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Financial Survival guide


December 2011 Note: The Student Allowance, Student Loan (living costs) and the threshold for the Community Services Card are adjusted annually on 1 April and increase slightly.

Disclaimer Victoria University uses all reasonable skill and care to ensure the information contained in this publication is accurate at the time of printing. However, matters covered in this publication are subject to a continuous process of review and to unanticipated circumstances. The University therefore reserves the right to make any changes without notice. So far as the law permits, the University accepts no responsibility for any loss suffered by any person due to reliance (either in whole or in part) on the information contained in this publication, whether direct or indirect, and whether foreseeable or not.

Financial Survival Guide 2012

Co nt rol lin g Yo ur Mo ne y. . . . . . . . . . 2 My Bu dg et . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 My Sp en din g . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 A dif fe re nt ap pr oa ch to bu dg et ing . . . . 6 Cu sto mis e yo ur ba nk ac co un t. . . . . . . 7 Ba nk ing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Liv ing at Ho me . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Liv ing in th e Ha lls . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Fla tti ng . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Tr an spo rt. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Go t a Pr obl em ? . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 St ud yL ink . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 W ork ing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Su rvi va l. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 W ord s of W isd om . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 A Fin al W ord . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Co nt ac t de ta ils . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

Financial Survival Guide 2012

Sample Weekly Budget

(for a student flatting with 23 oth ers)

What is your weekly income?

What are your weekly expens

Essentials 5 Rent $15 Power $20 Phone/Internet $10 Cellphone $5 Groceries $70 Toiletries $6 Transport* $35 $4 Appliance rental Bank fees $2 Contents/liability insurance $6 3 Subtotal: $31


Student Loan $169.51 Living costs or Student Allowance Full entitlement, net (under 24) Accommodation benefit $167.83 $40.00

$169.51 Total: $207.83 or

Extras Snacks/lunches $20 Entertainment $30 Subtotal: $50 3 Total: $36

*based on GO Wellington 30-day fare

Weekly shortfall = $155$193 s could total $5,800 to $7,300. Over two trimesters (37 weeks) thi all your weekly t Loan (living costs) will not cover den Stu the /or and e anc ow All t The Studen expenses.

How will you make up the difference?

Savings from summer? Family help? Reduced expenses? per hour Part-time work? Minimum wage is $13 ) 10 hours work is $113.70 after tax (M code ) 15 hours work is $170.55 after tax (M code

costs? Claim the Student Loan course-relat ed costs of $1,000? Access a tertiary account overdraft of $500 to $1,000? Personal savings and/or family hel p?

How will you pay for these extra

Sample Academic Year Costs

In addition to your weekly expenses, there are other costs you may face during Trimesters One and Two (37 weeks). These can include: Course related costs: student notes/books/stationery/printin g $900 Bond/flat set up $1,500 Trips home $300 Clothing $400 Emergencies $500 Sport/birthdays $400 TOTAL $4,000 Problem: Despite using the Student Loan or getting an allow ance, your total shortfall for weekly living costs plus all other expenses could add up to more than $9,000 per annum. Solution: Plan ahead! Use our worksheet or come and see us. Well work out a budget with you and discuss your options.

Financial Survival Guide 2012

This is available as an Excel spreadsheet on our website

Estimate your regular expenses and your less frequent expenses over the course of a year.

Student Allowance $ Student Loan (living costs) $ Part-time work wages $ Benefit $ Weekly family support $ Regular scholarship payments $ Other $

Rent $ Power $ Phone/internet $ Cellphone $ Groceries $ Toiletries $ Transport $ Insurance $ Appliance rental $ Debts/hire purchases $ Bank fees $ Snacks/lunches $ Entertainment $ Weekly total expenses: $ 37 weeks $

Weekly income total

37 weeks

$ $

Savings $ One-off scholarship payments $ One-off family help $ Tax refund $ Student Loan (course-related costs) $ Bank overdraft $ Other $

Course costs (books, stationery, $ photocopying, printing) $ Bond, connection fees $ Flat items (furniture, bedding) $ Vehicle (reg, WOF, repairs, insurance) $ Doctor/chemist $ Dentist/optometrist $ Clothes/footwear $ Haircuts $ Toll calls $ Trips home $ Sports/clubs/gym $ Birthdays/special occasions $ Newspaper/magazine/Sky TV $ Insurance (if paid yearly) $ Total infrequent expenses $ Grand total expenses for the year: $

Total infrequent income Grand total income for the year

$ $

Looking impossible? See page 6 for another approach.

