Jenny Elvey, of Bendigo Family and Financial Services, has been a Financial Counsellor for more than a decade and knows only too well the financial strains many young people face and how it can affect their studies.

For the last four years she has been offering Financial Counselling to students at La Trobe University Bendigo and is now bringing the same free and confidential service to students at BSSC.

Jenny says the kinds of financial stresses faced by students can be as simple as not having the money to top up a Myki card, to more complex issues related to young carers or those living independently, such as unpaid bills and fines, the need for food assistance—even Centrelink issues or loan repayments.

“Whatever the issue, it’s about dealing with the problem quickly and planning so that it won’t happen again,” Jenny says. “There are all sorts of ways we can support students while they get back on their feet, but the important thing is to talk to someone who’ll understand and begin to come up with a solution.”

Jenny has seen many times how the smallest of issues can be enough to throw a person and distract them from their studies and other responsibilities.

“While it can be a scary time becoming financially independent, seeking advice from someone who knows what you’re going through can lift the burden,” Jenny says. “Often the answer is simple, and about learning how not to get in that situation again.

“Anything we can do to support young people we will,” she adds, “as long as they are willing to make a plan for the future.”

There’s always a way forward and it may just begin with the bowl of chocolates on Jenny’s desk J

If you’d like to take a load of your shoulders and talk to Jenny, she will be available for appointments every second Tuesday morning in the Wellbeing Centre from 9am – 12pm, beginning on Tuesday 25 June. Simply contact the Wellbeing Team to make an appointment.