To be free of unnecessary worries about money while in University, careful
planning of your finances is important.
Avoid money worries by establishing good budgeting habits now. They will last a
lifetime. Here are some advice:
Evaluate your income and expenses
Estimate your expenses: Distinguish between fixed expenses
(tuition fees, books, food, hall fees and transportation etc) and flexible
(travel, recreation, clothes, dining out, services and other personal expenses)
Estimate your income and resources:
Calculate how much money you
are likely to have during the year. Likely sources of income include Government
grants and loans, parental support, part-time job income, summer job income and
past savings etc.
- If you are first time applicants for the Government grants and loans scheme and
have no idea of the likely level of Government awards, please visit the website
the Government Student Finance Office (SFO)
for the calculator on estimated entitlements.
You should be realistic about your earning ability during term time and summer
break taking into consideration your academic commitment and the job market.
(Careers, Centre of Development and Resources for Students (CEDARS) provides
information on summer job and summer internship)
Balance your budget
Be aware of your spending pattern. Flexible expenses are optional. "Trivial"
purchases such as snacks, VCD rental, cell phone calls, overdue fines etc, add
up much more quickly than you realize.
Avoid impulse purchases.
Plan for emergencies and unexpected costs. You have to prepare for contingency. Investigate the UFA (
option if necessary.
Look at your budget carefully before finalizing your summer plans. Compare the
alternatives (summer job, local and overseas summer programme, extra-curricular
activities etc) carefully. You must have a clear idea of the costs and the
gains of your choice.
Try your best to balance your budget. It would be helpful if you use a budget
sheet to list out your income and expenses and monitor your spending. You can
seek advice from us in planning a budget
A word about credit cards
Credit card can be an asset and a liability depending on how you manage your
credit card spending and repayment.
Do not spend more than you can pay back and try to pay your bill
in full and on time
Be aware of the interest charges on overdue monthly balance.
Spend what you can pay back including interest : If you haven't been able to
pay off your bill on time in the past, the chance that you will be able to do
so for an even larger amount in future is very slim. Be realistic. Moreover,
your minimum monthly payment will increase with your outstanding balance.
Failure to make payment on time affects your credit rating. A bad credit rating
may severely affect your future credit opportunities.
Careful planning (budgeting) is the key
Don't wait! Explore your options and manage your finances wisely. Centre of Development and Resources for Students (CEDARS) runs an advisory service and workshop for financial management.
(Please note that there are drop in sessions every Tuesday and Thursday from 3 to 5 pm for student advising officer to meet students without prior appointment on financial matters.)
Come and talk to us