4 Victoria University of Wellington

What kind of spender are you? Jake Valerie

->  Subway, Burger King, sushi several times a week ->  V or Coke daily ->  Snacks from bakery or convenience shop a few times a week ->  Drinks on Friday and Saturday night ->  Fish and chips on Saturday


-> Coffee and muffin once per week -> One drink on Saturday night -> Cheap DVD rental

-> Two flat whites per -> Two lattes per week weekday -> DVD rental -> Muffin, snack most ->  Friday night gig and days one drink only -> Movie on Tuesday ->  Drinks on Friday night -> Caf lunch on Sunday

Weekly spend:
$145 $5,365 $120 $4,400 $40 $1,480 $25 $925

Over two trimesters:

Whats essential for you to enjoy yourself?

Think about how you can control your spending.

Per week:
Coffee/soft drinks $ Takeaways/snacks $ Movies $ Gigs/clubs $ DVDs $ Caf meals/restaurants $ Total $ Decide in advance how much you can afford to spend on extras and which treats to allow yourself!

For most of us, taking control of your money means leaving the EFTPOS card behind and putting a small amount of cash, which your budget allows, in your wallet for the week to cover personal spending on snacks, drinks and entertainment.

Financial Survival Guide 2012

What is your weekly income? $

Student Loan Student Allowance Wages Scholarship Family Help

What do you need to pay?
$ Figure out what commitments you have and what the average weekly cost for each is. For example: Rent, power, phone, internet Essential transport Cellphone Insurance Gym Credit car/loan/hire purchase payments

Action plan: ->  Calculate how much you need to earn from part-time work to meet all your expenses. ->  Decide how much you can spend on extras like drinks and going out. Rather than use EFTPOS, withdraw this amount in a lump sum for the week. ->  Organise your bank accounts so that you can control your budget. ->  Check your account online regularly and look at your EFTPOS spending-is it more than you can afford? Also check your bank fees. ->  Consider yourself a small business. pay accounts when they are due and make sure the flats accounts arent falling behind.

What is left for these? $
Groceries Personal toiletries

Anything left for these?

Entertainment Coffee/snacks/drinks Sports Birthdays Clothes/haircuts Travel during holidays

Anticipate your costs Budget to pay rent and bills first. Control your extra spending.

Using your bank account(s) wisely can be a very powerful budgeting tool
Most banks will let you have a number of online-only savings accounts. You can set them up to hold money for the things you need to save up for long-term, so that you know how much you are allowed to spend now, without getting in trouble later on when the bills are due. Automatic transfers and automatic payments can make life very easy. The student finance advisers are happy to meet with you to put together your own system.

$169 from Studylink

$150 from wages

$50 from parents

Current account
$155 automatic payment $80 auto transfer for for rent monthly bills (same day as StudyLink) (same day as wages) $40 auto transfer for infrequent costs (same day as wages) $94 left in the account for EFTPOS to use on food, snacks and entertainment. Transfer when needed

Bills account
Power Phone/internet Cellphone Contents insurance Bus pass

Savings account
Course costs, shoes, clothes, haircuts, special occasions, trips home, dentist, medical, emergencies, sports, etc.

Financial Survival Guide 2012

Remember to change your existing bank account to a student package. These accounts charge no base or transaction fees. There will be a monthly fee of $2 to $3 for an overdraft facility. Renew the account by the end of March each year by showing the bank your Confirmation of Study. ATMs on Kelburn Campus Westpac Cotton Building, Gate 6, close to computer shop National Bank  von Zedlitz Building, front of building on Kelburn Parade by traffic light National Bank entrance in front of the Student Union Building

A word about overdrafts: This is debt.

It should not be used to enhance your social life. Ideally it is for cash flow issues, ie. your power bill is due the day before you get paid, or an emergency has come up. At times like these, using an overdraft can be helpful. It is not a substitute for savings.

A word about credit cards: This is expensive debt.

It should always be avoided!

A word about debit cards: These can be cool!

A debit card works like an EFTPOS card, but it can also be used anywhere that credit cards are accepted (eg. online). Unlike a credit card, it only uses the money you already have in your bank account. Most banks offer debit cards with a fee of about $10 per year.

