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One of the toughest elements about living independently is handling your money well.
When you first move out of home you will often find that you initially have little cash to play with. There is some great information about money issues at:
Consumer Youth Website

A budget will help you to plan your finances and predict how much money you have for spending each week. If you have not prepared a budget before, have a look at the ‘Budget Wizard’ websites listed to help you fill in the blanks, or ask your bank about any budgeting tools that they may have. Most tertiary educational institutions have financial counsellors available to students to assist with budgeting.
Commonwealth Bank Budget Planner Calculator
National Australia Bank
Dollars and Sense


  • If you want to stick to your budget you may need to look at your expenses. If you need to trim your spending, look at cutting down your extras list (e.g clothes, magazines etc). Don't cut them all out. If you budget is too tight, it will be harder to stick to.


It is important to select the bank and account that best suits your needs, because each bank has different account options, fees and charges.

Most banks have ‘fee-free’ students accounts, but they may provide a limited number of transactions per month. Check out all banks and credit unions for your best option.

To open an account you must have proof of identity: these include passports, student cards and photo licence.

Automatic teller machines (ATMs) are usually the most convenient and cheapest way of getting money out of the bank. However, try to avoid using an ATM that does not belong to your bank, as a transaction will usually cost you between $1.50 and $2.00. Be aware of how many free transactions your bank offers. Withdrawing money ‘over the counter’ (inside the bank) can also cost up to $3.00.

Most banks offer internet banking. Discuss this option with your bank.

To compare bank accounts, credit cards or personal loans, visit Money

  • Your account or credit card is just like cash, and should be kept just as securely as should your account PIN and password. Do not write down or tell anyone your PIN or password
  • Most banks have a daily withdrawal limit from ATMs of $800-$1000 a day. If you need more than this, let your bank know at least 1 day before you need it
  • If your card is lost or stolen, you must ring your financial institute immediately. Most card issuers have a 24 hour 7 day a week emergency contact number in the case of a lost or stolen card
  • Watch out for email scams
  • Most shops have a minimum limit for EFTPOS transactions (some as low as $5)
  • You can usually withdraw cash at the same time as you make an EFTPOS transaction


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Questions and Feedback

Lower Eyre Health Services
Tel 08 8688 2629 or email