How to manage your finances

Life as a student in another country is an exciting, profound and rewarding experience. But it’s not without its challenges. Especially when it comes to balancing finances. However, budgeting and planning your expected income vs expected costs can go a long way to keeping track of how much money you have. But where do you start?



The best way to start is by creating a spreadsheet that includes all of your weekly expenses lined up next to any income, savings or financial assistance that you are receiving. This should give you an idea of how much money you spend and save each week. Adjust your expenses accordingly if you are spending more than you are earning. This helps you prepare for unexpected events that might occur. It’s important to keep some money in your budget for medical expenses, price rises and yearly costs such as text books or course fees to ensure you don’t get caught short.

The below links provide useful tools to help you create a budget spreadsheet. The Study Melbourne website also contains more useful information.

Useful links



There are four major banks in Australia. They all offer special services and discounts for international students so be sure to present your student ID. These are the Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank (NAB), Australia New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) and Westpac. Bank branch locations are readily available throughout Victoria and calling or visiting a branch is always a good idea if you are unsure about setting up or using your bank account. Alternatively, financial or support officers at your university, college or TAFE will be able answer your questions. You can also read advice from the Australian Government on money and banking here.

Simple Tips

There are many simple ways you can save money and still enjoy a great time while living in Melbourne.

  • Always ask if businesses offer a student discount. Flashing your student card can often save you money on food, drink, fashion and events.
  • Consider buying your text-books second hand. Many students sell their their old text books for heavily discounted rates on sites such as Student VIP.
  • Dine out on off-peak days. Restaurants often run special lunch and dinner offers on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Check the City of Melbourne’s monthly calendar for any free events that are coming up.

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