It is the 21st century, and expenses have grown tremendously, making it a daunting task for students worldwide to stay afloat financially while in university. This reminds me of a famous quote by Yogi Berra, a renowned baseball player that stated: “a nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore.” Staying in university can become a financial nightmare, especially for self-paid students and those burdened by student loans.
Not to worry because here is a list of 3 guaranteed ways to help you stay afloat financially while in university.
Create a detailed budget
This is very key, and it involves anticipating all of your expenses. This includes transport, food, accommodation as well as entertainment expenses. It is crucial to determine how far from the school you are going to be, and this is where assessing your living situation comes in.
Some students chose to rent an apartment far from school, making it very stressful to commute daily. If possible, consider staying in the university hostels to cut down on costs. If you decide to stay off-campus, do proper research on the most affordable apartments. Another option is to get a roommate to split the rent costs.
Additionally, you could also move back in with your parents. This could mean waking up an hour earlier to catch a bus or shuttle to school, a small price to pay when you have got your living situation under control.
A budgeting app or planner is a must need to help you stay afloat financially when in university. Thanks to innovations in technology, you can now access free budgeting applications on your smartphone that cater to various needs.
One great application is Mint, which is an excellent tool for money management. This application offers budget categories that help in tracking your spending. By linking the app to your bank account, you can set up custom budget categories such as transport and food with assigned transactions. The application then gives automatic updates of the money left to spend on each category.
Another great application that helps in tracking your spending is Splitter. It enables its users to split expenses and could, therefore, come in handy for students who decide to cost-share rent, groceries as well as other group costs.
Working a part-time job on or off-campus
Working a part-time job is a great way to help students stay afloat financially when in university. It not only offers critical skills and experience but also supplements one’s income. Most universities have student portals that send newsletters that inform students of the latest vacancies.
Getting a job at the school cafeteria, library, or even as the school guide on open days is a great way to start. These on-campus jobs are convenient because employers are more understanding of your schedule, meaning you only get to work during your flexible hours.
If there are no available vacancies on campus, you could apply for jobs at nearby restaurants and shops. The advantage is that these jobs may provide more than the minimum wage and potential benefits such as medical insurance.
Juggling part-time work and the school could become difficult. Therefore, you could opt to work over the long summer and winter holidays and save that money for use when you resume studies.
The advantage is that you could clock in more hours during the holiday breaks, therefore, earn more income to sustain you in school. This is a great tip, especially for those students who feel that striking a balance between working and studying is an unattainable goal.
Get an online job
Online jobs are an excellent way for students to stay afloat financially when in university. The best thing about these jobs is their low financial costs. This is because you only need a working computer and access to WI-FI to get started. Most universities offer free WI-FI to their students as well as access to library computers during business hours. This comes in handy for those who don’t own personal laptops.
Depending on the job requirements, you could become an online tutor instructing other students on a variety of subjects. These jobs can be found on websites such as tutor.com and Wyzant. There are also educators overseas for students living outside the US.
Other online jobs include graphic design, coding, transcribing, and freelance writing. The first two require a great deal of experience before getting hired. It is, therefore, advisable to sharpen your skills and knowledge before sending out your applications. As for the other two, the essential requirements are fluency in English as well as being a fast typist.
This is not to dampen your hopes if you lack experience in the jobs mentioned above. The famous saying that “the world has become a global village” means that technology has made so many things possible. Once you identify an online job that you are interested in, go online, and search for video tutorials, and before you know it, you are getting hired to perform high-level tasks.