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Torn between choices
Uni or not related


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#1 L.A.M

Posted 02 February 2013 - 06:54 PM

WWYD....

I have ALWAYS wanted to do a particular degree at Uni, time has come to do it or give up on the idea as in another 10 years no point doing it really re work prosepcts thereafter etc (I am 40 soon).

Problem is the cost. Due to what I earn, about $60k (includes penalties for working w/end and public holdiays and some OT) I have to pay for the course year to year as I study. I can manage it..just..things will be tight.

It means however my house that already needs some work (nothing major) will have to wait 6 yrs (I can only study PT as I NEED to work), as will the new couch I kind of need but can scrape by without. The carpet that needs replacing will have to wait, and kids activities etc will be minimal and not much else will be going on as I never really had much of a lavish budget to begin with...bills paid, mortgage paid, kids school costs and needs meet, a movie in school holidays or trip to zoo for kids, and a bit for this and that that needs replacing, fixing etc.

Can I do it for 6yrs. If for a couple I could suck it up, but 6.

I know people go without for kids to be a SAHM or SAHD, and economise for that.

Could you go without any frills pretty much to realise a dream, that would mean I earn more than now in the end and I'd probably be a lot happier work wise as I wouldn't be brain dead everyday always. BUT I have a little splash money now, not a lot, but if I studied I'd have none. unsure.gif

#2 PB2

Posted 02 February 2013 - 07:06 PM

Yes, do it.  you have many more working years ahead of you.  if you can do so for a year or two do it, a lot can happen after that, wages can increase, new other job opportunities may arise etc, do not look at the whole 6 years, work your way towards your goal and see what the future holds.

good luck



#3 Feral WibbleWobble

Posted 02 February 2013 - 07:07 PM

Why do you have to pay your fees up front? Are you not eligible for HECS/HELP?

#4 Floki

Posted 02 February 2013 - 07:09 PM

Why would you have to pay upfront for it? Would you not be eligible for Fee Help?



#5 L.A.M

Posted 02 February 2013 - 07:11 PM

I can defer until tax time using fee HELP/HECS, BUT I then will have to pay 5% of my wage towards my debt due to what I earn, so will need to pay most of my PT study debt then, about $3.5k.


Once upon a time, married and two wages $3.5k wasn't significant to worry over, now single and paying a mortgage alone and raising 3 kids it is significant.

I have tried to think, just do this year and see about next yr as it arises.

Edited by L.A.M, 02 February 2013 - 07:19 PM.


#6 Rosepickles

Posted 02 February 2013 - 07:16 PM

Yes do it, you have already stated all of the positives and fulfilling a dream is a pretty good reason to do something. From what you have posted the pluses far outweigh the bad.

Enjoy your degree!

#7 Guest_Sunnycat_*

Posted 02 February 2013 - 07:23 PM

Please do it. It will so be worth it in the end. The repair works can wait,

#8 NotBitzerMaloney

Posted 02 February 2013 - 07:24 PM

Do it!



#9 emma_jean

Posted 02 February 2013 - 07:32 PM

What could it hurt to try? At least give it a go, and if you find it too uncomfortable to lose 5% of your income, then reassess original.gif You might find some surprising ways to save money and achieve your dreams. original.gif

#10 Feral WibbleWobble

Posted 02 February 2013 - 07:41 PM

The tax is taken out each time you get paid, personally I have never really noticed the difference.

The debt is also held over and not sent from the uni to the ATO straight away, so the first year you may not have a debt anyway and could give you the chance to save some money to pay off fees for the next year at the reduced rate.

Don't let a debt deter you, work out how much you would be down each week and how little difference it will probably make to your budget. If you think it is that dire you can apply to the ATO to be exempt for having HELP withheld for that financial year.

Go for it.

#11 Shellby

Posted 02 February 2013 - 07:42 PM

Do it, we are. Dh is in the same boat, basically paying hecs while studying. Then add this year I am going back to uni full time, but i won't be paying hecs while going along as I earn much less than needed.

I look at what I can offer in the future. We will easily be able to support our boys when they go to uni, same with high school as we plan to send them private as dh will be finished by the time they reach high school, then I will be a year later. So it's short term pain (4 years for us) for long term gains.

Think of it this way, if you don't how will you feel when the kids are older and you know you could have been earning more to help support your kids in higher education and choices but your still only earning $60,000.

