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The Emotional Stages Of Waiting For Pay Day When You’re A Uni Student

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Christmas is cancelled and your birthday may as well pack up and go home – when you’re a broke uni student, pay day truly is the happiest day(s) of the year.

On pay day, you can say goodbye to suffering through canned tuna at every meal, ditch the instant for a sweet, sweet barista-made coffee and, hey, you might even be able to pay for petrol without scrounging for spare coins from the unexplored depths of your couch cushions.

Pay day is the bomb, but the days (and sometimes weeks) leading up to it can feel like a literal eternity. These are the five emotional stages you can expect to endure.

#1 Feeling Like A Total Baller

Well, not right now, but soon enough, that deposit will drop and you’ll be living your fantasy as the richest person in the world – nobody can tell you otherwise.

When you hit up your favourite on-campus breakfast spot and they remind you that avo is $3 extra, you respond, “Oh honey, baby, sweetie… money is no object”.

Enjoy the feeling – for approximately 0.5 seconds.

#2 Oh My God, How Did I Get Here?

Whoa boy, here it comes. If you’re seriously holding out for pay day, chances are you’re broke. This is the time to seriously reflect on the pay cycle that was.

Like soldier marching into battle, you’ll peek at your transaction history and be confronted with the dollar amount you spent on kebabs at 3am in the last month and, look, we’ve all been there – don’t beat yourself up too hard.

#3 Dear Lord, How Do I Become A Functioning Adult Person?

Seeing your transaction history is a massive blow – enough to make you want to wrap yourself up in a blanket burrito and cry yourself into a depression nap but remember, it’s never too late to fix your nasty spending habits.

Take note of your most unnecessary purchases. No seriously, open your notes app, calculate the amount you spent on stuff that isn’t food, shelter, and the other stuff it takes to keep you, you know, alive, and that’s the number that could be in your bank account right now. Scary, huh?

Use this information to make the next cycle a little more bearable. We can beat this, one mixed kebab meal at a time.

#4 Acceptance

Congratulations, you’re a disgrace. JUST KIDDING, but it’s at this point you’ll realise that this is your life now, so it’s time to improvise, adapt, and overcome.

This might mean dipping into your hard-earned savings to survive, selling some of your stuff on Gumtree, swallowing your pride and asking your parents to spot you for a few days or going full Masterchef Mystery Box mode and finding out how many frozen meals you can make using the onions, chicken salt, peanut butter, and pasta you have handy in your cupboard.

I once made eight meals using junk I had in my cupboard and $6.80 worth of ingredients I picked up from Coles. Were they edible? Totally! Were they gross? You have no idea…


OMG you did it. The day has finally arrived, the direct deposit is sitting pretty and you can pay those bills, sis! Treat yourself to something nice – you deserve it.

Now here’s when what happens next is up to you. Continue living as a garbage monster or learn from last pay cycle and try to improve your spending habits so next week you’re not back to crying in a blanket burrito.

Up to you, boo!

To help get you through to your next pay day, you can score a bonus $50 when you open a St.George student bank account and deposit $250 within 30 days. New Complete Freedom customers, for a limited time only. Click the link for full T&Cs.

(Lead image: Buro Millennial / Pexels)