Managing your finances can be stressful, but it is an important aspect of your life. We’ve asked DUSA Financial Counsellor Shona Haddon to provide some tips and tricks to keeping your finances under control.
What are some basic tips to stick to a budget and create some self-control?
1. Write down a list of what you are earning and what you are spending
2. Make sure you spend less than what you earn
3. Pay Yourself First
- Put money into savings when you get paid.
If you wait to see what is left over at the
end of the pay cycle, there is usually nothing
4. Open an online savings account with another bank
and make sure it doesn’t have an access card
- “Out of sight, out of mind”
5. Make sure you include some funds,
or spending allowance, to treat yourself in your budget
As young individuals how do we start investing money?
Some golden rules of investing are;
- Make sure you have paid off all your debts before you start investing
- Have some emergency funds so you do not have to cash in your investments if you need cash quickly
- Define your financial goals, risk tolerance and investment time frame
- Research different types of investments, understand risk and returns and how they can help you reach your financial goals
- Diversify your investments
- Keep track of your investments
For more information on how to invest, visit the MoneySmart investment and planning website at
What are the best courses we can find to help educate us on our finances?
Try looking for courses offered by independent organisations such as MoneySmart.
Many larger organisations offer free financial literacy courses such as;
- Brotherhood of St Laurence - SaverPlus
- The Smith Family – Money for Life
- ANZ – Money Minded
There are also many books out there which help you to put your personal finances in order, such as the Barefoot Investor by Scott Pape (you can find his book is in the Deakin library!).
I'm broke, what do I do and who can I reach out to for support?
You can contact the Student Advocacy and Support Service on 9246 8615 or at https://www.dusa.org.au/get-help. We have so many services to assist students experiencing hardship such as Transport Assistance Program, the Survival centre for food and personal hygiene products, Financial Counselling, Gift cards and free legal service.
How do I access financial advice within Deakin?
You can contact the Student Advocacy and Support Service on
9246 8615 or at https://www.dusa.org.au/get-help/financial-counselling
How much does it cost to attend a financial counselling session?
Financial counselling is an independent, confidential, non-judgmental, and FREE service
How do I keep my finances safe from relationships and also hackers?
Scammers are skilled at finding ways to get your personal details and your hard-earned money.
- Make sure you use strong passwords to make it harder for scammers to hack your online banking or email accounts. Check out the Australian Cyber Security Centre for more information
- Secure your computer and mobile devices
- Make sure your computers' antivirus software and operating system is up to date
- Password protect all your devices
- If you are on shared or public computers, never save passwords and always log out of accounts
- Only shop on websites you trust and make sure the website is secure – the website should show a closed padlock or key and start with ‘https’
- Avoid using public wi-fi networks and if you can’t, do not send or receive sensitive information
- Shred or burn letters from your employer, bank, or super fund before you throw them out as they often contain personal details that scammers can use
- Do not share your account details, passwords, or PINs with anyone
What is a TFN and How do I get one?
A tax file number is your personal reference number in the tax and superannuation systems. It is free to apply for a tax file number. Your TFN is important for your tax and superannuation records, and an important part of your identity so make sure you keep it secure. Once you have a TFN it is yours for life, even if you change your name, change jobs, move interstate, or go overseas. You don’t have to have a TFN, but if you don’t you will pay more tax, and won’t be able to apply for government benefits, lodge a tax return or get an Australian Business number (ABN). You may be able to apply to get a TFN online depending on your status. Check your eligibility.
How do I file my taxes?
You can make an appointment to talk with a volunteer at the DUSA Tax Help Centre which is open between July and October 31st. The Tax Help Centre is staffed by ATO trained and accredited Deakin students who provide a free and confidential service to help students complete their tax returns online using myTax. DUSA provides Tax Help services at Burwood and Geelong
If you are ineligible to use Tax Help, you can either see an accountant (you will have to pay for the service) or lodge your tax return yourself on line at https://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/your-tax-return/How-to-lodge-your-tax-return
What do I do if I feel like I'm being underpaid, how do I approach my employer?
- You can ask a question or report suspected wage theft by calling the Wage Inspectorate Victoria on 1800 287 287 or at https://www.vic.gov.au/wage-theft-worker-information
- If you have been underpaid, you should speak to your employer to see if they can resolve the issue
- Sometimes it may be the result of an error or an oversight and your employer may be able to correct the error quickly
- You may wish to contact your union if you are a member of one
- You can request help from the Fair Work Ombudsman at https://www.fairwork.gov.au/
- You can report to the Wage Inspectorate if you think your employer deliberately and dishonestly underpaid you
- You can seek legal advice
- Deakin Student Legal Service at 1300 325 200 or https://www.dusa.org.au/get-help/deakin-student-legal-service