Monday, 28 January 2013

Struggling to pay the bills? Five tips on how to manage your money while you study.







You’re off to university or college this year, and your mind is buzzing with thoughts of your studies, making lifelong friends and getting to know a new city. 

It shouldn’t be all work and no play, but having a decent social life comes at a cost. Managing your personal finances doesn’t have to be complicated nor impossible, even if you’re just starting out. You just have to know how it works.

When you become a full-time student you receive new sources of income (loans, grants and bursaries) as well as have new costs for essential living  study fees and  entertainment. Now that you’re on your own, you might be tempted to spend money on all the things your parents wouldn’t let you have before. Go slow. If you play it smart, you can avoid the sort of money troubles that plague many young adults.

Here are some essential tips on making it in varsity without breaking the bank:
 

1. Don’t just sign up for a random bank, offering seemingly great deals. Do some research into student loans to find out which financial service provider will offer you the best options. 

2. Don’t get a credit card unless you absolutely need one. If you have a relative or a bursary provider who has allocated funds to you for accommodation, food, books and other living expenses, consider getting an Eduxtras card from Eduloan – it doesn’t cost you anything and the funds are allocated into different “pockets” for different types of expenses. This way, you get to manage your funds wisely and you won’t be able to overspend. 

3. Avoid non-academic debt. It might seem like a good idea to put clothing or food on account with a store card, but it’s not. Focus on developing good money skills with cash. Worry about credit later. 

4. Save and then splurge. If you decide you must have that TV or sound system, then save for it. Wait until you can pay cash. 

5. Pay your bills on time. Basic advice, but it’s surprising how many people lose track of things. If you pay your bills as they arrive, you won’t have to worry about forgetting them.

Taking control of your finances during your studies and taking the time to think about your spending can make a real difference to your financial situation.

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