Juggling work, life and study is a balancing act. More often than not, I find myself on top in two of these areas, but behind in another.
During the first weeks of the term, I often take on far more shifts at work than I actually need to. I’ll allocate 50-60 hours for work, maybe 10 or so for studying, and then use my spare time to go out with friends. But towards the final few weeks of term, when assessment deadlines are approaching, I often find myself incredibly stressed. Not only stressed about assessments and preparing for exams, but also stressed about managing my finances when study takes a minimum of 40-50 hours per week.
Without managing finances and creating a budget to prepare for this shift, financial stress can throw your work/life/study balance out of whack. Through my own journey, I’ve found that managing my finances is often the key to solving nearly all of my problems. Keep reading for my tips…
If I don’t take the time to study, how can I achieve sufficient grades? And without enough hours at work, how can I cover the costs of study and expenses? Yet if I don’t dedicate time for relaxation and social outings, how can I manage to keep up with the overload of work and studying?
As a ‘full fee-paying student,’ I know the importance of working. It’s almost impossible to say no to extra hours at work or a second job. Money (and hence work) controls both study and life. If you don’t pay your fees, then you can’t access course content, can’t submit assessment, can’t view lectures, and so on. Financial stress makes juggling work, life and study even harder… so how do your finances look?
Find free help online…
Recently, I’ve managed to ‘come out on top’ and create a great balance. By dedicating a 50/50 split between work and study each and every week, I now know exactly how much to save and spend weekly, reducing financial stress significantly.
I must admit that ‘planning’ and ‘lists’ have always come naturally to me. I’m a bit of an ‘organiser’. But regardless of that, anyone can create a little more order in their lives with a bit of dedication and reinforcement using online tools. Blackbullion is an incredible resource that CQUniversity has partnered with, for students like us to access and use at our leisure.
What to expect…
From simple-to-use budget calculators, to short, informative videos on everything money related, even online boot camps – Blackbullion is the first place to go when you need to get your work/life/study balance back on track. Better still, it’s completely free for all CQUni students! Simply create an account using your student number and email.
There’s info and tips on everything from how to save, budget, manage debt, tax, and the list goes on. In just 21 minutes you can even undertake a ‘short course’ on how to start and manage university, and all of the expenses that will follow before you’ve even enrolled.
What I’ve learned…
In less than 30 minutes, I managed to educate myself on the art of budgeting. Just 4 short blocks – each only 5 minutes long:
- What is Budgeting?
- Budgeting Terminology
- Creating Your Budget
- Using your Budget to Save Money
The lessons are simple and easy to follow, asking questions like – Can you remember how many dollars you spent yesterday, and what you spent them on? There’s even pop-up quizzes throughout each lesson, a bunch of facts, and excellent tips!
It really opened my eyes to just how important a budget can be. Not only was I unaware about just how effective budgeting could be, I was also in the dark as to how many students have poor financial management.
Nearly 75% of all students are worried about having enough money to survive, skipping meals and avoiding bills as ‘management strategies.’Blackbullion 2019
I’m now informed on what a budget is, and why it is important. I have even shifted from an uninformed ‘balanced budget’, to an informed ‘surplus budget,’ allowing me to ‘cut back’ on unnecessary expenses, and generate a much healthier savings account.
The simple explanation of ‘fixed income’ and ‘variable income’ is a perfect example of information I never knew, nor thought I would ever need to know, in regard to generating a budget.
Blackbullion is an excellent resource that you need to check out! Don’t just take my word for it – sign up now and get your finances on track.
Jasmine Mitchell is a current Diploma of Nursing student and member of the Social Squad – a group of content creators helping to promote student and campus life at CQUniversity.