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5 Most Affordable Australian Cities For Students

5 Most Affordable Australian Cities For Students

Australia is fast becoming one of the world’s favorite study abroad destinations, and the International Education Advisory Council has predicted a 30% rise in the number of international students studying there by 2020.

With high standards of education, a multicultural community, and laid-back lifestyle, it’s not hard to see why so many students love the land down under. However, one thing Australia is also known for is being the world’s most expensive country to study in as a foreign student.

For those willing to look beyond popular cities like Sydney or Melbourne, however, study abroad doesn’t have to be unaffordable. Check out these five more economical cities that still make for great student living.

1. Gold Coast

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    If you’re looking for a more affordable place to buckle down and study while still enjoying glorious beaches and a vibrant nightlife, the Gold Coast is an excellent choice. While it has no shortage of restaurants, cafes, bars, and natural attractions, the city is also well-known for its quality of education.

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    Gold Coast is home to Bond University, which has Australia’s highest rating for overall graduate satisfaction, but also some of the country’s highest tuition fees. Fortunately, it hosts campuses for Griffith University and South Cross University as well, both of which have affordable options for international students.

    When it comes to off-campus accommodation, there are plenty of choices, from shared housing to homestays. Real estate sites like Flatmates can be useful for finding options within your budget.

    2. Wollongong

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      Wollongong’s close proximity to Sydney (80 km) makes it a popular choice for students who can’t afford the high cost of living in Australia’s largest city, but still want to experience all that it has to offer. Wollongong itself is a lively city as well, and is rated as the country’s most livable small city thanks to its gorgeous beaches and lively city centre.

      The University of Wollongong is one of Australia’s top universities, with a comprehensive academic program, international research reputation, and high graduate employment rates.

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      Due to a lack of on-campus parking, most students prefer to walk, cycle, or use the free bus service that operates between the university and city centre. Living costs are quite reasonable in Wollongong, and sites like Gumtree can come in handy if you’re looking to split housing costs or even score some second-hand furniture on arrival.

      3. Hobart

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        Hobart is the capital of Tasmania, the second oldest city in Australia, and also the cheapest city for university students to live in. While it might not be as happening as cities like Gold Coast or Brisbane, its striking natural beauty and slower pace of life make it a great place to block out distractions and focus on studying.

        The Hobart Universities sector is based on a single institution, the University of Tasmania, which is consistently rated among the top ten universities in Australia and has a large population of students from abroad, with more than one in five students being international.

        Although public transport in Hobart isn’t as convenient as could be, there is plenty of student accommodation available to make up for it. Students often live in shared houses near the university so they can simply walk to class. If you’re looking to rent a shared house or room in the area, Easy Roommate can be a good place to start your search.

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        4. Adelaide

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          Of Australia’s major cities, Adelaide is the cheapest to live in. That, along with its spacious layout, clean and green atmosphere, and beachside attractions make it a great place to live and study. It’s also regarded as the food and wine capital of Australia.

          Adelaide has three universities, including the University of Adelaide, which is ranked in the top 1% of universities worldwide; the University of South Australia; and Flinders University. Its integrated bus, train, and tram transportation system connect all parts of the city and make it easy for students to get around.

          Naturally, the cost of accommodation is lower outside the city centre, and depending on which university you’re studying with, the outer suburbs could be more convenient as well. Check Study Adelaide for information on a range of student accommodation options, from independent living to homestays.

          5.  Brisbane

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            Brisbane is the capital of Queensland and Australia’s third largest city. Unlike Sydney and Melbourne, it’s known for being one of the most affordable cities in Australia, which makes it a good choice for students. It’s also known for its pleasant subtropical climate and wide range of entertainment options.

            Brisbane has three major universities: the Queensland University of Technology, the University of Queensland, and Griffith University (which accepts the most study abroad undergraduates). The inner city is well-connected by public transportation, although cycling is popular as well, and there are plenty of cycle paths that make it easy for students to get around this way.

            Students typically live in and around the inner suburbs, where the bulk of Brisbane’s teaching facilities are located. If you’re looking for convenient accommodation off-campus, you can check sites like Urbanest or The Pad.

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            Marianne Stenger

            Writer, Open Colleges

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            Published on January 8, 2021

            How To Pay Off Credit Card Debt Fast: 7 Powerful Tips

            How To Pay Off Credit Card Debt Fast: 7 Powerful Tips

            Ever wondered whether your credit card debt is the reason you’re in a bad financial situation? You can’t enjoy any fun activities because a good chunk of your money goes toward debt payment. Heck, you’re even behind on some of your monthly bills.

            The effects of clumsy debt management are too many to list here. This guide is going to help you discover how to pay off credit card debt fast and start chasing your financial goals.

            Debt problems are the last thing anyone wants to encounter. But things can get out of hand when all the “little debts” you take accumulate in interests.

            What if you knew some simple and proven ways to be debt-free quickly? Implementing them would mean better financial health for you. It becomes possible to free up cash for your “wants.” These include taking a trip or buying something you’ve always desired. All that while paying your bills on time!

            Let’s not wait any longer. Here are 7 powerful tips for paying off credit card debt fast:

            1. Pay More Than the Minimum Credit Card Payments

            Many people only pay the monthly minimum on their credit cards. Truly, that’s the right amount for staying on good terms with your credit card company. But you need a different approach if you’re looking to achieve financial independence within a short time.[1]

            Most of your payments go toward interest costs when you only pay the minimum amount. A substantial sum of your balance remains standing. As a result, it becomes more expensive to eliminate your debts.

