance. One is advice, it’s the advocacy service and the second one is what financial support is there available at UTS when you need it or things might go wrong.

So on advice, we have a couple of aspects which we can assist with, with the top two aspects on this next slide addressing Centrelink and HEC-HELP are specifically for local students. The next three on this slide really encompasses everybody who comes to UTS, whether it be local students, permanent residents, international students, students on exchange or whatever capacity you’re in and those are tax returns which unfortunately are a fact of life which we have to do as soon as we start earning or indeed as soon as you start receiving income from Centrelink. We provide free tax return assistance every year: July, August, September, October from trained people from the Australian tax office. The next one for everybody is understanding what costs you may have at university so we can help advise you on that and the third one which we will be addressing as well in the next few slides is budgeting and debt management.

So, my following slide is a general slide from the Australian government. The Australian government has provided a website which is an excellent resource to all students, actually at all ages and stages not just students, it’s called money smart, and it’s got the address of, and in this particular slide which I’ve shown you, this is more specific to a student as opposed to someone who is slightly more mature in life who is looking for a mortgage advice or life insurance advice or investment advice. So, I’d like you to have a look at this slide and go and use that resource as an advice resource in your own time. It’s available all the time. Now I said we have another stream of assistance through financial assistance at UTS and that is what financial support might be available to you. In particular, we recognise that things go wrong, so we have what’s called the student loan, now student loans are interest-free, cost-free, and help you with cash flow issues. Now we all find at some stage that we are a little tight on money as a student who might have casual work. Your shifts are not perhaps regular, and sometimes you might find yourself with less shifts than you had planned and you’re a bit short on money for rent. So, our loans you can apply for, and within about five days you can expect to have that support transferred onto your account here in Australia. It is for those students who are in Australia at the moment only.

We have additional support programs. These are largely for local students; however, these are equity grants, rental subsidies, assistance with computers or laptops which you will need for your studies and assistance with textbooks. So, there’s a lot more information on these programs on our website. So, the next slide which we have for you will show you where you can access these resources. So, we have a financial assistance website, the government money smart, and we also have a reminder as to planning for your expenses, particularly your tuition fees. So, whether you’re a local student who is using the HEC-HELP loan now called the combined HELP loan, or an international student, those two website resources will help you plan.

So, the next phase of my talk is about income. So, we all need an income or some form of financial support to get through life, or university in this particular case. So the Australian government does have the Centrelink benefits for those who may be eligible, and I encourage you to go and look and in fact to apply for a Youth allowance or an Austudy or an Abstudy for your everyday living expenses. International students, some governments do have that sort of support so of course, you would explore something similar with your own home country and your government. Another area is, of course, is to find work. In Australia as a student, an incoming student, you are permitted to work for twenty hours per week or forty hours per fortnight at this stage and finding casual work is a little bit competitive and we are going to go into that in a little more detail.

Of course, the third item on this slide is about scholarships, and that requires you to do your research. Scholarships could either be equity-based, on fairness, or merit-based, on achievement, or a combination of the two. With regard to earnings and income, it’s a question of where do I look? And it’s confusing when you first step out of your home environment. How do I find work, and where do I look. So, our service does offer you a great deal of intense assistance on this, so I’m going to give you a few broad brush stroke things to think about and where you can look for additional assistance.

So, my first one is the UTS careers website where they have job opportunities, but more importantly, they offer a huge amount of guidance as to how to look for work, how to get resumes together, and how to approach potential employers.

The second is job searching websites. There are a myriad of them out there. I’m going to leave you to have a look to see what there is there. Some are quite specific. For example, if you want to work in New South Wales government area, there is a specific website for looking for jobs in that.

The third dot point I have there is about organisation and company websites so if you have a specific company which you think is the one for you, go and have a look and work from there in the industry that you’re interested in.

So the next dot point is networks, now I want you to know that even if you’re new to Australia, you can develop networks really quite quickly if you join a club at UTS social one or sport club, if you belong to religion, if you enjoy some sort of societal activity you have the opportunity to develop networks. If you’re living in UTS housing, you can find a network of people, if you are living in a shared accommodation you’ve got an immediate network. So I want you to be creative and thinking of people as networks, and when talking about networks, you’re asking whether they’ve got jobs and whether they can look and ask to inform you whether their boss has any jobs for them. So, keep at it and don’t give up. I think this is important when looking for work in a fairly competitive market.