#12 bluedragon

Posted 02 February 2013 - 07:44 PM

It sounds like a no brainer to me, absolutely do it!

I'm still not sure why you'd have to pay the total amount at tax time, surely having 5% come out over the year (totalling around 3k all up for the year) would be better than paying 3.5 K in a lump sum. am I missing something?

Edited by bluedragon, 02 February 2013 - 07:45 PM.


#13 balancing.act

Posted 02 February 2013 - 07:44 PM

Do it.

You may be able to claim some tax on expenses if the course is linked to increasing your future income. If you defer payment but then pay a lump sum to HECS/HELP (min $500 payment before 30 June so it doesn't get the CPI index increase) you also get a 10% discount on the fees. If you're strict about this and make one or several lump sum payments during the year it means you basically get a 10% discount on your fees.

If you can demonstrate a link between your current work/increased future income and your study your tax deductions (in addition to the course fees) can include internet access, textbooks, stationary, transport/mileage costs to/from uni if you go directly from your place of employment as well as any university union fees.

Make sure you look into if you can make any deductions - I did and it made my course almost pay for itself.

#14 L.A.M

Posted 02 February 2013 - 09:09 PM

Thanks for the replies, am going to give it a go! original.gif

QUOTE
The tax is taken out each time you get paid, personally I have never really
noticed the difference.
I will, $60 a week is fairly significant these days. sad.gif

debsinhanoi -not specifically work related, indirectly related, its a step up from what I am doing, along the same lines but not for tax purposes it isn't.


QUOTE
I'm still not sure why you'd have to pay the total amount at tax time, surely
having 5% come out over the year (totalling around 3k all up for the year) would
be better than paying 3.5 K in a lump sum. am I missing something?
Yes, that is what I would do, get extra tax taken out for the debt, but I will notice the $60 a week to pay it back then, and no tax refunds for a while. Basically what I was saying is that rather than have a HECS/HELP debt held over I'd have to pay my Uni fees each year as I earn to much no0w to hold over until I earn above $49k.



Anyway, will go for it and assess at the end of this year how it all went.. reasonably or not.

#15 SeaPrincess

Posted 03 February 2013 - 12:14 AM

Two things worth considering.  One is that you get a 10% discount for paying up front.
The other is this:
QUOTE (WibbleWobble @ 02/02/2013, 05:41 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The debt is also held over and not sent from the uni to the ATO straight away, so the first year you may not have a debt anyway and could give you the chance to save some money to pay off fees for the next year at the reduced rate.

I finished my degree at the end of 2011.  I paid my fees upfront for all but the final year. I haven't yet received a HECS statement, even after doing my tax return last year.

#16 feralangel

Posted 03 February 2013 - 12:34 AM

I completed my undergrad degree p/t over 6 years and nominated to have a higher percentage of tax deducted from my salary.

I didn't notice the extra amount I was paying in tax as it didn't appear on my payslip.

This way the course seemingly paid for itself and i still received a small tax return (a couple of hundred dollars) at the end of the financial year.

Even if you don't decide to do this way the course is definitely worth doing as it will pay for itself in the long term.

#17 monkeys mum

Posted 03 February 2013 - 01:21 AM

When I was at Uni i had to pay the fees up front due to not being a citizen. The cost per subject is/was $710 then just under $30 per subject in Uni what ever fees. For text books I just borrowed from the library, or got the relevant readings online. My friend saved herself a bit of money by using booko and buying online.

Would it be better for you to pay up front the cost of two subjects, $1420, and then each week put money aside into a high savings account or to offset your mortgage?

I would say though, go for it, I am sure you will be happier in a job you enjoy, and the benfits to your children will out weigh the few years of cheaper activities and a bit of a tighter budget.

#18 blueberrymuffin

Posted 03 February 2013 - 08:40 AM

It may not take you 6 years to complete if there is summer/winter school available.

#19 L.A.M

Posted 03 February 2013 - 05:01 PM

Thanks for the replies original.gif .

QUOTE
It may not take you 6 years to complete if there is
summer/winter school available
I hoped for that, but to my knowledge a whole 1 subject is offered as a summer school unit! I do think however I have heard the school is looking at increasing it's summer school offerings which would be super!

monkeys mum Someone put me onto booko when I did a TAFE course a while back. I just bout one half  the price that the Uni was offering at, however the other book I need is an Australian edition, so overseas offerings are out, and a late 2011 edition to so not many 2nd hand ones avail either damn it...$150 for that one mad.gif .