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            You don’t want to wait more than 10 years to get rid of debt while it’s possible to do it sooner. All you have to do is double that $100 minimum payment to $200 or go higher.

            The good thing is that minimum credit card payments are affordable in most cases. By paying a higher amount, you reduce your interest costs, lessen your borrowing period, and boost your credit score.

            2. Start With High-Interest Credit Card Debt

            If you have more than one credit card debt, prioritize putting the extra money toward the ones with the highest interests. This debt pay-off strategy, known as the debt avalanche method, is essential for being debt-free quickly.[2]

            First, you need to list down all the credit card debts you have in the order of their interest rates. Next, you choose the one with the highest interest and pay a significant amount toward it each month. It can be an amount twice or even thrice larger than the minimum payment.

            At the same time, you make monthly minimum payments on the other debts. Their interest charges won’t be as costly as that of the first debt on your list. You only move on to the next high-interest debt after the first one is gone. Remember that your focus is on the interest rates and not the balances.

            3. Revisit Your Budget

            Budgeting is useful for tracking your financial moves. Once you create a budget, some tweaks along the way can make it work for you better. One situation that requires you to revisit your budget is when you’re struggling with debts. It might hurt a bit to slash some expenses. But you also don’t want to miss out on achieving financial freedom in the long run.

            You can reduce some variable expenses to free up more cash for credit card debt payments. They’re the ones that change from time to time. Some examples are groceries, fuel, and clothing.

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            Other opportunities for cutting down your spending lie in non-essential expenses. Instead of dining out all the time, you can cook at home more to save money. You can also share some subscriptions with friends and pay a fraction of the cost.

            If you’re determined enough, you can eliminate all your unnecessary expenses and focus on paying off your credit card debt first.

            4. Avoid Using Your Credit Cards

            Do you want to know how to pay off credit card debt with a low income? One simple way is to stop using them. Having your credit cards everywhere you go means that you’ll be more tempted to buy unnecessary stuff. In this case, you spend money that you don’t really own and get deeper into debt.

            The quickest fix to stop the debt build-up is spending with cash. You’ll be more aware of everything you can afford at any particular time. If you decide to keep one or two cards to ease the transition, always make wise choices. For instance, only use them when experiencing financial difficulties.

            It’s best to categorize your fun activities under “discretionary spending” in your budget. This way, you won’t need more debt to kill your boredom. By halting your credit debt from accumulating, it’s easy to pay down what you already owe and be happy with the progress.

            5. Start a Side Hustle to Boost Your Income

            You’re probably turning away a lot of money by not monetizing your skills. Everyone has something that they’re good at doing. And you can use that to generate extra income for attacking your credit card debt.

            If you look around your neighborhood, you can find several side hustle opportunities. It can be pet sitting, tutoring, or lawn mowing. You can start an online business by offering services such as digital marketing, content creation, and web development. Such skills go in high demand on freelance sites and job boards.

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            Finding clients on social media is also a good strategy to utilize your skills and make more money. Facebook groups, Quora Spaces, and subreddits are some places to look for side jobs. You only have to join a niche-specific platform, share your services, and respond to any opportunities.

            It’s possible to learn a skill, practice it, and earn from it. Use the free resources online or purchase some e-courses to get started.

            6. Sell Your Used Items for Extra Cash

            Starting a side hustle isn’t the only way to generate extra money. You can turn unwanted items into cash for paying off credit card debt. Whether it’s an old TV, book, or furniture, there is always someone itching to buy your used stuff.

            A garage sale, as much as it’s old-fashioned, is perfect for getting your neighbors and passers-by to buy from you. You keep all the money because there are no business permits or taxes involved. While you may not make much cash, it’s better than leaving your stuff to go defunct in your storage.

            Other than that, you can sell your used stuff on online marketplaces. Facebook groups are great places to start if you want quick approvals and hence sales. You only have to ensure that your listing follows Facebook’s commerce policies.

            When selling any pre-owned items online, ensure they’re in good shape to avoid problems with your buyers.

            7. Know When to Seek Help With Your Debt

            Asking for help with your credit card debt can be challenging to do. But letting it drown you is a road you don’t want to take. While you may feel embarrassed at first, it’s the best way to get back on track when you run out of options.

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            There are tons of non-profit credit counseling organizations that can offer you free guidance on how to escape the debt trap. An example is The National Foundation for Credit Counseling. They simply review your finances and help you determine the source of your financial problems. After that, they match you with an actionable debt management solution.[3]

            In extreme cases, the debt solution can be:

            • Debt relief – where your debt is partially or wholly forgiven
            • Debt consolidation – taking out one loan to repay others
            • Debt settlement – the creditor forgives a significant portion of your debt
            • Bankruptcy – legal process for seeking relief from some or all your debts

            It’s necessary to carefully weigh your options before deciding on the way to go. Find out how it might affect your credit score and any other risks.

            Wrapping It Up

            Debt is a major setback when you’re trying to prosper in life. Paying off credit card debt is essential if you want to reach your financial goals. That means having more free income, a good credit card score, and even a chance to retire early. You become more productive each day because of the peace in your mind.

            So, you now have some tips on how to pay off credit fast. Go ahead and get rid of that good life progress killer!

            More Tips on How to Pay Off Debt

            Featured photo credit: rupixen.com via unsplash.com

            Reference

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