So we move onto the next slide, which is giving you an example of earnings. Now i’ve got two examples here; I’ve got one which is when you’re doing some work part time alongside your studies during a session or semester and you’re working for a few hours a week and how much that then adds up and equates to and the second one is if you were to work more intensively over a longer break, the summer break for example November, December January, February, and you were to do an intense amount of work, so seven hours a day for 12 weeks, giving you six payments of six fortnights. That would give you a very nice buffer of about $8,400 to go into next year and your next session. So think about it, and when you’re looking for work, you’re not always going to get the ideal job with the ideal industry. You probably need to look at just what you can find as an earning to start off with.

Now my last slide here is about giving you an overview about what it is minimum wage in Australia. You will see a table there listed from age sixteen to twenty, and you’ll see that that table actually identifies various rates. It’s a percentage of the minimum wage at the age of twenty-one, you’re entitled to the full amount, and it reduces by a percentage every year that you are younger, and I’ll let you look at that, and the source of that is you can have a closer look at that.

So we move onto the next topic, this is the final of the topics I’m dealing with in this video, and this is about income and outgoings, and it’s asking you the question, well how much money do I really need as a student. So, this is giving you a broad outline. I’ve got a couple of scenarios which will help give you an idea of what you need to prepare for. So I’ve also given you in the first slide what skills you might need in order to prepare for this.

So, the first skill I’ve listed here is taking responsibility for your own budget. The second one is planning, the third dot point is being informed, and the last one is becoming your own administrator. Now you’ll find that in the process of this video I’m going to talk about each of these as we go through.

Now budgeting and planning, budgeting is almost a swear word for so many people because there is such a fear about budgeting, but it’s actually quite simple. If you just record every day what sort of expenses you have, when you go to the shop, when your tank up with petrol when you buy a bottle of water when you go to the movie, whatever it is you record that. These days you’ve got apps, telephone apps, they do it for you literally, and many of them are free of charge so if you record that for two weeks to four weeks, you start developing an image, you start developing an idea of what you spend. It’s with that information that you can then transfer it into a budget planner. So, it’s not so awesome, it’s not so fearful, it’s really a step by step thing. Now I’ve got a budget planner here you’ll see that on the right-hand side of this slide, it’s once again the MoneySmart government budget planner and that sort of expands into lots of sub expenses. So have a play of that and get a feel and of course, you change that budget according to both your income and your outgoings. Now your biggest outgoing is going to be your rent, apart from your tuition fees. I’ve got a couple of rent scenarios here in the next slide, and you’ll notice on the right-hand side I’ve got an example of living in UTS housing and looking at what your two weekly rents is, and what your additional expenses are and the other two columns you’ll see are examples of living outside of UTS housing, shared accommodation or on your own and on the bottom of that slide, you’ll see the totals. So it gives you an idea of what you need to plan for when you come and stay here when you come and work here when you come and live here.

So my next slide talks about when things go wrong, and it happens to all of us from time to time, and I have spoken about loans that are accessible for those cashflow issues. But in order to minimise where things might go wrong, I’ve got a couple of dot points here.

So, my first dot point is about spending on items which provide you with no return, or little return and of course food and sports clubs and going out with friends is important, there is a potential return in that in developing networks and friends which are so important at university level.

The next dot point is not monitoring your expenses and income, and I think it’s terribly important to monitor your expenses on the regular basis. So, keep track of them and keep track of your budget.

The third item on that is about scams and phishing. Phishing is an enormous thing that is happening in the email world these days, so please be careful of emails which you are not expecting. Emails from Australia post or from a bank or from somewhere, emails which are offering things which you didn’t ask for, emails which are offering things which are too good to be true and those nasty pesky links. And finally, I’m going to ask you to be careful of using networks and using internet services in shopping centres, in airport lounges etcetera because they are hotpots for grabbing your data and information and exposing you to things.

So, we move onto the next slide, and this comes to the nitty-gritty of an area where we so easily spend too much money, and that’s entertainment. Now entertainment I didn’t really have included in the rent scenario, and additional expenses slides previously, and entertainment can add up very quickly. So I’ve got three scenarios here and one of them I’ve called “UBER-COOL” which is when you’re being too cool with your money and throwing it around and one of which I call “PRUDENT-COOL” which is the scenario I’d like you to look at more closely, and I’ve itemised the sort of expenses there and what you can expect to pay for having a bit of an entertainment life while at university.

Now we move onto one of the final slides, and that is a slide which provides you with the courses and additional websites to help you through your life here in Australia. So, from here, good luck, come and see us if you need us, Financial assistance at UTS. Thank you.