How to make the most of your money at University
Speak to the majority of people that attended university and you’ll hear them tell you it was the best few years of their life. I’ve not yet come across one person that regretted the experience. Unfortunately, nowadays it’ll cost you a small fortune to attend a 3 year course, and this without a doubt, has turned quite a few people off. So while EdAid assists with funding the cost of university, I’m here to tell you how you can make each penny go further.
I know what you’re thinking, “cheers Mr. Obvious”, but getting a job can often be difficult, which makes it easy to be put off and conclude that Corn Flakes is a reasonable substitute for all dinners that are now out of your price range. Getting a job doesn’t mean you won’t have any free time — employers are often quite reasonable with students and their working hours. It’s also a great way to meet new people and open you up to new experiences that you would’ve otherwise missed whilst spending your evening playing the new Call of Duty.
Now I’m no expert, but I had a job from my first day of Freshers until the day I handed in my last assignment and I don’t quite know how I could’ve survived without one. So here are a few tips I learnt along the way that might help you.
- Get in early — If possible, get to uni a few weeks before Freshers week and hand those CV’s out to any and everyone that takes your fancy.
- Be smart — Maybe working in your local supermarket won’t be the most glamorous of jobs, but it will most likely come with a discount on your weekly grocery shopping.
- Time management — There will likely be days and weeks where you simply can’t work due to uni commitments, but there will also be weeks where you have loads of free time so make sure you let your employer know in advance to make the most of your days off.
(We at EdAid are also looking for a Campus Ambassador at each university around the UK, so if you’re looking for a term time job, head to our jobs page and apply now.)
So now you’re earning money you need ways of saving it.
Now if you’re looking to save money, you don’t need to be told to choose your supermarket carefully. Some are cheaper than others, but I’m not here to promote one over another. The sad truth is, students will often pick their supermarket based on location, but with the wonder of the internet you can now have your groceries delivered straight to your door, and this is a great way to avoid unnecessary spending when you’re perusing down the ‘treats’ aisle.
Another great tip is if you’re living with a group of students, and you don’t completely hate them, suggest doing a communal grocery shop. Buying and cooking in bulk is a great way to save money, and communal dinners are a perfect time to share gossip.
Now this could fall under the ‘get a job’ section, however freelancing may take up more of your time, may be more stressful, and may not be as well paid. However, small startups are always looking for students to come in and do some work, basically because students are a cheap option. So advertise your services and look for internships. It’s not only a possible money-maker, but it’s a great way to increase your employability.
Now this is something I never got involved with, but I knew of a few people who did and it’s certainly a half-decent money-maker. Speak to your GP or have a search and you’ll be able to find clinical trials that are on-going in your city. Sometimes these are voluntary, but the paid trials range from tens to thousands of pounds, but keep in mind those at the higher end of that scale may require an overnight stay, or risk some unusual side-effects. If you do choose this route, just make sure you read the small print.
The final point certainly won’t make you money but it’s a sure fire way to help you save some. Every year there are more and more budgeting apps available to smartphone users and nowadays they’re pretty damn good. Again, I’m not here to promote certain companies, but browsing through the finance apps will sure bring some to your attention.
So there you have it. None of these will make you a millionaire, unless you put yourself through a shed load of highly paid clinical trials, which we would not advise. But it’s a safe bet to say these methods will certainly leave you with a few extra £ in your bank account come the end of the month to spend on a night out, workbooks, or Pokemon Go credits.