The broke student stereotype is getting old. While it can certainly be a challenge to juggle financial responsibilities with full-time study commitments, there are various resources available to help you through these times. Here are five pieces of advice for students in need of financial support:
1. Don’t Be Tempted By Credit Cards
Despite what any bank representative tells you, you don’t need a credit card for the sake of an emergency. You also don’t need a credit card to build your credit score as soon as you reach adulthood. Many well-intentioned students end up trapped in debt cycles because of sneaky loan and interest rate increases on credit cards.
If you are short on funds and have an important payment to cover, your go-to should be borrowing from a relative or friend you trust. If this isn’t possible in your situation, your next best option is to look at low-interest loans from reputable providers. Small loans will offer lower interest rates, flexible terms and sometimes even financial advice to help you pay them back faster.
2. Always Ask About Student Specials
Prepare to be surprised by how many services will offer concession rates and specials for students. Even though students are much more price-sensitive than working adults, their market is highly valued by many businesses. Commonly, you can find student deals at pubs and hospitality venues, transport services, sports and recreational activity centers and more.
Even better, this rule isn’t restricted to your city – your student status will sometimes be valued interstate and overseas! So, whether you’re down the road from home or on a holiday, never be afraid to inquire about a student discount.
3. Get To Know Your Student Support Services
It’s a shame just how many go through difficult times during school not knowing that support services were available to them all along. Degrees are expensive for a few reasons, but one that is often overlooked is the cost of access to university facilities, staff, and amenities.
This can include different types of counseling from financial and career assistance to mental health, access to on-campus gym and fitness facilities, study groups, educational support and sometimes even meal assistance.
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4. Use Your Library
Public libraries are extremely underrated. Books and magazine borrowing services is just the beginning. You can go to your library for free movies and television shows on DVDs, e-books, and other educational tools. Many will even offer networking and educational events, workshops, meeting and study space, and other services that can help enrich your education and professional skills at a minimal to no cost. Joining your library will cost you nothing at all and often you can be a member of multiple locations for access to a broader range of services. At the very least, do it for the free Wi-Fi.
5. Take Advantage of Personal Finance Apps
One of the best financial tips during times of struggle is to monitor the money going out. Closely managing your budget and spending can save more money than you think. Luckily, there are various solutions that can help you get your finances organized and streamlined. Set your ongoing expenses to direct debit so you don’t have to think about them and then look at free money tracking and saving apps to help you stay on budget even in the busiest of times.
It’s not always easy to keep up with all your life administration when the pressure of assignments and exams is looming. Once you implement these tips, however, you will notice some of the extra stress lifting before you know it!
Featured Image by Tim Gouw on Unsplash