Being a Student


Making your allowance go further

As a student, you most likely receive an allowance or earn some income of your own. There are days when you feel like your money is not enough or in short supply. If you cannot ask for an increase in allowance, you need to get smarter to stretch your dollar.

Make your allowance go further by differentiating your needs from your wants: Needs are goods and services you require in your life and they are essential. Wants are those things you desire – they could also be more expensive (but not necessarily better) substitutes for your needs or just non-essential.

What are some examples of needs and wants? 

Needs Wants
  • Food and beverage
  • Clothing
  • Public Transport
  • Text books and stationery
  • School fees
  • Fast food, designer coffee & bubble tea
  • Branded attire and accessories
  • Taxis
  • Watching movies
  • Computer/ video games
  • Beauty & grooming treats

Make a budget to help you control your spending. Start by listing out all the things you need to spend money on and how much each item costs. Ideally, you should start by setting aside some money for savings. You never know when the savings will come in handy. With your budget, you should find yourself less likely to be cash-strapped when it comes to paying for your needs. If there is any money left, you could spend a little on yourself and save the rest.

Here are some tips for you:

  • Ask for “student meals” when visiting a restaurant. Some eateries fully understand the needs of budget conscious hungry students, and offer discounts just for students during off-peak periods!
  • Ask for student-priced tickets when you watch a movie at cinemas. Watching a show during off-peak timings is when you might get even better deals.
  • Subscribe to mobile phone plans specially catered for students like you. They are usually bundled with services like free or unlimited SMSes which make your monthly fees more worthwhile. Check with your mobile service provider for more details.
  • Use the concession pass issued to you for travelling between home and school to enjoy concessionary rates on public transport.

Financial assistance for students

Funding your full-time studies at a local tertiary institution can be expensive even though the costs have already been heavily subsidised by Government through the Tuition Grant. All students are eligible for this although non-Singaporean students will have to work in a Singapore-based company for 3 years after graduation.

Many companies and organisations offer scholarships for students who excel in their academic studies and / or co-curricular activities. You may have to serve a “bond” – working for them for a number of years after graduation, though. Your tertiary institution may have a bond-free scholarship scheme in place to recognise your hard work too.

Some banks offer Tuition Fee loans which are interest-free during your course of study. Find out more about their repayment schemes. Your school may also have study loan options, so do enquire about them.

If you require more assistance, do find out about subsidies and financial assistance or apply for a bursary from your tertiary institution. Such institutions often set aside funds to help those who are in need of financial support.

Financial assistance is also available from organisations like Yayasan MENDAKISingapore Indian Development Association (SINDA) and Community Development Councils (CDC). Do check with them to find out about the form of support they provide and also about eligibility.

 

The above information is prepared in collaboration with the Ministry of Education Singapore, People’s Association, Yayasan MENDAKI and SINDA.