->  Be careful! The banks want your money. Those overdrafts need to be repaid. ->  ANZ, ASB, and Kiwibank offer budgeting software with their online banking. This is a great way to keep track of where your money has gone and set up a spending plan. ->  Online banking is free and its a great way to track your expenses. Check your account regularly. ->  Many banks offer mobile text alerts. This could help you to know when you're about to run out of money. ->  Beware of ATM costs involved in using another banks machine-usually 75 cents to $1. ->  Know your balance! If you don't have sufficient funds it will cost you dearly. Most banks charge honour ($15 to $35) and dishonour fees ($7 to $9). ->  Ask to have a hard limit on your account. Otherwise you could accidentally go $300 into overdraft without even realising it.

Do you live at home and dont have to pay board? We recommend that you dont claim the living costs of the Student Loan. Youre in the enviable position of limiting your Student Loan debt. Think about your budget and how much you need to save over the summer and/or how much you need to earn from a regular part-time job to pay for your personal costs. Most students could cover their expenses with about $6,000thats not too hard to earn from summer work plus a part-time job during the trimesters.

Sample budget
Transportbus pass $35 Snacks/drinks $25 Entertainment $45 Cellphone $5 Total $110 Total x 37 weeks $4,070 Grand total $5,620

Extras (during two trimesters):

Clothing $300 Haircuts $150 Books, stationery $900 Birthdays/sports $300 Total $1,650

dont use debt for lifestyle. Earn it before you spend it.

The Dangers of EFTPOS

We cant say this enough: EFTPOS is a terrible thing when it com es to controlling your spending or sticking to budget. Most people dont: ->  add up their daily totals ->  realise how much they are spending

->  look at their bank statements ->  decide in advance what amount they can afford to put on EFTPOS

Financial Survival Guide 2012

s l l a H e h t n i Living
Living in a Hall of Residence can be more expensive than living in a flat, but not always. Some of the financial advantages to living in the halls are: -> No transport costshalls are generally within walking distance to Kelburn, Te Aro, and Pipitea campuses. -> The contracts correspond to the academic year, unlike flatting (where you might be committed to paying rent starting in January, or for the whole summer when you might not plan to be in Wellington). -> In many cases, electricity/internet/food is included in the room rate, so there are not as many costs to keep track of. -> You wont get stuck paying extra because of irresponsible flatmates. Despite this, the halls have their own financial challenges. The money StudyLink provides is not enough to cover the hall costs, and hall fees are normally paid in four advance instalments instead of weekly. An example of a payment schedule for a catered single room:

Need to pay:
Early* By 24 Feb By 27 Apr By 6 Jul By 7 Sep After 7 Sep $600 (fees/deposit) $3,130 (1st instalment) $2,817 (2nd instalment) $3,130 (3rd instalment) $2,817 (4th instalment) Total: $12,494 -

Max help from Student allowance

$0 $0 $1,454 $2,078 $1,870 Total by 7 Sep: $5,402 $2,288

Max help from Student Loan living costs

$0 $0 $1,186 $1,695 $1,525 Total by 7 Sep: $4,406 $1,867

* late October upon accepting offer. In a typical case like this, you will need to have at least $7000$8000 for the year coming from somewhere else. Parents? Savings? Scholarship? Work? And then there are other things to pay for like cellphone top-ups, toiletries, snacks, special occasions The Student Finance Advisers are happy to discuss a financial plan with you.

Bond and advance rent

The landlord can ask for up to four weeks rent as bond, but two weeks is the average. The law requires that the bond is lodged with the Tenancy Services Centre. You must complete a bond lodgement form. This is signed by you and the landlord or property management company. Ideally everyone in the flat signs the lease agreement and everyone lodges their own share of the bond directly with Tenancy Services. This makes it easier when one person moves out. That persons name comes off the lease and the new person is added. The person leaving completes the Bond Refund or Bond Transfer form and Change of Tenant form.

Students often move into an existing flat and pay the bond to the person moving out, which means you have no guarantee of getting your bond back. In these cases we strongly recommend that you get a written receipt for the payment. If you pay it by direct bank transfer, identify it as bond on the payment details. Its also a good idea to sign a flat sharing agreement. Your name should not be added to the lease if you are not paying the bond to the landlord or Tenancy Services Centre directly. If you are the head tenant, and your flatmate(s) have not signed the lease, protect yourself by getting them to sign a flat sharing agreement.

Advance rent
Landlords are not permitted to ask for more than two weeks rent in advance. Once the advance rent runs out, more rent is due.

Total cost of moving in

How much do you need to save? Based on a weekly rent of $155:

$620Two weeks bond and two weeks rent.

$930Three weeks bond, two weeks advance rent and letting fee (one weeks rent).

$1,085Four weeks bond, two weeks advance rent and letting fee (one weeks rent).

