Money Saver: HECS Discount Schemes

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**NOTE: The HECS repayment schemes discussed below have since been updated, and so the advice contained in this post is out-of-date. However Amelia worked hard on this so it’s still here for your reading enjoyment!**

 

Hi everyone, today I wanted to share with you the incentive schemes in place for paying your student fees up front as well as making voluntary repayments on your HECS debt. Now, your student debt may not be a priority by any means. You probably have other living expenses to focus on and maybe other forms of debt like a credit card or even a mortgage. Or maybe you’re building up your savings to buy a car or travel overseas. Everyone’s circumstances are different, but it’s always good to know what options are out there.

 

Continue reading Money Saver: HECS Discount Schemes

Equip yourself with the best gear!

LilyHello everyone! Now it’s time to talk about my favourite part of uni life: stationery!

Pens

Of course there’re all kinds of writing tools available nowadays — ball pens, gel pens, fountain pens — with various colours and sizes. My favourite type of pens are gel pens. They are convenient to carry around, retain volumes of ink, can be checked easily, and the same brand of pens can provide you a consistent writing quality. Continue reading Equip yourself with the best gear!

Wearing the same outfit twice

RyanJust last week, I learned for the first time that wearing the same outfit two days in a row is, apparently, a huge faux pas, and I still can’t really wrap my head around it. I don’t know how I managed to remain ignorant of this social taboo, but it somehow escaped my notice, and so I made it to the age of 24 still wearing the same outfit two days in a row.

Before you freak out, I change any and all undergarments and socks. I’m not that disgusting. Yeesh. And if it had been a hot or strenuous day, or if I spilt something, then that outfit wouldn’t make it into the esteemed (and apparently rebellious) ‘second day’. But if the shirt was still perfectly crisp and clean, then I’d wear it again. Those other shirts can wait their turn.

This all made perfect sense to me. It was a logical pattern. Why, after all, would I not wear the same shirt again if it was still clean? If I forfeited it for another shirt, then I’d have to do something with shirt no. 1. I can’t put it away with all the unworn stuff, but it would be a waste of a wash. Being the lazy (and generally poorly organised) person that I am, there was no way I was going to try and juggle a bunch of outfits and remember which ones I’d partly worn. So instead I’d wear an outfit for two days, throw it all in the washing pile, and move on to the next one.

So it’s fair to say that my world was thoroughly rocked when I discovered that this isn’t cool. Apparently I’d been doing it wrong for the past 24 years. I’d have to rethink my system and make some sort of futile attempt to keep track of a bunch of half-worn outfits.

"Oh my goodness. Did you wear the perfectly clean and respectable shirt yesterday?" "Yes?" "Haha! What a weirdo!"
“Oh my goodness. Did you wear the perfectly clean and respectable shirt yesterday?”
“Yes?”
“Haha! What a weirdo!”

Except I don’t really want to, because I still don’t get the ‘why’. So most people change outfits, alright. I can deal with that. If you all want to be pedantic that’s fine by me. But why do they do it? And why do they want me to do it as well? Especially when, as a student, I don’t exactly have the luxury of owning a thousand outfits. I’m pretty much limited to four. So people are going to see a repeat somewhere.

Is it borne from some sort of attempted affluence? Are we meant to all pretend that we own so many outfits we simply throw out a top after wearing it once? As if we all own butlers and wardrobes the size of a house and take our groomed poodles for walks in expensive handbags.

"Are you done for today, sir?"
“Are you done for today, sir?”
"Yes, Jeeves. Here is my shirt. Take it and burn it. Nobody can ever see this hideous thing again."
“Yes, Jeeves. Here is my shirt. Take it and burn it. Nobody can ever see this hideous thing again.”
"Sir, it's perfectly immaculate. There's no reason why-"
“Sir, it’s perfectly immaculate. There’s no reason why-“
"It's filthy, Jeeves! People have seen it! It has been touched by dirty human eyes! Burn it that the flames may cleanse it!"
“It’s filthy, Jeeves! People have seen it! It has been touched by dirty human eyes! Burn it that the flames may cleanse it!”

Where does this come from? And why do people perpetuate it?

On another note, if they don’t burn these things how on earth do these ‘single-wear-only’ people store their once-worn outfits? Am I meant to be washing everything after wearing it once? Or do these magical people have an extra ‘outfits I don’t want people to see me in again for three days at least’ wardrobe?

"But I'm still good!" "Silence, worn-once shirt! Get in this cupboard and DON'T COME OUT FOR AT LEAST THREE DAYS OR UNTIL I HAVE NO IMPORTANT EVENTS!"
“But I’m still good!”
“Silence, worn-once shirt! Get in this cupboard and DON’T COME OUT FOR AT LEAST THREE DAYS OR UNTIL I HAVE NO IMPORTANT EVENTS!”

So, mostly because I’m poor and lazy, but partly because I still don’t get it, I’m going to keep going with my system. I might try and convince myself it’s some rebellious action, but it’s really the ‘poor and lazy’ thing.

What do you think? Should I stop this filthy habit immediately or carry on? Do you wear the same outfit twice in a row? If not, why not? Let me know in the comments.

– Ryan

App Review: iStudiez Pro

imageHello my lovely little kittens!

I’m here to tell you all sorts of fun things about an app that helps with study. Yay! My most used (actually, my only used) app for study is called iStudiez Pro. I know, it’s a super cool name. I particularly like their use of ‘z’ at the end of the name. Makes it feel so much more student-y, right? Unfortunately it is only available on Apple products, so all you fancy Android people are missing out. Sorryyyyyyy.

