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The cost of being: A trainee teacher on placement | #datingscams | #lovescams | #facebookscams | #datingscams | #love | #relationships | #scams | #pof | #match.com | #dating


As part of our series exploring how New Zealanders live and our relationship with money, a 21-year-old future teacher shares how she spends and saves while studying.

Want to contribute? Email [email protected] to receive the form.

Gender: Female

Age: 21

Ethnicity: Pākehā/Māori/Sāmoan

Role: Trainee teacher as part of university placement (unpaid full-time role which is required to graduate). I usually work at an after-school care Monday-Friday, but during placement the university literally tells us to not work.

My living location is: Urban (Auckland)

Rent per week: $740 total split between four people. I pay $190.

Typical weekly food/grocery costs

Groceries: $150 when on my meal plan (for health and exercise purposes), $75-$100 when not on my meal plan.

Eating out/takeaways: $50

Workday lunches: $0 during placement because I bring lunch from home.

Cafe coffees/snacks: $0 during placement because I make coffee at home

Other grocery costs: On placement, costs that are usually minimal, like soap or toothpaste, can become major financial problems. Definitely for these last few placements while I have been flatting I have been scraping by or going without some things.

Savings: Do I save money during placement? Shit no. During placement I am in the negatives in savings. Last year I spent my whole savings on placement.

I worry about money: Always.

Three words to describe my financial situation would be: unstable (fluctuating/inconsistent), unpredictable (I can’t save and plan for things), exhausting (anxiety-inducing to make money which becomes quite tiring).

In a typical week my transport expenditure would be: An average of about $60 per week for fuel. No other transport costs usually.

My exercise expenditure in a year is about: Fortunately my parents pay for my gym membership, which is over $30 a week. If my parents didn’t pay for it I would not be going to the gym, especially on placement. But exercising is particularly important during placement, when my mental health can get a bit down from the stress of full-time work.

My last Friday night out cost: It often changes. Sometimes I buy drinks out and spend upwards of $100, but sometimes I only pay for entrance fees so it’s more like $20-$50.

Most regrettable purchase in the last 12 months was: Accidental monthly subscriptions that I forgot to cancel after starting free trials.

‘Most regrettable purchase? Accidental monthly subscriptions that I forgot to cancel after starting free trials.’

Most indulgent purchase (that I don’t regret) in the last 12 months was: Definitely the car that I bought at the beginning of last year, which is a necessity. I definitely don’t regret it. I would fall apart if I didn’t have a car in Auckland, particularly during placement. For a lot of other people on placement, not having a car is super problematic. During my first placement I bused to the North Shore from my resident hall in the CBD and I ended up having to bus with some of my students. Dragging my teaching stuff around every day was a bitch and it was very hard to earn respect from intermediate students when you are sitting next to them on the bus.

Another indulgent cost is spending $50 on a nutritionist per week. But that is something that I see as essential for my health.

My grooming/beauty expenditure includes: I try to spend as little on beauty products as possible. I have whittled my makeup down to only about three products because it’s so expensive to get more. But even those three products all cost $30-$50 each which is very expensive!

I would love to have more money for: Quality, healthy, good food. Also social events. During placement I don’t make plans with friends because I can’t spend money on stuff like coffee. When people invite me out for coffee I would avoid it. This sucks because I am a very social person!

One other thing is that I would love to purchase more resources for school teaching, to do little workshops with the kids.

Five words to describe my financial personality would be: I can’t choose just five! Unstable, hesitant (didn’t used to be but now I am because of placement), prioritisation (of good, healthy food), anxious (I hate opening my Kiwibank app sometimes), forward-thinking (especially during university classes, to make sure that everything is covered during placement), independent (I hate having to rely on family or friends for money).

One area where I’m a bit of a tightwad is: At the moment it’s definitely clothing. I am refusing to spend money on clothing. I already have a big wardrobe. Also I hate spending money on beauty and makeup products because they are so expensive!

Describe your financial low: There was a day when I started my period on placement and I literally didn’t have any money to buy tampons. It sucked to not be financially independent and having to ask people – my flatmate – to buy them for me. Why is it not compulsory for workplaces to offer free period products?

In five years, in financial terms, I see myself: Secure and stable. No more money anxiety. I want to be in a financial place to be able to help others out, like what people do for me sometimes when when I’m on placement.

I give money to: It’s something I want to do more often but that I don’t really have the financial capacity to at the moment, especially during placement.

A lot of my friends have lost their part time jobs during placement because their bosses wouldn’t give them the time off. The after-school care I work at normally has shit pay but at least it offers me flexibility.

Everyone that I know takes up work on the weekends during placement. I was nannying in the weekends. I wouldn’t have survived financially without nannying on top of full time (unpaid) work at school during the weekdays.

The only support StudyLink offers us during placement is that we should just use our course related costs to support ourselves financially. It’s such a weird mix because you’re so happy on placement doing what you love, but it would also be cool if you didn’t have to worry so much about money as well.

Lastly, I say this all from a position of privilege. During placement my family is happy to help me out if I really need it and I have pretty chill flatmates. Others have it worse.

Want to contribute? Send us an email briefly describing your situation at [email protected]

Read the previous Cost of Beings here.

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