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May 20, 2013 | by  | in Opinion |
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Money was a pretty simple concept when we were young. We knew how many 5 cent pieces we had to assemble to buy our favourite lolly mix from the dairy. We knew how many jobs we had to do to earn those 5 cent pieces. We knew what we were worth.

Sure, when you’re only earning $5 or so pocket money a week and have significant sour lolly output expenditure it can take a while to save up for the things you really want, but we knew that one day, when we were older and had a ‘real’ job, money would be no object.

How wrong we were… with mo’ money, simply came mo’ problems.

Once we left school and came to university, many of us had access to more money than we could previously fathom. $150-plus per week?! Sign us up! $1000, no questions asked?! Yes please! The perks of our interest-free student loan scheme can seem pretty attractive when the repayment date is so far away that you can barely even imagine it. But just because we’re not thinking about it right now, our loans aren’t just going to go away.

We students are stuck awkwardly in the middle of two groups that the Government lends a helping hand to: children and the elderly. We’ve already left the comforts of childhood, where we enjoyed plush financial support from both our parents and the state. And while the Government continues to support us at the moment, it’s a half-hearted kind of support. As living costs stay stuck below the average cost of living, and this Government makes cuts to allowances with every new year that passes, many of us are forced to find employment to make ends meet on top of the weekly debt we’re racking up with StudyLink.

Most of us are still a long way off retirement, but our parents, who fall within the class of ‘Baby Boomers’, aren’t. And despite the fact that many of these people will be able to work well past the retirement age, and that there are more of them to support than there are of us to support them, all of these Baby Boomers will be entitled to superannuation from the day they turn 65. Who will fund such a generous welfare scheme? We will. One day, once we’ve finished university, gotten older, and have those ‘real’ jobs we always dreamed of.

Money is a pretty complex concept. It can be scary, overwhelming, even impossible to fathom the amount of debt our future selves will have. Between paying off our degrees that were meant to earn us more, and using those higher earnings to fund the ageing population, things are looking pretty grim.

But it ain’t all bad. For the moment, at least, there’s always Course Related Costs when you’re in a pickle…


Molly & Stella

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About the Author ()

Molly McCarthy and Stella Blake-Kelly are Salient Co-Editors for 2013, AKA Salient Babes.

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