Furthering your education can be quite costly. Some things are set, often fees and charges by the institution you choose to study at, but there are still some ways you can save money when it comes to your costs.
University & TAFE – Student debt or pay upfront
The Australian government study assistance loans include the following:
All the debts associating with post-school study, are not subject to interest, rather they are subject to indexation in line with CPI each year. You can find more about this at the ATO including past indexation rates.
If you are studying and have no other debt, you may wish to pay your costs upfront. However when paying off debt it makes sense to pay the debt off with the highest interest rates first, and chances are you won’t get an interest rate lower than indexation. So, we suggest that you don’t hold high-interest debt and repay Student loans, and you don’t pay your course fees upfront and go into debt for other things.
This information only applies to study & training loans provided by the Australian Government.
Non-University & TAFE courses
If you are in a position to pay for study upfront you should do so. If you need to take out a loan or use your credit card to pay for education costs that are not supported by government schemes we suggest you look for the lowest rate you can find. You can find more information about Loans and Loan types in the Spending Shakedown – Mortgages and Loans article.
If your study relates to your work
Some companies have policies to financially assist staff who are doing work-related study, while others may pay some or all of the costs if asked. If you are working to further your knowledge for your current role or to move into a new role with your company, it’s certainly worth asking the question.
If you are paying yourself, you may be able to claim a deduction at tax time if you are studying towards a formal qualification that relates to your current job role. You must have paid for the course yourself and it must:
Read more information on the expenses you can claim at the ATO.
School & Tutoring
If you want information about fees or tutoring for school students we discuss this in our Spending Shakedown – Kids Article under School and Tutoring.
When it comes to Stationary OfficeWorks is our go-to. This is due to the Price Match Guarantee that gives you the cheapest price that you can find elsewhere less another 5%. The best thing about it is that you can also claim it if you’re shopping online.
Electronics – Computers, laptops, and tablets
Once you’ve decided on your budget, the specs, and the machine that you want, just a little bit of research can save you a large amount of money.
These are the things we think you need to research –
JB HiFi is generally our pick for software and electronics for their product range and their Price Matching policy. If you can find a Gift Card for a 5% discount, you can use this on top of the price match and get the cheapest price.
Electronics retailers and software manufacturers often have discounted student or academic licenses. If you are purchasing electronics for study, take advantage of these special prices. As an example, you could pay $739 for Adobe Acrobat Pro 2017 or if you had a qualifying student in the family you could pay $169 for the Education version!
Another great option for software is to see if there is a free alternative to what you are looking for. For example, if you are looking for an Office type application (Word Processor, Spreadsheet, Presentation package) you could $199 pay for MS Office Home & Student 2019 or you could use the free Open Office alternative.
Jen is an experienced banking professional who loves wine, coffee, finding a bargain and of course her three beautiful children. Since Jen's first budget led her to buy a home at 20, Jen has passionately helped others to make better decisions with their money.