So. The app. All the things. It’s really just super handy for keeping up to date with when assignments are due, but also tells you when your classes are. Firstly, you get to put in all your classes for each semester, and it also lets you add your lecturer and tutor and any other teaching staff that may be part of your course. Then you get to pick a pretty colour for each of your classes, because colour co-ordination is kind of great. After that, when you finally feel like wading through your course descriptions, you can add all your fun fun assignments and their due dates. This does, of course, save you from having to wade through your course description every week or so when you forget just what assignments you have to do and when they are due. Because we all know that happens. You can also add exams for each course and all that fun stuff that you just KNOW you want to remember.

The best part is that it gives you a nice little reminder when your assignments are due. You can set this however many days in advance of the due date as you like, and then it can either just notify you quietly, or even if you want can give you a ridiculously annoying alarm sound of your choice to tell you to get your bum into gear and ASSIGNMENT TIME.

This app can sync across all your devices (if you buy it on them all. I know, annoying), and can also sync with your regular phone calendar so that you always know when your classes are. Yeah, I know, mind blown right?

I particularly like the nice little notes it gives you in the “Today” section. Sometimes it tells you that you may have some assignments due that you should check out, and other times it just tells you to have a break and do something fun. Yep. It’s almost like talking to a real person. Except not at all.

Overall, this app is just a pretty darn wonderful way to keep track of assignments and classes. And if you are anything like me that is a super handy thing to have. I get far too distracted doing all the cool things like knitting and drinking tea and sometimes I just completely lose track of the fact that my 3000 word essay is due in twelve hours. It happens. But it doesn’t need to anymore, because you’ve got iStudiez Pro! For only $9.99 on your Mac computer and $2.99 on your iPhone and iPad combined, you too could have magically easy study reminders! Here are some quotes from some happy customers:

“Wow. Just wow.” (Tegan 2014)

“It’s just like a diary. Only more study-ish. And on your phone.” (Tegan 2014)

“I like biscuits.” (Tegan 2014)

Yep, you’ve heard it first hand, folks. What an app. There are just no words sometimes.

Okay, I don’t know why that suddenly turned into an infomercial, but it did, and now we shall move on and pretend it never happened. Or maybe I should just leave so that you can quickly rush to your Apple device and buy this app. Because I know that’s exactly what you want to do after hearing what I have to say.

Soooooooo I guess I’ll say farewell and see you fine friends next time for my next fun blog post on who knows what! Wow, there were far too many ‘f’s in that sentence. Okay. I’m going now. Bye.

Tegan 🙂

Using a Diary Effectively

1234764_10202065217615871_360840302_nEvery Christmas since finishing school my Mum has given me a new diary for the upcoming year. It has become a bit of a tradition, and every year there will be a diary wrapped up and placed under the Christmas tree for me. Ever since I began my VCE studies I used the free school diary that I received at the start of the school year to plan what study I needed to do.

Since leaving school and entering tertiary studies, I have continued to use a diary for the same reason. I am one of those strange people that like to have every aspect of my life planned out. So I also use my diary to write in work hours, social commitments and appointments.  I need to know the ‘three w’s’ of everything: when, what and where. My friends and family often joke and call my diary ‘my bible’ as I abide by it like a religion.

I realise these characteristics are not what the usual university student possesses and I am not encouraging you to go to this extreme, but using a diary can be extremely helpful for any student. Therefore, I thought I would share a few tips and advantages of using a diary.

Enter your course descriptions. When course descriptions are released at the start of the year I go through each unit and put in my diary when the assignments are due and when tests or exams are to take place. This has helped me so much in the past as I can look forward and see what is due and when so I can be prepared. Being prepared is especially important when EVERYTHING IS DUE AT ONCE! I don’t think any of my friends and family even consider associating with me at this time of the semester and I usually erupt like a volcano. However, I find that using a diary can really help to avoid the last minute ‘all-nighter’ that you often hear your peers talk about. Writing all the assessment tasks into your diary also avoids the awkward moment when one of your peers starts talking about a certain assessment that they are working on or have handed in (as it is due at 4pm that day) and you sit there thinking “I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about”. As hilarious it is for your friend, it isn’t so funny when you have to explain why you want an extension on the task.

Mark the task off. Once the assignment or exam is over, I mark it off with a highlighter so I don’t have to think about it again. I find doing it this way really brings my attention to the things that haven’t been highlighted so I know what still needs to be done in the week. By the end of the week I aim to have everything highlighted so I don’t start the next week behind the eight ball.

It’s portable. A huge pro of using a diary is that you can take it absolutely anywhere as it is small enough to take in your bag.

It compensates for a less-than-stellar memory (like mine). I swear I have the memory of a goldfish. Often things go in one ear and out the other when it comes to aspects of my life (such as appointment times). I find that if I write it in my diary I’ll always be reminded of it when I open it up, making it nearly impossible to forget. Note I said ‘nearly’. There is an expectation to the rule in this tip!

If carting a diary around isn’t for you, or you don’t think you need quite as much of the time management as the diary offers, a calendar may be better. Using a calendar isn’t something that I did until I realised I had a fair bit on over the months before Uni went back. To avoid certain things clashing, I wrote everything out on a calendar so it was all laid out in front of me. This can be easily used the same way as I have outlined above with a diary.

So if you struggle to prioritise your time or find it hard to meet the deadline with your assignments, why not give using a diary or a calendar a go? If you missed getting your free university diary in O-week, maybe invest in one. It’s far more cost-effective than repeating the subject again next year!

– Rachel