How Much Should a University Student Have Saved by The Time They Graduate?

Wondering how much did you have saved up by the time you graduated from university? Assuming you were around 22-24 years old by the time you graduated.

Or how much you believe a university student should have ideally saved by the time they graduate?

Poll Options

  • 296
    $2000 - $4,999
  • 26
    $5,000 - $9,999
  • 25
    $10,000 - $14,999
  • 8
    $15,000 - $19,999
  • 30
    $20,000 - $24,999
  • 16
    $25,000 - $29,999
  • 5
    $30,000 - $39,999
  • 7
    $40,000 - $49,999
  • 8
    $50,000 - $69,999
  • 12
    $70,000 - $99,999
  • 185
    $100,000 +


  • +1 vote

    I had saved just under $29k when I graduated in December 2007… I was really fortunate to have secured a full time job ($36k then $42k) in my study area in my third year so I decided to do my final year over two years. I saved as much as possible but I bought my first car ($4.5k), paid off my HECS (~$15k) before I finished because they were still offering 10% discounts on early repayments and did a uni study tour in Dubai ($2k) to cap off my studies. I lived at home but I paid my way.

    Now if the numbers don't add up, it's because I was also earning 7% bonus interest on my savings with ING, ah those were the days :3

    To me having the money meant a lot more to me because I grew up watching my parents and much older siblings struggle through crappy, low pay jobs during the 90s. I also suffered from chronic migraines so the idea of getting blind and hungover to socialise didn't appeal to me at all. It didn't help that my home was a 40 min drive from the city (Brisbane) which equated to a $100 taxi home.

    Had I known I'd be a comfortable financial position now, I may have been less focussed on savings then but I was also a different person then.

    There are pros and cons for living it up vs being frugal while you're young. Run your own race OP.

  • +2 votes

    Actually, there's been a study done by ABS on this, and how it compares to the rest of the world..
    Results are pretty surprising…


    • +1 vote

      Results are pretty surprising…


  • +1 vote

    Where are the negative numbers? Most uni students today go into debt.

  • +1 vote

    I'd assume most uni students are in debt at the end of their course




    It's hard to save at uni, I would mainly aim for a reasonably safe/reliable car and then if you have more that's great.

    Personally I graduated long ago with an $11,000 car loan and significant HECs debt and was not money smart until the age of 27. If you are money smart during uni you're way ahead.


    I graduated with 100k+ but to be honest I'm not the best uni student and would be very much the exception to the rule - I'd encourage people to not worry about their total savings in terms of $ but be financially responsible to themselves, you can't really control the amount you save but you can control the %. Uni will probably be one of the best investments you make and the return on it will likely dwarf some meagre savings you can scrape together while you study - which is important - but don't make it the primary goal. I personally wish I had not focused as much on getting to a level with my savings and rather had done better at uni… hindsights a bitch.


    Most Boomers had over 100k saved because they didn't have to pay for an education. And they still complain.


    I didn't have to worry about money.


    IF you're lucky enough to have parents who do everything and let you keep every cent you make while at uni then of course you can save 90% but most people in the real world have rent, food, rego, petrol, insurance, clothing, maybe a movie, maybe dinner take away, travel, etc.

    Most people are struggling to survive week to week paying crazy rent prices just to live close enough to university, not everyone has rich family or rich parents that pay for everything

    I did know a 25yo girl at university that her parents paid for absolutely everything including her registration and insurance. But that's only maybe 10% of all students in the real world.


      I guess you don't know many ethnic people…

      Was going to say Asians, then remembered a lot of ethnic groups do this as well

      For Asians where the parents are financially able to its probably 90%+ that cover everything

      I remember at Uni(yonks back) overhearing some jealous (profanity), talk about how all the Asians are rich… because they all have their own car.
      It was more likely their dad's… while their dad car pools to work with a mate.

  • +3 votes

    You should come out with only HEC fees. To be honest as a uni student, your goal should only be to graduate as fast as possible and experience as much as possible (eg. travel, social clubs, sports and hobbies)


    zero dollars, 25 cents


    My Myki (public transport) card had more money than my bank account


    Knew a lot of nurses that finished uni after working the whole time as disability workers, easy for them to save money when making 40k a year working only a few days a week (thanks to weekends) and having to spend the other days studying.


    I had around $30k when I graduated.

    That said I'd gladly trade it back in for the 20 weeks of holidays and experiences I could have spent it on during my uni years. You'll never get another chance to have 10 weeks summer holidays with no need for a leave request, concerns about how the leave affects your promotion chances or simply having to pay a mortgage/other fixed financial commitments.

    I graduated to a job earning around $50k and by living the uni student lifestyle had saved 50% of my income in the years following graduation to the point where the original money I scrimped together during uni meant very little but cost me a lot of time and experiences.

    If I was doing it over I'd get a personal loan for $20k and travel every summer while studying. The $20k debt will mean nothing to you within a year or two of graduating but those experiences will be with you a lifetime.


    i just lost 100k