QUOTE
I completed my undergrad degree p/t over 6 years and
nominated to have a higher percentage of tax deducted from my salary.
This is what I have started doing, but I will notice the $50 less in my pay each week...thats my kids tutoring fee right there! wink.gif Will just cut back elsewhere a little here and there original.gif .

QUOTE
Two things worth considering.  One is that you get a 10%
discount for paying up front.
Maybe, on occasions I can do this and save a bit, will have to see. original.gif

Edited by L.A.M, 03 February 2013 - 05:03 PM.


#20 jayskette

Posted 03 February 2013 - 05:05 PM

If you are a citizen I am sure you will be eligible for some form of HELP/FEEHELP. I have always had HELP deducted as part of my PAYG tax and frankly I choose my jobs and salary based on the Take Home pay and not the gross so I never noticed the difference. Mind you by the time I finished paying for my 2 degrees on my current salary I will get an extra $500/week! biggrin.gif

#21 SeaPrincess

Posted 04 February 2013 - 10:28 PM

I was just looking up how to find out what I owe and I found this:
QUOTE
What happens if I can’t afford the repayments?

If you believe that making your compulsory repayment would cause you serious financial hardship or there are other reasons why you should not have to make a compulsory repayment, you can apply to the ATO to defer your repayment. You will need to complete the Deferring your compulsory HELP, HECS or Financial Supplement repayment form, which is available on the ATO website (opens in a new window). The form asks for a detailed statement of your household income and expenditure to justify your claim of serious hardship.

The ATO will write to say whether your application is successful. If you are unhappy with the decision, you may apply to have it reviewed within 28 days of receiving the notice. If, after the review, you still believe the ATO has made the wrong decision, you may then apply to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) for a review. You need to lodge your application with the AAT within 28 days of the day you receive the outcome of the ATO’s review.

For more information on applying to defer a compulsory repayment, contact the ATO.


From Here

#22 L.A.M

Posted 05 February 2013 - 08:29 PM

Thanks Seaprincess original.gif , I had read that, can't rely on them approving that though lol, though could try.


QUOTE
If you are a citizen I am sure you will be eligible for some form of
HELP/FEEHELP. I have always had HELP deducted as part of my PAYG tax and frankly
I choose my jobs and salary based on the Take Home pay and not the gross so I
never noticed the difference. Mind you by the time I finished paying for my 2
degrees on my current salary I will get an extra $500/week
! If I was going FT and earing what I am now, I could defer about $1.5k to HECS as only have to pay 5% at tax time, but I am a PT student, so my debt will be $3600 for the year and I have to pay 5% of just over $60k, so about $3100-3200 depending on what I earn, so can defer perhaps $300-400. And I can't just change jobs so I need not worry about the PAYG deduction as I am studying to get a better job, my prospects at present are...I am in as good a paying job I can get with my skills and experience!

#23 PrincessPeach

Posted 06 February 2013 - 11:28 AM

Don't forget that repayment amounts are based on adjusted taxable income & not gross income.

So any of your deductions will reduce that income down & also reduce the amount of repayments you need to make.

Also because you can prove that your course will lead to a promotion at your current place of employment, it can be argued that there is a link to work, allowing you to claim your books, Internet, printing costs, uni union fees & travel.

#24 elizabethany

Posted 06 February 2013 - 11:43 AM

Just be careful with paying a lump sum, you may get a discount, but it doesn't count towards your compulsory payments, unless you pay off the debt in full.

#25 Wise Old Owl

Posted 06 February 2013 - 02:10 PM

Do you really want to complete this degree or are you looking for excuses/reasons not to?  Please don't take that the wrong way, but I know myself if I am not 100% into doing something I will come up with a whole entire list of reasons why I shouldn't.  Curious if you might be the same because really things like a new couch and carpet for the house are not essential and can wait if obtaining this degree is what you are really passionate about doing.

Other things I would think of are -

Would you earn considerably more completing the degree compared to what you are earning now?

If uni wasn't a option, are there other ways you could advance in the work you are doing now or move into different areas?

Studying and parenting is hard work and I would imagine adding working f/t to be an extra stress.  All completely worth it though if it is what you are passionate about and determined to complete.

The other thing to consider might be keeping an eye on the census date and seeing how you go up until then?

Best of luck in making your decision  original.gif






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