Schoolies holidays can be fun as long as you plan carefully. But there are so many decisions to be made - where to go, where to stay, who to go with, what to take! And after you've decided all this, you'll need to make sure you have enough money to cover all your expenses (and have a bit left over for spending money when you get there).
Planning a budget
The best way to know what costs you're going to be up for your schoolies trip is to plan a budget. That way you can work out the total costs for your holiday and then divide the costs between everyone in your group to work out a cost per person. If you're holidaying with friends, get everyone to work out the budget together.
STEP 1. List all your expenses
Start by listing everything that you're going to need on your holiday - accommodation, food, travel expenses, etc - and assign a cost to each item. If you don't know actual costs, then make an estimate. But make sure your estimate is based on real prices and not just what you think the price might be. Here's some typical things you'll need to include in your budget:
Travel and transport
- fares (air, train, bus etc)
- airport taxes
- getting around e.g. hiring a bicycle, public transport
- weekly rent
- bond (if required)
- shared kitty e.g. breakfast/bread/milk etc
- shared take-away
- buy own meals (don't include this as a total cost, but you'll need to add it to your individual costs)
- charges for venues e.g. schoolies events, clubs, movies
- windsurfing, parasailing, snorkelling, scuba diving
- canoeing, water rafting, boating
- surf lessons, surf board hire
- emergencies e.g. taxi fare/medical
- replacement batteries
- phone card
- work out a daily allowance to cover incidental things like drinks, snacks, extra meals etc
Step 2 - Work out your individual costs
Add up everything on your list to work out a total cost and then divide this by the number of people in your group. This gives you a cost per person.
If your individual budget seems a bit high, you'll need to have another look at your total budget and see where you can make adjustments.
For instance, you could look at adding one more compatible person to the group so that an extra person shares the costs, or you could choose a lower standard of accommodation. You could also compare the cost of motels with self-contained units. Units usually work out cheaper overall because you can store and prepare your own food.
Saving for schoolies
Once you've finalised your individual costs you'll need to ensure that you actually have access to this kind of money. While dipping into your savings or borrowing money from relatives may seem like an option, working out a savings plan makes sure that you can put aside money for schoolies over a period of time.
Putting aside a set amount each week means that you'll still have some money left for other things - and avoid totally emptying your bank account or going into debt to pay for your schoolies holiday. Of course, savings plans only work if you have enough lead-up time to your schoolies and you stick to your plan.
To work out a savings plan, divide your total individual cost by the number of weeks leading up to your schoolies holiday. This gives you the amount you'll need to put aside each week. The more weeks you have, the less you'll need to put aside each week.
Every week put your money in a place you won't be tempted to spend it on other things, e.g. ask a relative to look after your schoolies fund, put it in an existing bank account or take out a short-term savings account.
The content on this page was provided by Consumer Affairs Victoria.