As a student I figured I would be poor. But the reality hits hard a few months in.
If you are a young person there are many funding options available. Tuition fees paid for by SAAS, bursaries and student loans to name a few. But what if you’re a mature student? Well of course all the above applies. But for me, I am a mature student who has a degree. Meaning all the above (except the loan) does not apply.
Yes it was my decision to go back into education. I knew I had to fund it myself. But student loans and a job only go so far. Luckily my first time around taught me some lessons that make life easier and it all comes down to budgeting. It seems like an obvious answer but we live in an age where everything is at our finger tips and temptation to spend frivolously is there.
Daily spending plans: What are you spending daily? It’s quite shocking when you look at it. One £3+ Starbucks pumpkin spice latte each day adds up. Consider how much you will spend on travel, rent, food and so on. Every detail matters. So grab your pen and paper and plan out what you need to spend each day to live, get to college and sustain a reasonable social life. Yes that party Friday night would be great, but not at the expense of your education because you now have no money to get into class.
Get a job: I hear the cries “but there are no jobs!” Yes there are. Employers are always look for student labour. You just need to look harder. It may not be the most glamorous job bussing tables or cleaning vomit off the floor, but it’s money. Check out your student notice boards and online. If I didn’t have my part time job I wouldn’t be able to go to college. It’s not sustainable on a student loan. Also, it looks good on your CV come graduation time.
Travel: Be savvy about public transport. You very well could be better off going by train one day and bus the other two. I am cheaper travelling to college three days out of four by car than train. I save £70 per month! I figured that out after spending more than £200 on train tickets. It may mean that I brave Glasgow’s rush hour but it’s worth it when that £70 can go to college books or bills.
Partying: Although tempting to go out every weekend when you are a student, don’t. You want to experience it all but not at the expense of your education. So take advantage of fresher’s and then reign it in. When the work starts piling up you need to calm down. Go out every other weekend and don’t fall prey to the ‘great’ offers clubs have on. Those £1 Jager Bombs may sound great but you’ll be left with an empty purse and a day of self-loathing in bed.
Originally posted on the Evening Times website.