PLUS: shifting costs, furnishings (bed, desk, drawers, kitchen things, etc.). The set-up costs will vary greatly depending on how much you may already have. If you need to buy most items and are happy to get second-hand goods, $500 to $1,000 will get you the basics.

TIP: Dont leave finding a flat until its too late. Secure a flat by mid-January. Rent demand and prices peak in February.
Financial Survival Guide 2012 11

Its just as important to budget for the power bill as it is to pay the rentwe estimate $20 per week per person. Have the money set aside so no one gets caught out when the bill arrivesif you make the payment on time youll get the prompt payment discount!

-> Make sure your meter is being read. The bill will indicate whether it is based on a reading or an estimate. If it is estimated too low, you will be in for a huge payment when the meter is finally read. You can provide the power company with a reading yourself. -> Visit to compare rates for different electricity providers. -> Powershop ( is prepaid, which means you cant get caught with a bill you cant afford. -> You can set up fortnightly automatic payments that are the same throughout the year so that you dont get surprised by a huge bill in the winter. ->  Some suppliers charge a bond. Usually, this can be avoided if you sign up for a direct debit or automatic repayment option. -> Not only is it annoying to get your power disconnected, it can also be expensivefor example, a $55 disconnection fee plus a $125 reconnection fee! -> The biggest use of electricity is water heating. To keep the bill low, watch those hot showers and use only cold water for washing clothes. -> has more tips about conserving electricity.

Phone and internet

Example package: $93 per month for landline and 20 GB broadband, with free connection (if the wiring is in place) and no term contract.

Toll calls
If you are splitting the bill with other people, it can be tricky to figure out who owes what for toll calls. Some companies offer individual PINs to keep track. Some flats set up a toll bar so that no toll calls can be made on the landlineits either calling cards or cellphones. (Make sure 0900 numbers are blocked) Shop around for the best deals in your area. Some providers in Wellington include Telecom, Telstra Clear, Orcon, Woosh and Actrix. What will you need? Landline?* Toll calls? How many GBs of internet? Pay TV as well? *(There are a few options for broadband without landline) Shop around and know what youre signing up for Connection fees? Contract periods? What happens if you terminate the contract? What happens if you go over the internet data allowance? Wellington City has free wifi access in the most central bits of town, and Victoria University has free wifi access for students at all their campuses.

We recommend avoiding cellphone contracts and sticking with prepay. Contracts are commitments you may not be able to afford. Prepay is cheaper and safer.


Victoria University of Wellington

Contents insurance helps to replace your belongings if they are stolen or damaged. You might only have to pay $250 to replace your things rather than $2500. Liability insurance usually comes with contents insurance. This pays for damage you accidentally do to other peoples property. If your name is on the lease agreement for a flat, you could be held responsible for any damage done to the property, even if its not your fault. Liability insurance could save you from owing thousands if something goes wrong. Example package: $20 per month to cover up to $10,000 of possessions, plus full liability cover. Shop around. Get quotes from your bank and from insurance companies. Note: Your insurance can only provide cover for your belongings and damage that you are liable for. It will not cover your flatmates, and your flatmates insurance will not cover you.

->  You get home to find that somebody has stolen your laptop, your iPod, and your guitar. Can you live without them? If not, can you afford to replace them?

->  The vacuum cle knocks a la aner cord mp into a l arge window, bre aking it. It will cost $1,100 to re place.

An electrical fault starts ->  a fire in your room. It is put out quickly-but fire, smoke, and water damaged almost everything you have.

->  You accidentally spill hot oil on the floor, which melts the lino. It will cost $1,500 to fix.

machine has The flat washing ->  ing. By the been slowly leak tices, it has time someone no age to the done major dam hich will cost floor below it, w e tenant is $18,000 to fix. Th liable!

Great flatting resources

Accommodation Service Victoria Universitys Accommodation Service has a lot of information, including flat listings. Experienced staff are ready to talk about any difficulties students may be experiencing with accommodation, such as difficult flatmates or dealing with landlords. They are open 9am5pm, all year round.

