Why Poor Students Struggle – A reflection

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On a slightly more serious note: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/22/opinion/why-poor-students-struggle.html?smid=tw-nytimes&_r=0

All Broke-Ass Students should have a read of this Vicki Madden opinion piece in the New York Times. Although the piece references the American higher education system, many low-income Australian students also struggle to finish university, whether it be due to work commitments affecting their ability to study, academic reasons or feeling a sense of alienation or loneliness.

Madden mentions the inadequate student aid system where a slight increase in the parents income can lead to a reduction in the financial aid given to the students. While many might not think an extra $20 per week would make a substantial difference, when you are trying to buy groceries for $50 a week – it make the struggle much harder.

She speaks of the obstacles faced by students from low socio-ecomonic backgrounds to students feeling alienated from their hometowns when relocating and starting university.

If you feel alienated, depressed or just need someone to speak to, Headspace provides a range of counselling services for people between the ages of 12 – 25 at http://www.headspace.com OR we encourage you to call Youth Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636 OR go to your university counselling service.

If you are struggling with academically with your studies speak to a tutor or lecturer as they can often help or point you in the right direction.

-KL

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10 Money-Saving Life Hacks Every Broke-Ass Student Should Know

budgeting, cheap, food, money, savings, students

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1. PAY WITH CASH – that thing called “science” has shown that people are more likely to buy something when using a credit or debit card instead of cash. Try taking out a (reasonable) lump sum of cash at the beginning of each week and only using that for the whole week instead of your card.

2. Before you go shopping consult a coupon website – yes we get that even though your broke as shit you do not want to look like a stingy hobo but WHO CARES? The stores put out these coupons for a reason, for YOU the consumer, to go to their store and use them. Our recommendations – Groupon, Scroupon, The Living Social.

3. Spotify – If you don’t have an account get one NOW. Spotify is possibly the greatest digital music service you could ever download. Imagine having a music library that has pretty much every single song you could ever want. You can get the free version on your computer and mobile (but listen to a couple of ads every so often) or you can get the paid version. You can also create collaborative playlists with friends. Did someone say Mexican Dance Party Remix?

4. Buy a coffee machine – Okay so this may seem like a huge amount of money to fork out but think of it as a long term investment, you can buy a semi-decent coffee machine for just $150. Buy a reusable cup and you’ll also be saving the environment while saving your wallet.

5. Eat like a vegetarian at least once a week – Already I can hear some of you saying “pffft as ifff” BUT I promise you that you can have a cheap, tasty-ass meal without meat. Do it twice a week and you’ll notice the difference in your grocery bill. Head to the FOOD section of the blog to find cheap and easy recipes (both vegetarian and non-vegetarian for those who insist on eating meat daily).

6. GUMTREE, GUMTREE, GUMTREE- Whatever you need check Gumtree first. White goods (washers, dryers & fridges) are well priced and usually still in pretty good knick.

7. Use generic prescriptions – So many prescriptions come in generic form now. You can save HEAPS by using them—just check with your doctor first.

8. Learn to say NO – do you really need that extra large jar of Nutella to get you through the week? Enough said.

9. Buy neutral clothing – Wearing black, white, and grey clothes means that you can mix and match easier without having too many different outfits.

10. Daily deals – Research to see where does cheap steaks on Monday, $3 beers on Thursday, 2 for one Tacos on Friday, and student discounts… Well, I guess that’s what we’re here for. Check here regularly fellow Broke-Ass Students.

-KL