Have you met The Borings? They are those annoying tasks and unexciting things you need to learn now, that won’t be part of University life … I’m talking about your finances and legal rights.
Whilst boring, they are critical. Why? Well first of all you don’t want to get taken for a ride by anyone, including your bank and/or employer. And secondly, you don’t want your hard-earned wages or savings to go to waste – it’s the extra mile that makes all the difference.
The best thing for you to do is to eyeball this post, realise that you know most of the things already and bookmark it for a rainy day! It includes heaps of links which might come in use during your post-university withdrawal and if/when you need it.
As a disclaimer (and this is the first very important point) – please note that this is not advice. You are encouraged to always speak to a professional who can assess your situation and provide you with the appropriate solutions.
Let’s start with Finance. Because who doesn’t like money right?!
>Whilst fundamentally they are all the same, its worth shopping around for ones that have good interest rates (both on savings accounts and credit cards). Rates aren’t fantastic at the moment, but an extra 0.5% will make a difference. Your guide to choosing a bank account.
> Avoid late fees or fines. Set up a calendar or some other reminder to make sure that you are paying your bills on time. Nothing says wasteful more than giving money away to banks, telcos, or your electricity supplier.
> Track your expenses. There are no downsides to tracking your expenses (unless, like me, you cringe at your entertainment line items). It will help you work out your weak spots and make better decisions in the long run. I’m old school on this one and use Excel. However, there are plenty of apps and free tools that can help e.g. Pocketbook
> Especially if you have a steady pay check coming in. Set up your bank account to automatically take a percentage of funds from your general account and deposit it into a savings account with a higher interest rate. But make the number a realistic one. One which will help you in case of emergencies but not cripple you in the meantime. You could have two funds – a short term for fun items like travel and a long term for a rainy day (or as seed money for your startup). How to create an automatic savings plan.
> At least 9.5% of your income is deposited into your super fund. And whilst you probably think its a waste of money as you won’t see any of it till you are in your sixties, you still need to make sure that you are investing in a fund which is delivering a good return. The challenge is that Super Funds aren’t easy to navigate and compare (for anyone) however these links might help: Choosing your Super Fund + Superannuation for beginners
Side note: We’ve hosted local legend Paul Bennetts from Spaceship, at our generationYOU 2017 Sydney Event. Their super fund focuses a lot on Millennials and invests in tech, so they might be a good starting point for questions and comparisons.
> The Fair Work Australia site should be your first point of call for any employment related questions. They have great, easy to read resources and are happy to answer your questions over the phone >> https://www.fairwork.gov.au
> Types of employment. Take the time to understand the difference between Casual, Part time, Full time, Contractor etc. And the entitlements you get under each one. E.g. Casual wages are generally higher than part time or full time because they do not provide general leave entitlements or notice periods.
> Whilst you are the only one who can judge whether the wage offered is right for the job, your experience, the benefits of the role etc (there is no simple answer when evaluating compensation), however you should be aware of minimum wages and award rates.
> Only official Work Integrated Learning internships, through your University, should be carried out without monetary compensation. If you are unsure as to whether you should be compensated for work you are currently carrying out (or are about to carry out), please consult the Careers Department at your University or ask Fair Work.
The moral of the story, is that when in doubt you should always ask, ideally someone who is in a position to give you an informed answer. Whilst parents and friends are a great initial source of information, always back that up with info from independent organisations like Universities, Fair Work, etc.