Department of Building and Housing

For information on tenancy issues, including all the relevant forms to download, go to Look at their useful flatting guide Flatting 101, on The sorted website has detailed information about the financial side of flatting.
Financial Survival Guide 2012 13

The amount that people spend on food really depends on their habits. People who cook all of their own meals, eat a lot of basic foods, and avoid expensive ingredients may spend only $30 per week. People who cook with fancier ingredients may spend around $80 per week. People who frequently buy food on the go can easily spend $150 or more per week. Buying groceries and cooking is the best way to save a lot of money. We have a detailed shopping list and matching recipes on our website

Money saving Tips

->  You can get excellent prices for fruits and vegetables at the Sunday Markets (7am to noon) at the carpark on Willis Street opposite uStay McKenzies and at Waitangi Park, next to Te Papa. ->  Shop wisely: buy whats on special and stick to the essentials. ->  Buy enough at the supermarket to cover your basic needs-a list is helpful. ->  Visits to Fix or dairies are expensive. ->  Eating on campus is expensive. You can save money by bringing lunch from home. There are microwaves at some places around campus to heat up your food.

Buying groceries online

If you and your flatmates are too busy to go to the supermarket and/or dont have convenient transport, consider ordering your groceries online at They have a useful Shopping on a Budget List. You can choose your delivery day and time, and the cost is $13.25 if your order value is between $100 and $200. Its a cost-effective way of doing the shopping. The service is available in central Wellington and most suburbs. Payment is by credit/debit card or you can set up a direct debit from the flat account. Students who have used this service have told us it works really well and saves the flat money.

Cook ! You will save money and fuel your brain


Victoria University of Wellington

Flat account
If you are flatting, you will have to think about how to set up the flat account so that the rent and bills get paid on time and everyone is paying their share.

We recommend
-> On a weekly basis put aside the rent money, as well as money towards the power and phone accounts. If the rent is $155 per week, put aside at least $185 per week. -> Think about setting up a separate account that all flatmates pay into on a weekly basis. The rent gets paid to the landlord out of this account by automatic payment and the power and phone bills get paid by internet or phone banking. Any other shared bills such as SKY and internet can be budgeted for and paid the same way.  For example, if you bank with The National Bank you can set up a second current account as a joint account with one or two of your flatmates (it will have no monthly account, transaction or automatic payment fees). A suggestion is to request a new account number to keep your personal and flat account information separate. We recommended you set up the new account so that at least two signatures are required to make any cash withdrawals. This will provide better control over the account and two signatures are a safer option. -> One of the account holders should take responsibility: paying the power and phone bills on time, and checking that everyone is making their weekly payments. -> Put the flat account bank statement on the fridge door.

If you anticipate your costs and put the money aside for it, you and your flat will stay out of strife !
Why this system works
->  With everyone paying the rent into one account, you can check that no one is missing their rent payment. Landlords dont always check their accounts promptly and you can find out six weeks later that someone wasnt paying their share. This can become a problem for the whole flat. -> It can be hard to find $50 or $60 from one weeks income to put towards bills, and its no fun chasing up flatmates to do the same. ->  With everyone paying their share of power/phone/internet on a weekly basis, its less of a problem if someone moves out unexpectedly. You wont be left out of pocket. The Student Finance Advisers can help you and your flatmates set up your flat budget, discuss the flat account, get flat sharing agreements sorted and signed, and give you practical advice on a wide range of issues (contact details are on page 25).

Some banks offer free online bank accounts that can be accessed by multiple people. If your bank does nt offer a solution you like for your flat account (for example, charging fees), shop around with other bank s.

Wellington buses charge a fare for every trip. Paying cash is always the most expensive option. For regular users, we recommend using a Snapper Card, and possibly a 30-day pass, depending on your use. A trip within one zone costs $1.60 on Snapper ($2.00 cash) A trip within two zones costs $2.58 on Snapper ($3.50 cash) A trip within three zones costs $3.44 on Snapper ($4.50 cash) See the Metlink website to figure out how many zones your bus trips will be:

GO Wellington 30 Day Pass

For $140, you can travel on Go Wellington busses as much as you want within Zones 13 for 30 days (purchase from Snapper outlets). That comes to $35 per week. Think about how many trips you will take each week and work out how much it will cost. Would you save money by using a 30-day pass? For more information, contact Metlink: 0800-801-700

Petone and Lower Hutt/Wellington Upper Hutt/Wellington Porirua/Wellington

Ten Trip
$36.80 $68.00 $47.20

$115.80 $204.00 $141.60

Monthly tickets can be ordered online, usually three days prior to month end. Tranz Metro offer a free text message service called Metro Alert to advise of delays of more than 15 minutes. For more information, contact Tranz Metro: 0800-801-700
Snapper Cards co st $10 to buy, bu t if you use the bu s much at all, they will save yo u a lot of money .


Victoria University of Wellington

Cable car
Single ticket (student fare) 10 trip ticket 20 trip ticket 30 trip ticket $1.00 $9.00 $17.00 $24.00*

*Best buysavings of $6 over single tickets.

