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It’s now just a matter of weeks before 500,000+ students head off to university for the first time. And while there’s the prospect of learning, new friends, activities and adventures, the nightmare of debt, tuition fees and running out of cash also looms large for many. This year, tuition fees are rising to £9,250 at most UK universities. Rents are higher than they have ever been and we’re all feeling the pinch from post-Brexit price rises. So, if you’re a new student or one heading back to university in October 2017 how do you win at your finances without winning the lottery first?
Money might be tight but there are ways that you can make it go further.
According to research by Save the Student, 66% of students don’t think that maintenance loans are big enough. So, for many, the only option appears to be to keep borrowing various loans and credit cards. However, there is another choice – additional income. Most student timetables leave at least some room for part-time work, and there are other options to, which can significantly reduce the pressure on your finances.
Bars, restaurants and coffee shops – for casual shift work that is social and fun, and for which you don’t need any qualifications, a bar or coffee shop is ideal. You won’t make your millions but should end up with enough to supplement what you have without borrowing more.
Office work – depending on your course you might be able to get part-time work in an office. For example, solicitors firms often take on students during the summer and roles such as secretaries, PAs, admin assistants and cold callers are all an option on a part-time basis. Office roles tend to pay more but you’ll need to be able to commit to regular office hours.
Gig work – if you need a flexible income then working in the gig economy might be more appealing. Cycling for Deliveroo, selling your writing skills online or driving for Uber are just a few of the options.
Corporate sponsorship – if you’re keen to work for a particular business when you graduate and you’re doing the right degree then you might be able to get sponsored by them. This could mean financial help with course materials and living costs.
Bursaries and grants – there aren’t many of these around these days but if you’re on the right course (e.g. a teacher or a nurse) make sure you’ve explored all the options to get a grant or bursary to help with the cost of student life.
Amanda Gillam is Solution Loans's General Manager and has been since 2009. She is also a prolific writer on personal finance issues, and has been quoted numerous times in articles published on 3rd party websites and in press releases. Her...Read about Amanda Gillam
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