Before you Go / Budgeting / Prato Unofficial Guide / Travel

Prato Adventures:Budgeting 101

Before I embarked on my own expedition to Europe, I had always wondered exactly how my fellow peers had managed to raise the required money for their trip.

Granted, it is not a trip to South East Asia but Europe itself is highly doable with a couple of extra shifts at work, scholarships a plenty and maybe a HELP-Loan.

(Except London. London is just expensive as hell and you just have to face the fact that your bank account will never be able to recover from the shock of it.*)
So here I present to you how to do your budget, manage your budget and templates in getting it all sorted.

Where to find your moolah?

Monash Abroad Scholarships: $1500

Monash Abroad gives out travel scholarships with different values depending on where you are going. The Monash Prato Program is a Band Program if you take 18-24 credit points while you are there. So you get a $1500, free of interest or repayment!
Check it out here Monash Abroad Scholarships 

OS-Help Loans: Up to $6250

OS-HELP loans are effectively put on your HECs/HELP debt and are repayable the same way your current HECS debt is (aka through your wages when you get that job).
It’s a Commonwealth Government loan program but the application is through Monash Abroad. The application forms are relatively easy to fill out. However it does take some time for the loan to be approved. Check out the timeline to see how long I had to wait (and don’t panic if it takes a month. It will take a month.)
Check it out here OS-HELP Loans

Youth Allowance- Up to $414 fornightly

If you are 22, don’t forget you eligible for Youth Allowance (Subject to means testing etc)!
Even if you are not, you may still apply for it because you will be living away from home.
While I did not personally apply for youth allowance, my friends did and most got it approved. Just be prepared to slough it with bureaucracy and idiosyncrasies of our lovely Centrelink administration.

Check out Youth Allowance here

How much will it cost me?

I burned through a roughly accurate total of $14,400 in three months, inclusive of

  • Return Flights to Italy
  • Travelling Cost Traversing 8 Cities in Europe
  • Accommodation cost during the Prato Cost
  • Daily cost of Living

Here is a rough break down of my biggest Expenditures

Expenditure Items Cost (AUD)
Return Flights to Italy $1800
Travelling in Europe-Transport $3165
Travelling in Europe-Accommodation $2179
Florence Accomdation-2 Months $2300

For a whole overview of my budget. Get the full break down here

Tab 1 is my whole overview expenditure, Tab 2 is my day-to-day expenditure when travelling and Tab 3 is my day-day expenditure when I was studying in Prato.

Planning your Budget

Planning and tracking my budget was the most important thing to me on the whole trip and I found excel spreadsheets the easiest way to keep track of everything. I also used the Daily Budget app to keep track of daily expenditure on my phone.
The most important part of planning a budget for me was

  1. Knowing what you were willing to compromise and what you were not. I was totally fine with sharing a bed while travelling but was less than happy with a toilet that was not working. Factors like these will affect the hostels you choose and by extension your budget.
  2.  Be realistic. You will be splurging. You will be so tired sometime you cannot be bothered with the exchange rate (or too drunk). Keep a set amount aside for ‘Errors’ because you will more than likely overspend.
  3. Tracking your budget whilst a pain when travelling is just necessary because you don’t want to end up in London and realising you can’t afford the freshly cooked paella at Borough Market.

Here are some resources for you to started!

Budget Template

Daily Budget App

Continue with this series by clicking the following links!


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