A car can be convenient for shopping and for trips home (especially if you are from the lower half of the North Island) but they are expensive to maintain and can blow your budget. Registration, WOF, repairs and insurance often add up to $1,000 or more per year. For most students, a bus/train/flight home is still cheaper than running a car. It is also cheaper to use the bus/train to get to university if you are not in walking distance.

It is very hard to find parking on campus and the parking wardens police the streets constantly.

Parking costs
Parking on most streets close to the University campus requires a coupon if you are parking for more than two hours. The coupon parking areas are clearly signposted. Coupons cost $7.50 per day and can be purchased from Unistop on Kelburn Campus, most dairies, and New World supermarkets. Most inner city suburbs require a residents parking permit which cost $115 a year. You can get one from the City Council offices in Civic Square.

Scooters and Mopeds with an N-class registration (under 50cc, can be ridden on car license) can be an economical means of transport. Scooter registration, petrol, and maintenance are cheaper than that for a car, and parking is normally free. However, you also need to consider the costs of special clothing, insurance, and safety as well! Note that the cost of owning a motorcycle would be closer to the cost of a car. Learn about scooters at

Hardship Fund
The Hardship Fund is an emergency fund that helps students facing financial difficulties. The Fund helps many students each year. Eligible students are expected to claim their full entitlement of the Student Loan. Grants are available for a wide range of problems including: -> medical/dental/optical costs ->  high course-related costs ->  high transport costs -> flatting problems -> childcare costs. The Advisers at Financial Support and Advice administer the Fund. For an appointment call 04-463 7474. Further details are available on the website

Extra help from StudyLink

Special needs grants Students may be eligible for the following: ->  food grants of up $400 ->  dental grants of up to $300 for urgent dental treatment ->  medical grants of up to $300 for medical emergencies ->  general emergency grants of up to $500 ->  transition to work grants of up to $300, for job interview costs such as work clothes and travel. The job needs to be for a minimum of 30 hours per week for at least six weeks. Advances or recoverable assistance Advances for bond, overdue power bills, glasses, essential appliances, furniture or rent arrears are available. You need to pay these back. For applications and further information go to or visit the outreach office. The StudyLink Outreach Office, Wellington is at 195201 Willis Street, between Dixon and Ghuznee Streets, open 8.30am5pm daily except Wednesday 9.30am start.


Victoria University of Wellington

Health For confidential medical care on campus visit the Student Health Service. Consultations are free to students who enrol with the service as their Primary Health Provider (PHO).

Enrolled patients Non-enrolled patients with CSC card* Non-enrolled patients without CSC card*

No cost $21 $36

No cost $15 $15

*These are 2011 prices. A small increase is likely in 2012. As well as dealing with general illnesses, accidents and prescriptions, services such as psychiatry and dermatology are also available. A physiotherapy clinic offers heavily subsidised rates for students. Kelburn Campus Phone 04-463 5308 Pipitea Campus Phone 04-463 7474

Community Services Card (CSC)

The Community Services Card reduces doctors fees, prescription charges and hospital costs and can save you a lot of money. Up to 90% of students qualify for a Community Services Card. Eligibility is judged on your personal annual income (not your parents). The current limit for a single person living with others is $24,461 gross per annum (this gets adjusted annually on 1 April). Application forms are available from Student Health Service, Financial Support and Advice or StudyLink. Info line 0800 999 999

Dental services
Discounted dental care is available for Victoria students at Symes de Silva & Associates and Capital Dental. They both charge $60 for an examination, polish and basic x-ray and offer a 20% discount after the first appointment. You need to show your student ID. Symes de Silva & Associates 9799 Courtenay Place phone 04-801 5551 Opening hours: Mon to Thu 8.30am9pm; Fri and Sat 8.305.30pm; Sun 9am5pm Capital Dental (Newtown) 125129 Riddiford Street phone 04-389 8880 Opening hours: Weekdays 8am5pm Capital Dental (Petone) 272 Jackson Street, Petone phone 04-920 0880 Opening hours: Weekdays 8:30am5:00pm

StudyLink have a Special Needs Grant for emergency dental treatment for students on a low income. The grant is for up to $300 a year. You will need to get the dentist to fill out an Emergency Dental Treatment form (they should have them) and get it approved by StudyLink before getting the treatment done.

Financial Survival Guide 2012


Think about min imising your Student Loan debt . Even if its interest free, it s still a debt you have to repa y. If you are working part-tim Student Loan (living costs) or Student Allowance: e, maybe you ca n avoid claiming th This is paid weekly. e living costs, especially if you The first pay is during the second week of term (12 March 2012). live at home. The last pay is during the week after the final date of your course (19 November 2012). Dates for Faculty of Education and postgraduate students may differ.

Getting paid

There is a useful tip sheet on our website for first-time applicants for a Student Loan.

Course related costs ($1,000)

The full amount can be claimed as early as 14 days before the course start date. You can also budget over the trimesters, ie. claim $500 in March and $500 in July. Claim online through MyStudyLink. The money is directly credited to your bank account. If you study over the summer, you wont get more$1,000 is for the full year.

Withdrawing with a refund

Dates for 2012 are: 16 March 2012 (Trimester 1 and full year) 27 July 2012 (Trimester 2)

Cancelling your Student Loan does not cancel your enrolment. You still need to formally withdraw from your courses before the final date for refunds or you will be liable for the cost of the courses.

Unemployment BenefitStudent Hardship

This benefit is available over the summer break. To be eligible you must be returning to study the following year and registered with Student Job Search. If you receive the Student Allowance you qualify for this benefit. If you dont, you will have to show evidence of hardship, for example having to pay rent over summer. You can apply online through Apply for the benefit early, at least two weeks before your course ends. There is a one week stand-down period. You will be without income for one week after your allowance or loan living costs stops and the benefit starts. In 2012 this will be the week of 26 November. If you get a job, you can always cancel the benefit.


Victoria University of Wellington

Finding work
Vic Careers (
Friendly staff are keen to help you with your CV, interview preparation and other job hunting skills. Whether its casual, part-time, summer or permanent work, they can assist you. Visit the Careers Resource Centre, check out their excellent website or, use your Student Computing Services (SCS) account to login and access Victoria CareerHub ( provides you with all you need to know about job vacancies and career events. Kelburn Campus: 14 Kelburn Parade (Mon, Tues, Thu, Fri 9am5pm, Wed 10.30am5pm) Pipitea Campus: Drop-in sessions are available. Phone 04-463 5393.

Student Job Search (SJS) (

SJS helps students find work. Enrol on the website and have a look at their job advertisements. Job offers come in from employers all the time and your chances of finding a job are better if you check the advertisements regularly. Minimum wage is $13 per hour. If you are receiving the Student Allowance you can work up to 15 hours on minimum wage before you reach the maximum allowed earnings of $203.13 per week before tax.

IRD Tax Codes

The code behind tax codes

Gross pay = before tax Net pay = take home pay To see how much you will get after tax go to and search for 'paye calculator'

-> M stands for Main income. You can only have one job (or allowance) with an M code. ->  S stands for Secondary income. All incomes besides your M one will have an S code. ->  SL stands for Student Loan and means that some of your pay may go to the IRD to pay off your Student Loan. If your total gross earnings for the year are over $19,084, you will be required to make some repayment of your Student Loan. If you dont get an Allowance, you should use an M code for your highest paying job. If you have more than one job, you should use S codes for the others. If you have a student loan you will have to use SL with your tax code, ie. MSL, SSL. So if you get a Student Allowance, it will use the M code, and any part-time work you get will use an S code.

Student Finance Advisers are happy to help you estimate your taxable income and decide which tax code to use. See the back cover for contact details.

Financial Survival Guide 2012


True Stories We Can Tell

(with names changed to protect the innocent) Louie was sharing a flat with two others. He was getting the Student Allowance and decided not to work part-time during the trimester. He enjoyed going out with his friends. For a while he was fine since he had $1,000 course costs from the Student Loan to spend and he could use his overdraft. He wasnt watching his account and when the rent payments went out they were reversed because of unavailable funds. Before long he owed six weeks rent ($810) and his flatmates told him to leave. He had no money to move and no money to pay up. He had to find a job fast, but assignments were due so he was stressing out. Moral: A roof over your head is essential! Make sure you always pay the rent first. Dont let rent or bills pile up until they are too big a problem to handle. Jeremy received a Student Allowance and worked on-call at his job. Often he worked extra hours and he regularly earned over the income limit for the allowance. He got a letter from the Ministry of Social Development advising him of a debt of $1,349 due to an overpayment of his Allowance. Data matching occurs regularly and Jeremy got caught. He regretted not getting his allowance adjusted for the weeks when he earned over the limit. Moral: Be aware of your income threshold. If you dont advise StudyLink, you will end up with a debt to repay. Kate signed a term lease for her flat at the beginning of Trimester 1. The lease end date was 20 February of the following year. During the year two flatmates moved out. Their names were not on the lease. It wasnt easy to find replacement flatmates and it took longer than expected. Kate had to work extra hours to pay the extra rent during that time and this affected her studies badly. Moral: Everyone should sign the lease and be clear on their commitment; or the head tenant should make sure the others in the flat sign a flat sharing agreement to reduce his/her risk. James and his parents put together a plan that they would pay his first hall instalment. His StudyLink income and wages over the following weeks would build up to enough to pay the second instalment. He kept all his money in one bank account and it was slowly increasing. But by the time the next instalment was due, he was $1,500 short! When he checked his bank statements, he realised he had been spending about $100 per week on food and drinks, beyond the meals provided at the Hall. He had eaten the money needed for his accommodation. Moral: Check bank statements regularly to make sure your money is going where it should be. Have a system to limit personal spending. Deanna was getting a Student Allowance and casual work with a catering company. In an average week she would get about 10 hours of work, which was enough to cover her essential living costs. Sometimes she would work a lot in one week, and she would reward herself with a big night out with friends or a new pair of shoes. Then there were three weeks in a row where she had very little work, and she couldnt afford to pay bills or bus fares. Moral: If your income varies, base your budget on the minimum income. In times where you earn more, put some money aside in savings for the times when you might have less.


Victoria University of Wellington

Advice from previous students

In a 2011 online survey conducted by Financial Support and Advice, third-year Victoria students were asked what financial advice they would give to someone starting their first year of university. Here are some of their answers

I found that in my first year of study I had a lot of money and didn't need to worry. I spent all my savings carelessly and now have a tighter budget to be able to pay all my costs.

Pay rent befo re anything else.

Dont drink. It saves you so much money!

Flatting is expensive. Stay at home if possible.

Budget, budget, budget! Shop at the vege markets and learn to cook.

I didnt work in first year because I didnt need the money at the time, but in later years I really wished I had.

not Borrowed money is for free money. Use it ot things you need, n things you want.

The summer holidays before uni starts, get a full time job and save. You never know when or where you will be able to get a job during the trimester and it is better to have some money saved up.

Despite what everyone else is doing, use your course-related costs for things that are actually course related. It's an easy $1,000 debt you can avoid if you don't use it for personal things like going to concerts or buying alcohol. You'll feel stupid when Trimester 2 starts and you can't afford your text books.

Don't spend money on takeaways and other meals if you are already paying for meals at a hall of residence.

Make your own coffee!

Get out a set amount of money in cash each week and use that for spending. EFTPOS cards are too easy to use and you dont keep track of how much you are actually spending.
Financial Survival Guide 2012 23

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2011 Financial Support and Advice commen ts from students who used our service:
Thank you for all your assistance, it was wonderful and invaluable advice. Thank you so much for your help, I was losing sleep over this and I feel so relieved now. Thank you so very much for all your help and advic e. It helped me so much to talk to someone who knew what to do. I really appreciated how helpful and pleasant it was to work with you over my finances and chat it through. I came out of the meeting feeling refreshed and a bit more easy than when I first came in. Thank you so very much for all your kindness, help , support, and understanding, both practical and emotional. I would not have survived without it and cant even say how grateful I am! It was interesting and very beneficial to talk to some one who was completely impartial and could provi de budget advice in a way I hadnt considered before. I am usually aware and conscious of how much I spend, but your advice has opened my eyes to new ways of saving, which will no doubt help me in the years to come.


Victoria University of Wellington

To make an appointment phone 04-463 7474 The Student Finance Advisers are at (use any location):
Kelburn Campus Level 1, Hunter Building Hours: 9am5pm, Monday to Friday, all year Pipitea Campus Level 2, Railway Station, West Wing Hours: 9am5pm, Monday and Thursday, except Trimester 3 Te Aro Campus Ground Floor, 139 Vivian Street Hours: 12 noon3pm, Thursdays, except Trimester 3 Karori Campus Go to Karori Connect info point in the Karori Library

For general queries and information:

Phone 04-463 6644 or 04-463 6658 Email Website

Here to help you

Financial Support and Advice Phone 04-463 6644 Fax 04-463 5252 Email Website

Accommodation Service Phone 04-463 5896 Fax 04-463 9974 Email Website

Student Recruitment, Admission and Orientation Phone 0800 Victoria (842 867) 04-463 5374 Fax 04-463 5193 Email Website

SS0068 OCT 2011